The Problem with BPO Pirating

Pirates have always been a part of human history, from the Phoenicians, Vikings, Carribean buccaneers, to Somali pirates. As long as maritime commerce existed, there have always been those who stole from the sidelines.

In modern times, piracy has also taken different meanings—such as when you make illegal copies of someone else’s work.

(Like it or not, torrenting is unfortunately still a crime in many countries.)

For businesses, it can mean robbing a company of its employees.


Staff piracy or poaching has always been an issue in the world of employment, especially in the outsourcing industry. But early in February this year, ICT Davao and other heads of big BPO companies in Davao City called out the actions of employee pirates or

These pirates reel in employees by enticing them with higher pay, better benefits, and immediate hiring. The problem with this is that sometimes the worker suddenly disappears into thin air. No calls, no resignation letters–nothing at all.

A lot of these staff pirates aren’t even from Davao. Many of them come from cities like Cebu and Manila, sometimes giving even housing benefits for any employees that take them up on their offer.

This can put a small Davao outsourcing company in peril, because it hampers its capability to make deadlines meet . Finding a replacement worker will also take precious time.
What are some of the causes of staff piracy in the local BPO industry?

Competitive Salary and Benefits

Let’s be real—salaries in the Philippines are generally low compared to other countries. It’s how we can afford to offer affordable rates to clients. BPOs may be known for having relative high starting pays, but there’s always that one company that seems to offer more.

No Work-Life Balance

BPOs–especially call centers–are notorious for their shifting schedules. It messes up a person’s sleep cycle and can affect their overall health. Shifting schedules can also affect their relationship with family and friends, preventing them from joining in occasions like Christmas or birthdays.

It’s why some BPOs offer fixed schedules and weekends off (some don’t even have work on holidays), attracting others to their office.

Lack of Training

Most companies want their applicants to already have experience in their field of work. But even new workers with a seasoned resume need on-the-job training on the firm’s S.O.P. too. You don’t feed someone to the lions and expect them to make it out alive, do you?


Office management that doesn’t make an employee feel like they have a care about their career and welfare can turn them off immediately. Management that monitors their workers and watches out for their progress can help them in the long run.

The Job Description Was A Lie

Ever applied for a position for, say, a photo editing job, but all you’ve been doing is making videos even though the job ad said otherwise? Feels bad, doesn’t it? But you’ve got nowhere else to go , so you’re stuck in a job that isn’t what you signed up for. You’re now just waiting for the right moment to quit your job.

How can our BPOs–not just in Davao but in the Philippines as a whole–avoid this staff poaching epidemic?

We make life better for our employees. We can make them feel like they matter to us. Give them the mentoring they need when they start working. Workers with many skills can be assigned to another position that suits them. We can support their careers and their decisions for their future.

Jobs aren’t always fun and games, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy life in the office.
Quitting a job isn’t bad in itself. Sometimes when our career is going nowhere and we’re not learning anything new, it’s time that we move on. There’s nothing wrong with resigning as long as we do it through the proper channels.

Quitting too many times in too short a time, however, looks bad on your resume and your long term career.

Imagine applying for a job at the best outsourcing company in Davao. They take a look at your job experience and find that you only last months in every job you’ve been in.
When they ask you, “Why did you quit your job so soon?” and you answer, “I got pirated”, do you think they’ll consider hiring you?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s