American BPO provider Sykes has begun expanding its operations to rural Costa Rica in an apparent move to cut costs and make use of untapped human resources.
Earlier this month, the Tampa-Florida-based company opened the doors of its new office in the north-western province of Guanacaste.
This is the company’s fourth delivery center in the Central American country. To begin with, Sykes will staff the new office with around 100 people but will increase the headcount to 600 over the next 18 months.
Most of the new hires will be bilinguals and will provide technical support to the company’s global clients in the financial and telecom industries.
“The interview and recruitment process will be carried out remotely, via digital platforms,” stated the call center firm in a press release.
“This marks the establishment of the first in what we believe will be the beginning of a new development pole in high-tech corporate services,” stated the company’s general manager Alejandro Arciniegas.
Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado has applauded the BPO for its decision to go rural, adding that “when they (Sykes) arrive in an area, others will follow.”
The Central American country seems convinced that the demand for bilinguals will only rise in the years to come as more multinational firms arrive in the country. “By 2040, everyone who graduates from Costa Rican universities will be bilingual,” declared the President.
Sykes Academy is a major partner in the government’s ambitious English-teaching program known as “Alliance for Bilingualism”. In August 2019, Sykes revealed that 560 people had enrolled in its academy and that 300 had already finished their learning.
Job opportunities are scarce in rural Costa Rica as foreign firms tend to set up shops in major metropolises. Last year, foreign investment led to creating barely 547 new jobs in areas outside the Greater Metropolitan Area, according to the Minister for Foreign Trade, Duayner Salas.