A first of its kind for Saint Lucia, a BPO career fair was held today in Rodney Bay, at the north end of the island, providing a unique chance for current and potential outsourcing providers to meet with job seekers.
The program, co-sponsored by Invest Saint Lucia and Nearshore Americas, hosted over 65 young professionals. Both sponsors were on hand as part of a special BPO-industry conference featuring targeted discussions on the value proposition, talent capabilities, and overall readiness of Saint Lucia to continue to evolve as a Nearshore destination.
“Over the last few years, Saint Lucia has done its homework in regards to supporting BPO as a strategic sector for employment growth,” said Alana Lansiquot-Brice, investment promotions and fulfillment manager for Invest Saint Lucia.
She noted that the country is devoting serious attention to ensuring current and potential operators have a clear view into the country’s growth potential which, despite being a smaller country, has surprisingly diverse clients currently – from capabilities in inbound customer service, chat and collections; to outbound telesales and artificial intelligence/chatbot development.
The career fair provided current outsourcers, including OJO Labs, Velox Performance, and 1888-GO-ANSWER!, as well as a group of outside investors (part of a Nearshore Americas-run trade mission) to engage with potential workers.
“The work we’re all doing today is very important,” said Kirk Laughlin, Managing Director at Nearshore Americas. “The demand for knowledge workers is worldwide and only increasing. The career fair is representative of this global trend, and I encourage job seekers to find out for themselves — almost in a selfish sense — what they want to gain from the ICT industry and identity the key characteristics of potential employers’ cultures and what makes them attractive.”
When it comes to identifying the ‘secret sauce’ supporting Saint Lucia’s continued evolution in outsourcing, most observers cite the quality of the workforce and the motivation they bring to the table.
“I don’t think people truly realize how motivated people are to work in our industry,” said Jerry Franklin, director of international operations at OJO Labs, which operates a 150-person operations center in the south of the island. “They are coming in excited to work, and that is something we don’t take for granted.”
Leo Titus Preville, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, spoke emphatically about the growing focus on the government to create BPO-specific policies that aim to make the business of outsourcing more efficient and optimized for all stakeholders.
“Our young professionals are eager to participate in a global industry that promises a range of digitally-oriented job skills,” he said. “We are helping nurture the right environment for them to flourish.”
The career fair was held at the recently opened Hilton Harbor Club, a business hotel property just north of the capital city of Castries.