November 1st, 2022
ABSL Annual Report: The number of employees in the business services industry has increased by almost 30% in the last three years.
“Bridges to the future” is the theme of the annual conference organized by ABSL (Association of Business Service Leaders) on November 1st, 2022. The event is attended by over 700 industry specialists. This year’s theme refers to the fact that better information and cooperation between industry players are essential in a time when the future is unpredictable. For 10 years, ABSL has been actively contributing to the development of the industry.
In the opening of the conference, ABSL launches the annual report of the business services industry, a report that presents an overview of the sector and its trends.
Although the last three years have been very challenging, the number of employees in the industry has increased steadily, the cumulative rise reaching almost 30%. More than half of the companies that participated in the survey mentioned they expected the number of employees to increase with 10-30% in 2022.
The services that experienced the most significant growth, and respectively needed the most employees are IT, customer support, finance, and accounting.
“The degree of process complexity, at least for the top three services, is increasing year by year as core activities are being automated. Therefore, there is a need for employees with increased technical skills, compared to the proportion of inexperienced employees that was quite high 3-5 years ago. Other important aspects are digital skills and not least foreign languages“, explains Ciprian Dan, President of ABSL.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has increased employee loyalty, with 18% the average rate of departures from the company this year, compared to an average rate of 26% in 2019.
“The cost and availability of labour force remain challenging, inducing excessive mobility between employers. For this reason, many companies in the industry have reconsidered their business model, towards a more sustainable one that is no longer based only on increasing the number of employees, but on their high productivity. The implementation of advanced technology, the optimization of processes and the shift towards services with higher added value are the new levers towards which companies are oriented“, says Cătălin Iorgulescu, Vice – President of ABSL.
The outsourcing services industry is in top three industries in 2022 in terms of salary increases, with 11% (after insurance with 17.7% and retail with 16.8%), but also in the top industries with the highest average base salary, i.e. 10,691 RON gross monthly. Salary figures show that the business services industry is becoming more competitive and attracting employees through increasingly specialized jobs thanks to investment and automation processes, the expected growth rate for next year being 7.7%.
The highest salary increases in the industry were recorded in Bucharest and Transylvania – Banat region, while in Muntenia and Moldova salaries stagnated or increased less.
This year the highest paid foreign languages have been Chinese, Czech, and Swedish. Employees appreciate the flexibility of being able to choose their benefits: well-being programs, therapy sessions, medical services and additional vacation days are among the most appreciated. 40% of companies in the business services industry offer flexible benefits.
”Hybrid work has become an industry reality, with almost all companies adopting this way of working in 2022. 78% of the companies in the industry ask their employees to work from the office at least 1-2 days a week”, says Francesca Postolache, ABSL Vice President.
Companies in the business services industry estimate a 22% increase in revenue for this year compared to last year.
70% of companies expect business growth in the next period and 94% of companies consider that Romania offers numerous investment opportunities in this sector.
The survey was carried out jointly by ABSL and PwC between August and October, on a sample of 71 companies that have a cumulative turnover of over 1.14 billion euros and approximately 50,000 employees.
The event is supported by ACCA, Booking Holdings, AICPA & CIMA, Eucom Business Language, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, Stefanini Romania, UniCredit, Valoris Center.