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SYKES Takes Giant Steps, Both in and out of the Greater Metropolitan Area

SEPTEMBER 24th 2020

Costa Rica. September 2020. In a matter of only three months, SYKES announced two major expansions within Costa Rica, for a total of 1,050 new hires starting this year.

The first expansion occurred in June when the company expanded its team by 450 permanent new employees equipped with advanced, intermediate, or basic knowledge in Cisco networks, operating systems, and programming for its technical support operations.

This month, the company made a second announcement, confirming its expansion outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) and into its new location at Solarium Park in Liberia, Guanacaste. 

Additionally, SYKES began hiring the first of 100 new permanent positions to start training in November and December this year.  The company estimates it will hire a total of 600 new employees at its Guanacaste location, over 18 months.

CINDE's Essential News spoke about these expansions with Roy Mena, Director of Corporate Affairs of SYKES Costa Rica. Mena explained that “there are five reasons why the company continues to grow, even in pandemic times:

1.Operational excellence generates high levels of client trust, prompting our clients to continue growing organically with SYKES.
2.For over a year, we have invested in remote work strategies that allowed us to test this concept, learn about and from the associated challenges, and then strengthen our model to offer it as an option to our clients.
3.This model prepared us to take on the crisis with continuity plans that allowed us to easily transition to remote work without affecting the provision of services our clients require.
4.Costa Rica’s solid positioning and SYKES’ sustainability strategies, particularly through the development of bilingual and technical talent, have allowed us to add new businesses and additional clients to our portfolio.
5.The challenges and limitations to large companies operating abroad, under business process outsourcing (BPO) strategies, has allowed SYKES Costa Rica to emerge as an offshore / nearshore option while taking advantage of opportunities to grow.”

A dynamic sector. The services sector in Costa Rica has demonstrated its dynamism over the last several years. While in 2004, exports from free trade zones represented just 7% of total exports, last year they accounted for 38%. In addition, the sector has grown from 1,061 employees to over 73,000 today.

Did SYKES envision this rate of growth in Costa Rica? “Yes, these are planned expansions. The company projects growth for each year and establishes goals for sales and job generation associated with new businesses,” explained Mena.

He adds that, for many years, SYKES has been preparing to expand its operations outside the Greater Metropolitan Area.

“Since 2013, we have carried out profiling studies with the CINDE team to identify the greatest potential in human talent and to map infrastructure and service conditions that will enable open operations and promote the creation of a development pole for high-technology corporate services. 

“As promoters of talent development, our alliance with entities such as the National Apprenticeship Institute (INA), various universities, the Ministry of Labor, and others that provide training will allow us to decentralize demand for talent located exclusively within the GMA and to operate lower turnover, in the pursuit of gaining efficiencies and reducing operating costs,” he emphasized. 

The goal is to continue growing and training more professionals. Mena affirms that there is now both greater awareness of the sector’s opportunities and a larger population of young talent with better English skills and more technological knowledge. That said, demand remains important and, in consequence, the need of strengthening public-private alliances to transfer knowledge and develop more talent to satisfy the increasing sector´s requirements.