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The Call for Call Center Jobs: US Sees a Surge in Agent Hires

For many Americans looking for a job right now, the call center is the place to be. In recent weeks, dozens of companies have announced the need to hire new call center agents – some with looking for hundreds of employees. For many of these companies, the sudden need is a result of their enterprise clients expanding and requiring larger customer service coverage.

A glance through business news from the last few weeks will reveal that many companies are looking to build, or expand, their call centers in the United States. This welcome change is a complete turnaround from a few years ago, when news feeds were full of companies laying off employees or closing entire centers.

Growing Companies Equal Call Center Jobs

IBM announced in late September 2011 that it would be adding 175 jobs to its call center in Daleville, Del. where approximately 500 associates are already employed. Though IBM has not made their reasons for the expansion known officially, economic development officials in Delaware economic have reported their belief in the strength of the local workforce. Time Warner is planning a massive expansion of their own, looking to bring 500 jobs to Hillsboro, Fla. by December of 2016.

Sitel Communications is taking on an additional 140 employees for its center in Albequerque, N.M. and adding at least 100 temporary positions in its Erwin, N.Y., location. Sitel campaigned for employees by hosting a job fair. One of the job fair’s attendees reported being out of work for a year, and was hopeful that a position with the company would pan out.

Sitel cited a new account as the reason for its expansion in N.Y., a reason shared by companies such as Center Partners, which is reportedly growing so quickly that it is looking to hire 275 new employees in the next 60 days.

Only time will tell if this growth is a solid indication of whether or not the U.S. can fully recover from the recent recession. The balance of call center closures vs. expansions must also be taken into account. For example, Wells Fargo is closing its Lake Mary, Fla. call center, but has plans to relocate as many employees as possible.

The Holiday Effect

What of the expansions in call center positions that are deemed temporary? With the holidays closing in, the need to hire seasonal workers plays a big role in the recent surge. Companies like Macy's and GSI Commerce have made recent announcements for their plans to hire several hundred workers for the coming holiday season.

The good news is, call centers across the country are growing. But will it last? Share your thoughts on the topic below, or email me at [email protected]

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.