News : 50 New Jobs Created at ResQ Call Centre in Hull
Sept 24, 2014 -- A call centre is set to create 50 new jobs after winning a major contract with a digital media company.
ResQ was launched in Hull eight years ago with about a dozen staff and has since grown to employing more than 500.
It is one of the firms surfing the wave of a booming Hull telesales industry, which businesses say is helped by the friendly spirit of city residents.
Managing director Nic Marshall said the new jobs were permanent positions.
He said: "We're taking people on in line with new contract wins.
"We've nailed our colours to the mast in Hull. That's where we want to create our business and this is the first phase of growth.
"Hull has a unique culture. People here are tenacious, they want to do well and they like talking."
The new jobs are only the beginning for the firm in George Street, city centre.
Mr Marshall expects strong growth to continue in the months and years ahead.
ResQ is in the running for four more major contracts at present.
He said: "In phase two there could be even more jobs.
"There's quite a lot of opportunities out there now that we're chasing down.
"If we just knock over two out of the four deals out there, that will certainly see dramatic growth once again."
ResQ is not the only city call centre enjoying success.
Last year, Clearanswer in Manor Street announced it was taking on 300 employees due to rising demand.
At the time, senior recruitment and facilities manager Sue Thompson said: "On the telephone, people from Hull are just themselves. They're warm and they're honest.
"It's definitely down to the people from Hull."
Telecom provider KC is also a key industry player.
Its Contact Centre arm signed a deal with Scottish Power in February and has just launched a 24-hour service for small businesses.
The city's Jobcentre Plus has seen increasing demand for telesales staff.
District manager Stuart Griffiths said: "We've seen quite a big call centre industry develop in Hull.
"Call centres are doing a lot to make sure people see it as a good job. There's lots of training going on to make sure people are ready to work there and there a lot of transferable skills from a call centre job."
The industry has had an image problem in the past.
The work it offers has been characterised as low-paid with limited progression and zero-hours contracts.
But Mr Marshall insisted his staff had good prospects and the business was very different from its depiction in the media.
He said: "These are all permanent jobs. We're all about progression.
"As far as the bad press goes, there's good and bad in every industry but we've built our business up.
"We've been very good at what we do and we've been very conscious about how we contact people and when we contact people."
The firm works with a range of clients in the retail and digital sectors, although confidentiality agreements mean it cannot identify them.
It has always sought to avoid the lower end of the market, including PPI compensation calls.
Mr Marshall believes this approach has helped ResQ to become a trusted brand.
He said: "What we don't do is the low-end PPI calls that annoy and interrupt people them. Our success is down to the people throughout our business, from top to bottom.
"The way we approach it is straightforward – we're honest with our customers about expectations and when there are challenges in our business we talk it through and give them solutions."
Despite its surging success this year, the company did have some tough times in the global downturn. It went into administration in 2011 after falling into arrears with tax collectors.
It was saved thanks to a buyout by former directors Mr Marshall and Gillian Marchbank.
Mr Marshall said: "The recession has been difficult for everybody.
"We had difficulties in trading and access to funds and finance.
"That's not particular to ResQ or the call centre industry – it was down to the general economic situation."
The company was launched with support from the Acorn Fund.
Bosses feel that support made a massive difference.
Mr Marshall said: "The lenders are extremely happy with how that went.
"Subsequent money went into the business but that little acorn helped us to get where we are now.
"It did what it was supposed to do."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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