Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  09 Nov 2010

OUTSOURCING: Barnstone Develop Dutch Treat for Young Grads


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Local business consultants Barnstone are developing a knack for tackling common business challenges with a fresh approach. The firm has been making inroads into the business process outsourcing (BPO) space by providing work ready candidates for this market.

Barnstone is now extending its offering to the emerging eastern European market with an innovative initiative to assist an outsourced call centre in Poland with Dutch speaking financial services advisors. This involves the up-skilling of local Afrikaans speaking graduates with a yen for travel and overseas experience with the necessary language and business skills required to meet the needs of the client. The project is an excellent showcase of Barnstone’s ability to handle an end-to-end human resource solution, to client specification. This includes sourcing, testing, selection and even the actual logistics arrangements to deliver these skills to its clients.

“We are extremely excited about this project” says Barnstone Director and project champion Conrad Steyn. “We have been able to provide a creative solution in a relatively short space of time that will assist our client to enhance their service offering. At the same time, we are developing some of our own young minds by giving graduates an opportunity that may not have ever been available to them.”

Candidates with relevant qualifications in finance have been recruited from several educational institutions. No previous work experience is required - the only prerequisites being a valid passport and fluency in Afrikaans. “We specifically tapped into the Afrikaans language base as it bears many similarities to Dutch. This makes it much easier for the candidates to learn the new language and attain the European Language Standards V1 Certification required.” explains Steyn.

In addition to the language training, relevant business coaching is also provided. An intensive six week course will further ensure that each individual will be an ideal fit with the client’s needs. “Each of the five candidates currently in the programme have undergone an extensive selection process and training to ensure that not only will they satisfy the job requirements, but also be able to cope during the course of their two year contract in Poland.”

The project is currently in pilot stage, and the first crop of candidates departed for Poland in September and were deployed in a multilingual outsourced contact environment, servicing specific Dutch clientele. Recruitment for the next group of candidates will begin shortly in order to create a steady flow of appropriate skills.

Barnstone is looking beyond the immediate benefits to client and candidate to the grown demand for BPO in South Africa.

“South Africa is gaining popularity in the BPO space, particularly in the call centre environment,” says Steyn. “Projects like these are providing great opportunities to our up and coming young professionals, while at the same time are building an excellent pool of skills that will only increase our attractiveness as an outsource destination to overseas investors.”

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