Five of the Hottest Global Call Center Locations
by King White, on Aug 11, 2022 2:27:47 PM
Due to extremely tight labor conditions in the U.S., the majority of the call center industry’s recent growth has been in nearshore and offshore locations as companies seek to augment staffing shortages in the U.S. Our data supports this trend. as our team at Site Selection Group typically completes between 50 to 70 call center site selection projects per year of which 70% or more have historically been in the U.S.
However, this trend has reversed as labor markets tighten amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, forcing companies to shift their expansions to nearshore or offshore locations. Based on this recent activity, we thought we would highlight some of the most popular nearshore and offshore call center locations.
Colombia has emerged as one of the hottest countries in the last few years for call centers as both business process outsourcers and captives have entered the market in droves. It has a significant population and an educated workforce with decent bilingual skills. The government has become stable despite common misperceptions derived from its history of drug trafficking. The government has also done a great job setting up economic development organizations to help companies enter the country.
Colombia is one of the only countries in Latin America that has multiple cities for consideration including the most active cities of Bogotá, Medellín, Barranquilla, and Cali. Bogotá is the largest call center market with an estimated 90,000 call center workers. Teleperformance, Konecta, Concentrix, Sitel, Sutherland, Atento, Alorica, Amazon, and TaskUs are some of the largest call center employers in the country. Bilingual agent wages range from $3.75 to $4.75 an hour depending on the city in which you locate.
Jamaica has been one of the hottest call center markets in the Caribbean. As an English-speaking country, it creates a unique opportunity for companies to tap into low-cost labor with broader skills to support customer care, collections, and sales-type programs. It has a high literacy rate and a growing economy. Jamaica also has a stable government that is committed to attracting foreign call center investment through its economic development organization JAMPRO. Wages are very attractive at $3.50 to $4 an hour. Call centers are primarily clustered in Montego Bay and Kingston. Some of the largest call center employers include Teleperformance, Concentrix, Ibex, itelBPO, and The Office Gurus. There are reports of tightening labor conditions so carefully evaluate the labor market before diving in.
Despite its accessibility challenges, South Africa has emerged as a major player in the global call center market due to its large English-speaking population, strong economy, and very low labor costs. Originally, South Africa mostly supported the European market but, in the last few years, there has been significant demand from U.S. companies. Most international call centers have set up their operations in Cape Town as it is slightly less expensive than Johannesburg. Some of the largest multinational corporations located there include CCI, Webhelp, Teleperformance, iContact, and Amazon (which recently announced plans to employ 70,000 workers). Wages range from $2 to $3.50 an hour depending on where you locate your call center and the type of work performed. Also, real estate costs are inexpensive compared to many other geographies.
Egypt is one of the most popular call center locations in the EMEA region. It primarily supports the European market, but there is some U.S. work being done there. Egypt has a very large population and a high literacy rate with Cairo as the epicenter with a labor force of over 6 million. The country has a strong English-speaking population (59%) with a large presence of French, German and Italian speakers as well. There are estimated to be 50,000 call center workers in Cairo with Vodafone, Teleperformance, Concentrix, Majorel, and Xceed having the largest call center operations. Wages are approximately $2 an hour which is competitive with the Philippines and India.
Mexico continues to attract a lot of call centers due to its reasonable labor costs and accessibility to the U.S. Mexico isn’t the cheapest of locations as wages range from roughly $4 to $6 an hour for a bilingual agent, and safety remains a concern. Border cities such as Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juárez, and Monterrey typically have the greatest concentration of bilingual workers; however, cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, León, Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, and several other interior cities have a lot to offer companies. Some of the largest call centers in the country include Teleperformance, Atento, Datamark, Alorica, TaskUs, iQor, TTEC, Telvista, Concentrix, and other leading business process outsourcers. Mexico has become a staple geography to have a presence.
Finding the next hot spot to locate your call center isn’t an easy task. These five countries have been successful at attracting call centers due to a combination of labor availability, language skills, scalability, labor costs, geopolitical risks, and all of the other factors that drive the site selection process. You might also want to review our full assessment of global location trends in the 2022 Call Center Location Trends Report to find other possible locations to expand.