Impact sourcing – employing workers from marginalised and vulnerable communities – has become a growing part of the global business services (GBS) market, with many organisations committing to these inclusive hiring practices.

According to Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA), the local industry association for GBS and BPO, this will see the country strengthen its position internationally given the global need for quality talent and South Africa’s access to a young workforce willing to embrace skills development.

According to the Everest Group, a global research firm exclusively focused on the GBS sector, South Africa is a leading global delivery location for customer experience management, niche domain, and next-generation digital devices. It offers a skilled and young English-speaking workforce, sophisticated and resilient infrastructure, and a strong foundation in contact centres and other niche areas.

“Given South Africa’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and transformation, Impact Sourcing to the country means that this core business focus is met responsibly and transparently. We have availability of talent across multiple cities, with the government putting in place an incentive that 20% of new hires need to be previously disadvantaged individuals who are unemployed. Furthermore, South Africa offers a sizable regional and domestic market opportunity as a gateway to the rest of the continent with the country having one of the best ICT infrastructures,” says Andy Searle, CEO of BPESA.

He says the country’s focus on the continuity of essential service delivery to local and international clients during the hard global lockdown last year was well received and recognised. To this end, the country has presented new options to global players to de-risk their businesses in these times of uncertainty and disruption.

“In addition to traditional CX voice, offshoring complex software development and management functions to South Africa present a unique value proposition. International customers are successfully benefitting from skills availability and pricing that is a fraction of their local provider costs due to the lower cost of labour locally and a favourable exchange rate. All while maintaining all the confidence of high-quality delivery on complex software projects,” says Shashi Hansjee, CEO of Entelect.

“South Africa offers highly qualified end-to-end software delivery and management teams that have cut their teeth on some of the globes most challenging and modern software undertakings that span the entire digital spectrum of skills. It is also important to us that global customers enjoy the natural cultural affinity that they experience with their South African counterparts.”

This is all contributing to an enabling environment for job creation. An example is how the government created an additional 6 459 jobs due to upscaling its support for its GBS incentive in the last quarter of 2020.

“The digital revolution is placing greater emphasis on the provision of strong, technical support through call-centres. Firms in the sector want to be located close to a source of skilled workers. The rapid expansion of business process services is a tribute to the skills of young South Africans and evidence of what South Africa has to offer as a business and investment destination,” says Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.