Highlight Report

PeopleShores offers impact sourcing for socially conscious US enterprises

December 9, 2021

The Bottom Line: Outsourcing that benefits needy communities, with a low-churn supply of US talent

PeopleShores is making the automation of business processes a positive force for good by bringing skills training to hard-to-reach and most-in-need communities, with plans to reach even more across the US.

PeopleShores is bringing its radical new approach to outsourcing on US shores: a social impact-led model designed to transform challenged communities. With it, it offers enterprises the opportunity to support their ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and D&I (diversity and inclusion) agendas, meet SLAs (service level agreements), and handle the current skills gap.

PeopleShores is a public benefit corporation (PBC) with the objective of bringing technology-oriented careers to economically challenged communities in the United States. A PBC is “for-profit,” but only when it makes that profit in alignment with its public benefit goals.

In partnership with willing companies, PeopleShores sets up shop in minority communities in the United States and provides unemployed young adults with technology jobs.

Teams are trained in tech and readied for the world of work

PeopleShores trains teams in cohorts of 20 to 30 at a time. Not only do team members learn how to use technologies such as Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and Qlik, they get a grounding in soft skills preparing them for the working environment, including communication skills, personal development, and being generally ready for the world of work.

Technical skills cover RPA (robotic process automation), data analytics, cybersecurity, coding and development in SQL and Python, and more. The 320-480 hours of training individuals receive covers customer service skills, accounting fundamentals, and business process basics—and team members are paid, by PeopleShores, throughout training.

Boldly going where outsourcers have never gone before

PeopleShores goes where the outsourcing giants won’t. It’s in rural Mississippi already, with Arkansas following soon, and it has plans for the south side of Chicago. This is outsourcing for good.

And because, by design, it sets up in locations where opportunities are limited, there is a benefit for enterprises seeking reliable resourcing. Churn at PeopleShores is around 10%. Current churn rates among technology and process workers in other businesses can be as high as 50%.

Even without that carrot to dangle, your enterprise’s ESG committee will already be getting the picture. Nearly 80% of the workforce are women, and 90% are from minority communities. The ESG folk will also be happy to know deliverables include social impact reports, illustrating how your outsourcing spending has benefited a very local community. Your HR leads will be excited by the commitment to D&I, too.

Doing good is good for business—and your customers are watching

Those positive impacts play well with your customers, too. Many of them want to see more of the benefits of technology reaching wider than they have to date, and they want enterprises to play their part in making that happen.

But is the CFO going to wear it? PeopleShores prides itself on delivering the same level of quality and value as its giant rivals at prices to compete. The reality is it can’t do that at scale (at least, not in the near term). And while it seeks to be flexible on contracts, partners must commit to a body of work that will generate at least 200 jobs for the target community. The commitment is usually for between three and five years.

Core service offerings include customer care, level 1 and 2 tech support, and back-office processing. PeopleShores also offers RPA development, ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) data annotation, and cybersecurity management.

Customers include the US government agency that provides housing, loan, and workforce-related services to counties and municipalities (the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD). The department offers a “Career Step” process to match candidates with local employees. PeopleShores has applied automation to reduce the processing time for each candidate from 2 hours to 30 seconds, with 100% accuracy.

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