Impact sourcing study supported by The Rockefeller Foundation substantiates business case for employing high potential, disadvantaged individuals.

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Impact sourcing (IS) is not just a nice thing to do; it also makes perfectly good business sense, according to an in-depth assessment recently published by Everest Group and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.

IS engages high potential but disadvantaged individuals in meaningful employment opportunities and makes positive differences in the lives of these workers, their families and communities. These individuals in the absence of IS would not have access to jobs or their situation/background would put them at a disadvantage as compared to mainstream workers. Impact sourcing provides these individuals opportunities to bring themselves at par with the mainstream workers.

As a business process service delivery model, IS provides quality and cost at parity with traditional BPO services, but with optimized enhancements such as an untapped talent pool with skill sets aligned to match client needs, lower attrition rates and higher corresponding levels of employee engagement, and opportunities to fulfill corporate social responsibility and diversity objectives while operating within a traditional BPO framework.

The study, The Case for Impact Sourcing, substantiates the benefits of the IS model for business process outsourcing (BPO). Additionally, it sizes the current IS market for BPO work, profiles the landscape, and shares experiences of companies like Accenture, Aegis, Careerbox, Deloitte, Infosys, Microsoft, Pangea3, Quatrro, RuralShores, SureHire, TCS, Teleperformance and Valeo.

Key Findings

  • In the regions surveyed in this study, IS represents 12 percent of the total BPO services market, and the number of IS workers is growing at 11 percent, outpacing the BPO market as a whole (9 percent).
  • The majority (95 percent) of IS workers are employed by large, traditional BPOs and Fortune 1000 buyer firms.
  • IS offers 65 to 87 percent cost arbitrage over source locations for offshore BPO.
  • IS offers significant savings compared to traditional BPO; differences are driven by lower rate of attrition for impact workers and location leverage.
  • Impact workers have 15 to 40 percent lower attrition than traditional BPO workers and exhibit high motivation levels. Lower attrition contributes to lower hiring and training costs over the long term.
  • Performance delivered through impact sourcing is comparable to traditional BPO.
  • IS offers access to large, untapped talent pools—including unemployed high school and college graduates.
  • Impact workers can realize a 40 to 200 percent increase in income, corresponding to up to a three-fold increase in discretionary spending. Total impact on the economy is 3.5 to 4 times that of the direct impact on impact worker income.

The report also identifies roles that IS can play in the global sourcing portfolios of buyers and BPOs:

  • Enabling further optimization of global service delivery (e.g., lower costs, flexibility to absorb demand fluctuations, freeing up of internal bandwidth for higher order work)
  • Providing geographic diversification and supporting entry into new business markets in the developing world
  • Gaining competitive advantage in domestic sourcing by accessing large talent pool with vernacular skills and low attrition
  • Achieving corporate social responsibility objectives via supplier diversity and employment of disadvantaged communities

See more in the full report.