NAC - NASSCOM'S Assessment of Competence
An industry Assessment and Certification Standard for creating 'assessed and benchmarked' quality talent-pool
Presented by NEDP - NASSCOM's Executive Development Program and managed by Hewitt Associates, India
The Indian ITES-BPO industry is growing at a tremendous pace. India's biggest competitive advantage is the educated English-speaking talent pool, and hence it is also imperative that we have sustainable workforce development initiatives in place for the longer term. The industry, under the aegis of NASSCOM, is looking at ways and means to ensure that the future of this industry is even brighter. Proactive workforce development is becoming a major requirement for the Indian ITES-BPO sector.
NASSCOM is following a multi-pronged approach to facilitate manpower development for the short and long term. By following a three phase strategy, NASSCOM is aiming to build a base of ITES-BPO manpower which will be certified, in tune with the needs of the industry and geared up for the future requirements of the sector.
In Phase I of this initiative, NASSCOM is looking at creating an Assessment and Certification program which becomes an industry standard and ensures the transformation of a "trainable" workforce into an "employable workforce. In this phase, NASSCOM in association with Hewitt Associates and through extensive industry participation is building an Assessment and Certification framework.
Hewitt Associates, on behalf of NASSCOM, conducted in-depth meetings with close to 35 players in the ITES-BPO industry to understand the current recruitment practices, attrition skills required etc. Based on this a job-skill matrix was developed which formed the basis for the design of this assessment program.
Core and Working Committees from the industry were formed and constant interactions were made to make sure that the program has everything that the industry requires in terms of a pre-employment assessment. An evaluation committee was set-up to finalize the vendors and decide on the approach to the pilot.
NASSCOM, after a detailed evaluation process, have selected two vendor combinations to help them with content and technology to run the pilot. ePredix and CareersIndia will together conduct the first pilot program, and British Council and AON Consulting will carry out the second. Selected companies from the industry identified by NASSCOM will partner in the deployment of the pilot program. The locations for the first stage of pilot have been identified as NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore.
NASSCOM Assessment of Competence will help industry to create an assessed and certified talent workforce to cater their needs. Some of the key benefits will be as follows:
- A national standard for recruitment of entry level talent
- Substantial cost savings in industry’s sourcing cost
- Ease of benchmarking for individual processes with industry standards
- Ability to create visibility and reach out to a larger audience
- Ability to filter out non-serious candidates and hence improved efficiency
- Cost savings through cutting off steps from the recruitment process resulting in reduced cycle time and more efficient utilization of resources
- Cost savings through reduced training hours in full blown operation
For a job aspirant in the ITES-BPO industry, NAC will provide following benefits:
- A common, transparent process across companies in the ITES-BPO sector
- No need to go through the same recruitment process at different companies
- Ability to identify his/ her strengths and weaknesses
- Ability to self-assess his/her training needs
- Opportunity to get certified on a national level under NASSCOM
A robust training backend framework is necessarily required to make any assessment successful, which also holds true for NASSCOM Assessment of Competence. There is a need to align this assessment in a manner that it helps the industry with assessment and recruitment of right talent; and also provides training need inputs to the candidates and to the training firms. Also, Educational Institutions and Universities can work to align the curriculum to the changing industry trends on the basis of this assessment.
The key tenets for this alignment are:
- The central Assessment of candidates will be a filtering criterion for employers and a training need assessment for candidates
- The candidates will be advised specific training modules as a part of the result as per their shortcomings
- The employers will provide incentives to candidates to come through this assessment
- Over time the intent is that the industry should hiring only candidates who come through this assessment
Frequently Asked Questions
Indian ITES-BPO sector industry continues to grow from strength to strength, witnessing high levels of activity - both onshore as well as offshore. The last year witnessed vendors move up the value-chain to offer higher-end research and analytics services to their MNC clients. The industry clocked export revenue of US$ 5.2 billion in FY 2004-05 registering a 40% growth from FY 2003-04. The ITES-BPO sector also created around 100,000 jobs in the sector adding the total employment to 348,000 in the same period. According to various research agencies and the ITES-BPO sector will continue to register phenomenal growth rate and will register revenue of US$ 17-18 billion and employment generation of 1 million people by CY 2009.
