Impact Sourcing, and why it’s a key recruitment option for BPOs
In recent years, there has been a substantial upturn in the number of outsourcing specialists determined to introduce more socially-responsible ways of working.
Those ambitions stretch not just across the more obvious, boardroom-driven environmental targets, but are also zoning in on how to support the communities in which they are based.
As a BPO with a global reach, here at Sigma Connected we’re proud to be ahead of the chasing pack, especially when it comes to the tried and trusted model of Impact Sourcing, a unique way to not only access talent, but to change lives.
To put it simply, Impact Sourcing is a way for businesses to access people from economically disadvantaged or marginalised communities who have limited employment prospects. Just one of many strands of our recruitment approach, and something we are proud to be involved with, Impact Sourcing continues to make a significant difference within both our UK and South African operations.
Since 2011 we have been fortunate enough to create hundreds of jobs for people through Impact Sourcing. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, we recruited almost 150 new colleagues via Impact Sourcing across South Africa and the UK to accommodate our growth.
That’s been helped by the national hybrid working trend, especially in the UK, where we have adopted a full work from home policy which allows us to recruit from areas where there are disadvantaged communities and high levels of unemployment, creating opportunities for people where there were previously none.
Removing barriers, perceptions and offering meaningful careers
What we find is that Impact Sourcing creates a loyal workforce and unlocks career paths which helps people grow and prosper. It’s more than just a stop gap, it can be life changing and an opportunity people need to kick off careers. Equally, it underpins local economies as people who found themselves out of the system suddenly have a financial future, security, and clear prospects – far more effective than people simply jumping from job to job.
Something which we get asked about is the process and how it works. Without a doubt, the route for attracting people in South Africa is less difficult than in the UK. For example, in and around Cape Town there are a variety of historically disadvantaged communities, whilst in the UK the geography plays a huge role, but something we’re overcoming through full-time working from home.
It is considered by some that Impact Sourcing is cheap labour, almost a tick in the CSR box. When done right, its neither of these things. Quite simply, we take the view that if people lack the attributes we know drive great Customer Outcomes, we won’t employ them. We look for, and find, people with aptitude, ability, emotional intelligence and a general warmth of character, who will fit within our culture, and who we can pair with teams and mentors where we know they will flourish. It’s not about doing anyone a favour, or just a philanthropic gesture, it’s about creating a new workforce of high potential individuals.
This was proven when last year we became the first ever BPO to invest in and open an office in Mitchells Plain, one of Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities. The opening has worked exactly as we hoped, it has embedded us into the community and created long-term employment by essentially taking jobs directly to where the people live.
A future focus for the industry
This is essentially a snapshot of the transformation we feel we are making through Impact Sourcing. It’s a captivating model for which quite honestly there is limited knowledge in the BPO industry.
We champion its approach, its objectives, and the results, not just because of the difference it has made for us, and the opportunities for those born into difficult environments, but because we want our peers and our competitors to give the Impact Sourcing model a chance, to embrace it, and to adopt it, helping the entire BPO industry to become a force for good.
Imagine how powerful that could be.