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August 18, 2010

We’ve discussed outsourcing before in this space, but now outsourcing firms have found that outsourcing to locations in North America can pay off. NPR’s excellent (in this blogger’s opinion) Planet Money blog links to an article in the Financial Times today that reports on a trend to shift call center jobs, classic outsourcing fodder, to the U.S.

Call centre workers are becoming as cheap to hire in the US as they are in India, according to the head of the country’s largest business process outsourcing company. High unemployment levels have driven down wages for some low-skilled outsourcing services in some parts of the US, particularly among the Hispanic population.

Now, outsourcing and offshoring firms are finding value in American employees, especially their flexibility. The FT quotes Pramod Bhasin, CEO of Genpact, a leading BPO firm, as stating that “We need to be very aware [of what’s available] as people [in the US] are open to working at home and working at lower salaries than they were used to. We can hire some seasoned executives with experience in the US for less money.”

And outsourcing has now become truly globalized, rather than bilateral. According to the FT, more than half of Wipro’s employees will be non-Indian by 2012. Many of those will be in countries other than the US.

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