Yes, you do. The industry is very industry specific i.e. the work done at any ITES-BPO outfit is mainly processing any industry verticals like BFSI sector, Administration, Sales, Marketing, research and any process which is not core to the customer. An experience in related industry vertical is helpful. The ITES-BPO sector world-wide is customer-centric and you need to cat all levels of hierarchy some kind of 'soft-skill; training.
At the pilot stage, NASSCOM will lend its name to the certification. However, going forward am independent governing council will be formed to take care for certification and other administrative work.
This program will provide you with a score sheet on different parameters. You can apply to different companies across India on the basis of this score and need not go through similar selection processes at different companies.
Please get yourself register at SPIC.
The minimum qualification required is graduation (10+2+3)
You have to pay Rs 1500/- for participating in this program.
This program aims to test the general aptitude of a candidate on different skill sets. This includes Listening and Keyboard Skills, Verbal Ability, spoken English, Comprehension and Writing Ability, Office Software Usage, Numerical & Analytical skills, and Concentration & Accuracy.
As per the plan in Stage I of the pilot, an integrated assessment will be put online to test the candidates coming for recruitment at participating companies. The plan is to do parallel testing of the candidates i.e. the candidates will be assessed as per the existing recruitment process and also on the NAC system. This will help validate the NAC assessment vis-a-vis the recruitment requirements; and enable assessment of the overall candidate experience.
In Stage II of the pilot the plan is to conduct assessment in tier II cities, independent of the recruitment process. This will help test the assumptions around logistics and delivery.
Very wide spectrums of ITES organizations have stated an interest to participate in the pilot; and contribute their resources. NASSCOM team will work closely with the industry to arrive at the final list; this will be done keeping in mind the need to have right balance of process, third party and captives; and companies from participating locations.
As per the current plan, Stage I of the pilot will cover Bangalore, NCR and Mumbai while Stage II will cover a wider variety of Tier II cities.
During the pilot the candidates will not be asked to pay; the model being adopted is one of shared cost i.e. vendors will share part of the cost while the rest will be shared by the participating companies.
Post successful completion of the pilot, NASSCOM together with the industry will evolve the model of funding of the one time investment and the governing organization. Ongoing funding will be done by way of the fees being collected from the candidates being assessed.
In one of the pilots, voice sample will be captured transferred over the web and will be assessed by the assessor. In another pilot voice assessment will happen face to face with the assessor at the center itself when the candidate appears for NAC.
At the end of the pilot, data collected and the overall feedback on the validity will decide the best way forward. 16. Did the project team look at a fully automated voice testing model? Though it is one of the most heavily researched areas; there is no technology in the marketplace which can do voice assessment in a consistent manner. As and when there is a solution in the market place which can meet our requirements the initiative will evaluate and switch to such a tool.
Most of the industry felt that though important; the fitment piece can be left for future because it is by nature subjective and a correct implementation will need far more groundwork and education.
Industry will continue to play the central role in the initiative; for the pilot phase participating organization will be expected to contribute resources and opinions of the organizations that are not part of the pilot will continue to sough after to ensure that the system being design has complete alignment. During the national roll out; industry will play a crucial role in lending credibility to the certification and in ensuring that the same gets differentiated in the marketplace. This will happen if the certification gets a mention in recruitment advertisements; the certified candidates undergo a shorter process and/or get a salary differential etc.
NASSCOM on behalf of the industry will continue to play the central role; the plan is to form a governing board/ committee to oversee the initiative and the business model of this program will fund the governing body’s functions.
Please contact Md. Shahabuddin, Assistant Vice President, NASSCOM (Shahab@nasscom.org) for further queries.