Region, Liberia, Economy

Sykes begins virtual hiring process at its central office in Liberia

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español
Translator: Arianna Hernandez

The multinational company Sykes has already posted job openings for 500 Guanacastecans at its central office in Liberia as part of the virtual Guanacaste Bilingual Job Fair taking place this month.

The registration deadline is Friday, March 19. The entire process will be virtual, so you just have to go to this link and fill out all of the requested information.

An essential requirement to obtain a job with the company is to speak English well, which also turns out to be the multinational company’s biggest challenge to fill these openings.

Each participant has to take a standardized language test (called BELT) as part of the fair registration process.

If you score higher than 85, Sykes will make you a job offer immediately, but if your score is lower, you still have a chance. The company will also be offering to train 1,400 people in language proficiency through its academy and other allies.

We need to find people who already speak English and people who are also close to that level of English so that their training process is as short as possible,” said Sykes’ director of corporate affairs, Roy Mena, during an interview with The Voice of Guanacaste in February.

In addition, individuals must have a high school diploma and other technical skills in areas such as customer service, cybersecurity, and programming.

Sykes will only hire people from Guanacaste and, due to the pandemic, everyone will be working remotely. When the conditions exist to return to the office, the multinational company plans to maintain 30-40% of operations in this form. “This means that people who live outside of Liberia, such as Nicoya, Santa Cruz or a little farther away, may be within that percentage of people who don’t have to come to the building,” Mena explained.

The National Learning Institute (INA) is coordinating the fair and will also offer 1,500 spaces for training and education programs. The event is being organized in collaboration with the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) and the Ministry of Labor.

Mena said that the objective of the study positions that Sykes and INA have open is that Liberia’s educational and employer ecosystem begins to train talent, which is in short supply for now.

Details About the Fair

Between now and Friday, March 19, each participant needs to register at this link to take the BELT test. This is an essential requirement to participate in the job fair.

During the week of March 15 to 19, those interested in the fair will take the BELT test virtually. If it isn’t possible for you to do it at home, you can request doing it in person by means of a registration form. Later, you will receive an email with a link to schedule the appointment following protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

From March 22 to 26, Sykes will conduct oral tests and interviews with those who achieve the required score on the English test.

Not Enough Talent

Low English proficiency in Guanacaste is a limitation faced by companies that want to expand or invest in the province, as was pointed out by CINDE’s CEO, Jorge Sequeira, during a legislative commission in February.

CINDE expressed concern because companies that are under the free trade zone system want to invest in the most remote regions of the country, but the human resources that they need are not fully trained, according to a Legislative Assembly press release.

Sykes’s arrival in the province provided further proof of the need to train more people in the language. The company is offering 500 jobs, but recognizes the challenge of finding qualified people to fill those positions.

Do we have 500 people who speak a high level of English, with a high school diploma or other technical proficiency who are looking for a job [in Guanacaste]? I don’t know,” said Mena of Sykes.