The Call Center Bond


Hi Seven.  Ano ba talaga ang bond? Bakit may ganon? Pano maiiwasan yon? Anong gagawin kung sinisingil ka? Makukulong ba ako? 

James R.

Hi James.

I got your email yesterday, and since your questions are fascinating, I thought I would just turn my response into a post. This way, we can share the info with everyone.

What is a bond? 

A training bond is nothing more than a contract that says you will be paying a specific amount if you leave the company (whether by resignation or by absconding) within a particular period. For example, I worked for a company in Northgate, and we had a training bond for six months. If I left before that, I would be liable to pay Php 20,000.

Why is there a bond?

…because a lot of people abscond. Attrition is a severe threat to a company’s investment. When a person gets hired, the company will spend for their onboarding, training, etc. Therefore, to recover this cost, the company has to make sure the person stays so that his “working hours” can be converted into income.

Similarly, when the company sends an employee abroad for training or education, they need to sign a contract binding him to the company for several years (usually two).

How does a bond work?

As mentioned above, it is a contract. It is binding as soon as you sign it. If you leave before the end of your “bond,” you will be held liable for either the full or a pro-rated amount. In the example I used above, the Php 20,000 is divided into six months, so if I decided to resign on the 4th month, I would be paying Php 6666.00 (Php 20,000/6 months = Php 3333.33).

If you didn’t attend the training at all, are you still liable? 

Technically, if you already signed the contract, you are.  However, the counter-argument is  I didn’t even attend the first day of training. What company investment am I wasting? (except perhaps for the recruiter’s time and the piece of paper I signed). By the way, when you do not attend the first day of training, that correct term is NO SHOW, not AWOL.

In the above case, what should I do?

Call your recruiter before the first day of training and tell them you are backing out. That is responsible and professional. This way, the recruiter can give your slot to another candidate.

I already went on AWOL, and now I am receiving letters.

Naturally, you are fully aware there is a bond; you went on AWOL, the collection letters will follow. It really depends on the company if they take your absconding seriously and take you to court for breach of contract. Most companies will just let it go –  the cost of litigation is more expensive than just hiring another one. In my 15 years in the industry, I have never heard of an employee going AWOL and being dragged to court or having their wages garnished. I’ve heard of former employees who needed clearance and COE from the company and had to settle just to clear their name (or to get it over with).

Am I still liable if I get terminated?

Technically, you are not liable, especially if the cause of the termination fails to meet the metrics. To avoid the bond, you will be held responsible if you fail on purpose. Of course, the company has the burden of proof.

What if I need to get my clearance from my former company where I went AWOL? 

You need to visit the company and settle the balance. Sometimes, you can even negotiate it. Bottom line, you signed the contract, which gives you the obligation, and if you want/need the clearance for your next employer, you need to settle the balance.

I don’t have any money, how can I pay for it?

Why did you go on AWOL in the first place? As mentioned above, if you need the clearance, then you can make a payment arrangement. After all, how can you settle a loan if you don’t have a job right?

How can I avoid the bond?

Simple. Do NOT go to a company that’s known to have a bond. If you have no idea if there is a bond or not, use the internet to research information. After all, as an applicant, you must conduct research. This is a part of your due diligence a responsible human being whose goal in life is to have a career instead of floating around. Also, please DO NOT ask a recruiter if there will be a bond or not – this is a wrong question, and whether you are qualified or not, you will fail. Why? It is a clear sign for a recruiter that you have no plans of staying or developing a career.

Ultimately, the decision to go on AWOL from a company where you signed a bond will haunt you and cause you inconvenience but will you get incarcerated? I very much doubt it. Most of these companies would rather focus on running the business and ignore you (eventually). Then again, why court the disaster of being seriously hounded for a contract you agreed to in the first place? Be professional. For whatever reason, stay for your arrangement, use the time to learn new skills and competencies, and leave when the time is right.

If you have any questions or clarifications on this article, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. If you have a story to tell, please don’t hold back.

Hope this helps.

Se7en

The Grass Is Always Greener Everywhere Except Where You Stand


Hi Se7en,

Im Jake, 25 yo, Management graduate and a licensed Professional Teacher (took units in Education). Been with the industry since 2009, joined multiple companies and i considered myself as a hopper but also a high performer. Not until with my current which I’m staying for almost 1.5 years now(which is a rare feat).hahaha Been out of your blog for almost a year and a half too and It’s my first time to visit your blog again. Im sorry. ;) Now, i need your expert advise as I’m planning to resign in this Industry 1st quarter of 2014 for good.

