News : Company Says It Will Hire 400 for Call Center in Sarasota
SARASOTA, Feb 6, 2012 -- A Pennsylvania-based company with a local office is hiring up to 400 workers to make calls and process information related to a class-action lawsuit.
Protocol Global Solutions held a 12-hour job fair Monday in the Pen West office complex at 2805 Fruitville Road to fill "customer care associates" jobs that will aid a new client that managers declined to name.
The call center jobs, which will pay $8 to $10 an hour, will mostly be full-time, officials said. They also offer a "complete employment benefit package" including health care, vision, dental, life insurance and a 401(k) retirement fund, following a 90-day probation period, the company said.
The positions include team managers, trainers and "other program specialist roles," the company said.
Kassie Heinrichs, a Protocol Global recruiter, said the jobs are not temporary positions. They require, however, that employees be able to work flexible hours, because the call center runs continuously. Even the job fair was held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The jobs also require typing skills, basic familiarity with computers, the ability to read and the ability to communicate on a telephone.
Protocol Global began hiring about two weeks ago, but still has many jobs to fill for its center.
"We have hundreds of open positions," Heinrichs said.
The company already provides outsourced customer services for a variety of companies, including pharmaceutical firms and a Canadian electric utility.
Protocol Global is a subsidiary of Horsham, Pa.-based NCO Group Inc., which bills itself as a provider of business process outsourcing services through more than 100 offices in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
In Florida, NCO Group has offices in Coral Springs and Tampa, according to a state database of businesses.
The hiring news caught county officials by surprise.
"That's great," said Jeff Maultsby, Sarasota County's manager of business and economic development, the county's point person on jobs developments.
While Maultsby said he was happy 400 new jobs were coming to the area, he added that NCO had not approached the county nor had it asked for any financial incentives.
During the last two years, the county has entered deals to pay nearly two dozen companies more than $8 million in incentives to create jobs. Typically, the payments are on a $1,000-to-job basis.
As a general rule, though, the county only does deals with companies that promise to create jobs that pay above the typical wage in Sarasota and Manatee counties, which is around $38,000 a year.
In a help-wanted advertisement placed Jan. 29 in the Herald-Tribune, Protocol Global noted a "great work location and casual environment," and that it offered "paid on-site training."
Its Pen West office is close to a SCAT bus route, and Heinrichs said the company's work stations easily accommodate workers with physical handicaps. The environment is suited for workers who wish to get up and stretch while working, as well as those who are wheelchair-bound.
"Wheelchairs, bad backs, we have it all," Heinrichs said.
Protocol Global's planned hiring dovetails with a spate of call center openings and expansions that have been announced recently in the Tampa Bay area.
Last month, Matrix Medical Network, a company that markets Medicare Advantage health plans to seniors, said it decided to open a call center in Clearwater with plans to hire at least 150 employees.
Auto insurer Progressive plans to hire up to 390 workers at its Riverview call center, while moving and storage provider PODS intends to hire about 150 sales consultants and customer service reps at its remodeled call center in Clearwater.
People interested in Protocol Global's positions can apply online
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Protocol Global Solutions:
Protocol is a single source provider of contact center services, case management and monitoring services, and cutting-edge marketing solutions. From contact center services for customer service, lead generation, customer acquisition and retention to up-sell, cross-sell, and winback campaigns, Protocol helps organizations grow, find, interact with, and retain customers through virtually every channel and touch point.
Published: Wednesday, February 08, 2012
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