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 very interesting, 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 specific 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 will be liable to pay Php 20,000.

Why is there a bond?

…because a lot of people abscond. Attrition is a serious threat in a company’s investment. When a person gets hired, the company will spend for his/her on-boarding, 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 for the company.

In the same token, when the company sends an employee abroad for training or education, he/she needs 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 to six months, so if I decided to resign on the 4th month, I will 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 him/her 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 will 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 any employee who went on AWOL and was dragged to court or was garnished – ever. What I have heard of are former employees who needed their clearance and COE from the company and had to make a settlement 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 for the termination is failure to meet the metrics. However, if the cause of failure is deliberate, that is, the company perceives that you were intentionally trying to fail just to leave and avoid the bond, you will be held liable. 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 you 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, it is your obligation to conduct research and this is a part of your due diligence a responsible human being whose goal in life 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 bad question and whether you are qualified or not, you will fail. Why? For a recruiter, it is a clear sign 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 this companies would rather focus on running the business and will just 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. If you can’t really stay in that company for whatever reason, stay for the duration of your contract, use the time to learn about skills and competencies you do not have, and as soon as the time is right, leave.

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

 

 

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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 really appreciate the fact that you’re looking to ask questions and do research first before you file for a resignation – that is the way to go. Before I answer your questions, I’d like to ask, what was the reason why you stayed on this job for more than a year? How is your scorecard? What kind of account do you service? What is the reason why you said you need a fresh start? You also said you want one without depending on the BPO/ITO? I’m not sure what you mean there. Are you putting up 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 to the public as well (in the most visible way).

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 tend to think that just because they’ve been holding the same position for a long time, or simply because they are good at what they do (proven by their scorecard), or if they make a lot of sacrifices in order to do more, they deserve to be promoted.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’re not yet ready to be promoted).

2. A lot of people think that their personal growth within the company and in their career is largely dependent on the company and it’s leaders. This, too, is wrong. A person who is interested to become a leader (and to get promoted) will not wait for the company to provide him the training or exposure. He researches, he watches videos on leaderships, he discovers the principles, 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 tend to think that they need to start over in order to achieve a career, when they do, they realize later that there is another pasture with a greener grass, so they find themselves hopping from one valley to another. This is wrong. The problem? The grass is ALWAYS greener everywhere except where you stand. What they achieve isn’t advancement, it’s called the ‘pabarya-barya mentality”. What they fail to realize is this: if you stay, you establish a career, then tenure, achievement, satisfaction, success, and money follows.

4. Finally, a lot of people think that since they have achieved a level of efficiency and effectiveness in a certain function, they have reached a dead-end, that there is no more to learn, what follows becomes a vicious cycle – 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 study a “higher” level of competency, ultimately leading to a leadership position. People who tends to think like this become hoppers for a long time until they realize it’s too late.

Jake, let me be honest with you. I am not entirely convinced that you lack the challenge in your career, the challenge is YOU, you just can’t see it. You are in a perfect spot to acquire the skills and competencies of a leader, you’re not seeing it because your focus is money, not to have a career. You do not need another job or another pasture in order to achieve your dream, you can use your current company/work to develop the necessary skills, live it, and get noticed. It takes time. Leadership is not something you can bake in 20 minutes or 2 years. If you fail to see this, then you are not ready. Leaving your job now doesn’t make you anything, it doesn’t bring you advancement, you simply just become a job hopper (as you have been for the past few years).  Remember this: career advancement isn’t just about getting promoted, it’s about increasing your value as an employee in order to become more viable, more marketable. You do this not only by climbing the corporate ladder but by increasing your knowledge about the company’s business ventures and letting the leaders see that you are a valuable asset because of your contributions.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Se7en