News : Wells Fargo Call Center Hiring About 200
May 29, 2012 -- Wells Fargo will hire as many as 200 new employees at its Salem call center, pumping an annual payroll into the local economy.
During the next six months, the call center’s workforce will increase from 600 to 800 employees, company spokesman Tom Unger said Tuesday. The company will begin filling the new positions in July, he said.
Call center employees perform customer service and sales tasks for Wells Fargo’s banking, credit card and home equity businesses. Growth in the company’s business caused it to step up its hiring.
"The high performance of our staff here in customer service, productivity and sales production, and the availability of so many skilled people in this region are the key reasons for our hiring plans in Salem," Wells Fargo Regional President Don Pearson said.
The starting pay range at the call center is $11.86 to $12.89 per hour, company officials said. Employees are eligible to earn quarterly incentive pay.
All of the positions include a benefits package, such as medical, vision and dental plans, paid time off, and a 401(k).
Wells Fargo’s hiring plans are good economic news amid the region’s slow recovery. For March and April, the local unemployment rate held at 8.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
In March, Mastercraft Furniture Inc. began relocating its operations from Wilsonville to a Stayton factory, where it makes furniture. The expansion will bring as many as 250 jobs to the area within two years.
Earlier this year, a unit of Garmin Ltd. hired about 40 employees at its call center in Salem.
Many call center workers are classified as customer service representatives and earn higher wages than a typical telemarketer, said Pat O’Connor, a state employment economist.
In Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties, the average wage for a customer service representative is about $15.26. That’s $4.15 per hour higher than the average telemarketer’s wage in this area.
In comparison, the statewide average for customer service representatives is $15.92 per hour.
The last big employer to move into the Salem area was a Home Depot distribution center. In January 2011, Home Depot opened a 467,000-square-foot warehouse at the Mill Creek Corporate Center and hired 230 employees.
Wells Fargo’s "customer contact center" is near State Street and Hawthorne Avenue.
The 108,000-square-foot facility opened in 2004 as a call center for Wachovia Corp., a banking and financial services company.
Four years later, Wells Fargo took over the Salem operation when it purchased Wachovia. At that time, the call center had about 200 employees.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Wells Fargo:
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 Wells Fargo and Wachovia stores, 12,000 Wells Fargo and Wachovia ATMs, the internet and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012