João Cardoso CEO of Teleperformance Portugal in interview by Dinheiro Vivo
“We look for talent everywhere”
There are nearly 11,000 Teleperformance employees in Portugal. 80% of the contact center employees are permanent hires.
Teleperformance is the fastest growing company in Portugal regarding job creation. At the end of 2018, this contact center company had an additional 2,500 employees as compared to the end of the previous year. Since January this year, 500 new hires have already been contracted, says João Cardoso CEO of Teleperformance in Portugal, to Dinheiro Vivo. According to a study conducted by the Portuguese Contact Centers Association (Associação Portuguesa de Contact Centers – APCC), of the 100,000 people, the sector employs in the country, nearly 11,000 work at Teleperformance, distributed throughout the centers of Lisbon, Porto, Covilhã and Setúbal. “We look for talent everywhere”, says the head of the company which he ensures “is always recruiting”, in and out of Portugal.
Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Swedish and Norwegian are just some of the languages that echo through Teleperformance’s contact centers. Altogether, there are 86 nationalities. And for those who come from afar, the company offers accommodation. Over the years, Teleperformance has created a network of owners, known as “business partners”, with the aim of providing accommodation to employees it recruits abroad.
“We facilitate everything for the relocation. In this respect, I think the company has been completely innovative. We have put together a model that does not exist at this level in Europe. We provide a complete relocation package, including accommodation and travel, and handle all the paperwork in Portugal. A person who wants to work in Portugal, even coming from the European Union, can face a lot of hurdles,” explains João Cardoso CEO of Teleperformance Portugal.
The leader of Teleperformance in Portugal regrets the Government’s still weak response in relation to the entry of qualified people. “I think the bureaucratic machine is not yet adapted to this need. For several years, we lamented our situation of a ‘brain drain’. Today we are faced with the opposite situation”.
The stigma of temporary work
It is common to associate contact centers with temporary work. However, the APCC study indicates that, in 2018, only 7% of the workers were in a temporary work situation and another 3% were “freelancers” on “green receipts”. Of the more than 37,000 employees analyzed – the study focused on 143 national companies –, the number of open-ended contracts rose from 32% in 2017 to 49% in 2018.
João Cardoso CEO of Teleperformance Portugal explains that he also resorts to temporary work, to “address projects of that nature”. At Teleperformance, 80% of workers have a permanent contract.
But there’s more, says João Cardoso CEO of Teleperformance Portugal. Last year, 466 workers were promoted. “Growing so quickly has allowed us to create incredible career opportunities. We have people who work in the management of the company and who began their careers in managing interactions with customers a relatively short time ago. They build their career in the company and in 7 or 8 years are already part of the executive board,” he says.
The salary depends on the employee’s duties. Those who earn the most are software engineers who provide technical support, earning around 1,700 euros at the end of the month. However, salaries start at 720 euros for other customer support duties.
João Cardoso CEO of Teleperformance Portugal believes that those who work in the company he leads are satisfied, and this is due to the “motivation-oriented leadership aimed at employee satisfaction. When we look at the results of the evaluations of the work atmosphere and employee satisfaction, we see that we have always been better among all sectors of activity. When Great Place to Work evaluates companies in Portugal with the best level of employee satisfaction, they do so based on surveys they themselves control within the companies. Every year, we have about 1,500 to 2,000 employees who are randomly surveyed within the organization. Those results are not manipulated and reflect reality”, he stresses.
Over the past nine years, Teleperformance has been considered one of the best companies to work for, according to Great Place to Work reviews, which puts us in the Top 25 again this year. For this reason, João Cardoso says he does not identify with the “negative image” people have of contact centers.
“There is a series of multiplicative factors that have triggered the need for this type of service”, says Teleperformance’s CEO in Portugal. As examples, João Cardoso refers to the growing variety of new products on the market, and the digitization or the shift of the economy from a model of acquisition to one of subscription. This latter he considers to be a “phenomenon of the decade”. Relationships between businesses and customers are now extending further in time with these new models.
“The major users of our services have always been companies that also have a continuous relationship with their customers – telecommunication services and banking. The point is that, with the shift to the subscription model, the relationship all these companies have with their consumers is extended in time. And that means they will have to provide a service of excellence so as not to lose them.
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