- Narayan Ammachchi
The Real Wages in Nearshore Contact Centers: Findings that Will Surprise You
In one of the most important pieces of research Nearshore Americas has ever produced, the “Real Wages of Nearshore Contact Centers 2017” provides a truly authoritative examination of ten Nearshore markets – and reveals a surprising set of results. (For instance, the ‘cheapest’ nearshore market is not in Central America, as many might assume).
The report reflects over five months of exhaustive research, drawing from dozens of contact center operators and sources in each of the selected markets. The report uncovers prevailing wages in five categories: agents, directors, coordinators, supervisors, and managers. It also examines the factors that determine higher wages, and takes a close look at the impacts of a strengthening U.S. dollar.
“There are so many assumptions being made today about what wages are in the region, and sadly many of these assumptions are based on out-of-date opinions and imaginary data,” said Kirk Laughlin, Managing Director at Nearshore Americas. “This piece of research clearly spells out where the real bargains are in employing talented Nearshore professionals.”
The countries covered in the report include Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
A must-read for outsourcing firms expanding into the region, the report also examines bonus structures, total costs of employment, outbound sales, and wage growth over the past year. The Real Wages of Nearshore Contact Centers: 2017 also explains overall expenses for hiring and retaining IT talent and forecasts future wage growth.
What is also interesting is the variability in wages according to job title. For instance, the highest cost for managers in the region is in Nicaragua, despite that country being quite competitive in other roles.
Managers’ wages are highest in Nicaragua, and lowest in Guyana. (Actual USD figures have been removed in this graphic – for the full report, visit this page).
As the chart above indicates, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, and Mexico all are slightly above the average wage for managers in the study.
There are many factors determining call center salaries. For example, many might assume that Costa Rica is the most expensive country for call center operators. But some factors, such as higher bonuses, are pushing up the cost of employment in many other markets.
As expected, the report found that bilingual agents are making more money than native-only agents in most of these markets. Knowing a second language is the biggest advantage for call center agents in Jamaica and El Salvador.
The report has explained how inflation and currency devaluation have made some countries more attractive for call center operators. But in some places, neither inflation nor currency comes into play.
In Colombia, for example, Bogota is a major delivery point for nearshore call center services. But some call centers seeking Spanish-language delivery at low costs are bulking up in the northern city of Barranquilla.
Although many firms claim that they increase wages in accordance with inflation rates, the report finds call center wages increasing at a faster rate than overall inflation in some markets.