I have several questions in mind before handing my resignation letter to them. Is there life after working in BPO? What are the possible industries that you can recommend which can be a good place to start? Do i need to declare all those job experiences I’ve had which is irrelevant to the position I’m applying in? What is the best way to defend gaps in your employment?

I need a brand new start. A totally new start without me depending on BPO/ITO. I’ll wait for your response. Thank you and more power.

Sincerely,

Jake

Hi Jake. I admire your desire to ask questions and conduct research before filing for resignation — that is the correct course of action. Before I answer your inquiries, I’d like to know why you stayed on at this position for more than a year. How is your scorecard looking? What types of accounts do you handle? What is the reason you stated that you need a fresh start? You also stated that you want one that does not rely on BPO/ITO? I’m not sure what you mean. Are you starting a business?

I will wait for your response.

Se7en

With regard to staying on this job, Are we talking about in general or with my current? Generally speaking, its because of the high compensation and other benefits. If its about with my current, i would say an accomplishment and a challenge for staying that long. By the way, thats the longest in my 4 years next is 8 months, 5mos and others just barely after 2mos then i went awol.

Scorecard: No problem. Agent of the month for months, no tardiness and absenteeism issues.

Account: customer service for B2B account. In house. We manufacture and support our own products.

The reason why i wanted a new start because of the ff: its get boring, routinary and no longer challenging. Sorry for the term. I dunno what right term to use. I dont mean to be rude. :) I feel like my professional development is getting stagnant. No upskills training. Promotion is slow. Though my managers keep saying “you have a bright future ahead of you.” In my head Until when i will wait for promotion?

About the BPO, what i meant was i dont want to depend on working in BPO/ITO industry alone. Looking for an industry that is different where im used to.

Thanks,

Jake

Hi Jake. Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. When I saw your post, I immediately thought that it deserved a post in my blog. There are a few issues that I’d like to respond to, and in the process, answer your question and share information with the public as well.

There are four things that I noticed from your post:

  1. Your perception about tenure and promotion.
  2. Your personal and career development is based on your company and your leaders.
  3. It’s greener on the other side of the fence.
  4. Your perception about what “challenge” is.

Let me explain:

  1. People often believe that they deserve a promotion because they have held the same position for a long time, are competent at what they do (as evidenced by their scorecard), or because they make a lot of sacrifices to do more. This mentality is wrong. Being good at what you do or exceeding your scorecard’s expectation does not make you a promotion material; it simply confirms that you’re good at what you do, period.  Getting promoted is an entirely different ball game. You need to exhibit the qualities, skills, and competencies of a leader and a manager (if you’re asking yourself what these qualities, skills, and competencies are, it means you have a long way to go).
  2. Many people labor in the false notion that personal development within the firm and their jobs is heavily reliant on the organization and its executives. A person who wants to be a leader (and get promoted) will not wait for the organization to provide him with the necessary training or exposure. He conducts research, watches leadership videos, discovers the concepts, skills, and competencies, and then lives them. This makes him a viable candidate; as a result, the company notices that he exhibits the skills, thus, making them perceive that he is ready for the next level.
  3. Many people assume that to succeed in their jobs, they must start over somewhere else; yet, once they do, they discover another pasture with greener grass, and they find themselves hopping from one valley to another. What’s the issue? Except where you stand, the grass is ALWAYS greener. What they attain is not advancement; this is called “pabarya-barya mentality.” They don’t see is that if you stay, you develop a career, which leads to tenure, achievement, fulfillment, success, and money.
  4. Finally, many people believe that once they have reached a certain level of efficiency and effectiveness in a specific function, they have reached a dead end: there is nothing more to learn. Thus, creating a vicious cycle in which, instead of continuing to improve the skills and competencies they mastered, they leave to find another skill by starting from scratch, not realizing that they were in a perfect position to begin with. People that think this way tend to be hoppers for a long time until they know it’s too late.

Let me be completely honest with you, Jake. I’m not quite sure that you lack challenge in your job; the issue is YOUR MINDSET.; you don’t recognize it. You are in an excellent position to develop the abilities and competencies, but you don’t remember it since your priority is money, not a career. You do not need to change jobs or pastures to realize your ambition; instead, you can use your existing company/work to build the essential abilities, live it, and get acknowledged. It takes some time. Leadership is not something you learn overnight.  If you can’t see this, you’re not ready. Leaving your job today will not get you anywhere, nor will it help you advance; you will become a job hopper (as you have been for the past few years). Remember that professional advancement is more than just being promoted; it is also about boosting your value as an employee to become more viable and desirable. You accomplish this by ascending the corporate ladder, expanding your understanding of the company’s business activities, and demonstrating to the executives that you are a valued asset due to your efforts.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Se7en