News : Call for Bay Contact Centre Hopefuls
Sept 16, 2014 -- The labour pool for prospective contact centres is being quantified, thanks to a Business Hawke's Bay (BHB) initiative.
The regional economic development agency kicked off a social media campaign yesterday to find out how many people wish to work in a contact centre.
Local businessman Rod Drury, the founder and chief executive of internet-based accounting software company Xero, initiated a programme last year for local councils to actively solicit call centres to relocate to the regions.
Hastings District Council hit paydirt this year with Kiwibank announcing a new contact centre in the Hastings CBD, bringing about 200 new jobs to the city.
BHB, Hastings District Council and Napier City Council are working with Hawke's Bay social media company Social Kiwi to reach residents over 18 to gauge the labour pool and its customer service experience.
This information will assist pitches to businesses considering setting up or moving contact centre services to the region and shorten the hiring process for survey respondent who provide contact details.
"We're keen to find out how many people are interested in working in Hawke's Bay-based contact centres and how many already have proven contact centre or customer service experience," BHB Susan White said.
"Respondents to our survey will be alerted when contact service jobs became available, provided they supply an email address.
"We're expecting there to be a range of positions available, including entry-level opportunities.
"It won't just be experienced people who will be needed so this could be an excellent first job for school leavers and there may be part-time opportunities for EIT and other tertiary students."
The four-week digital media Contact Centre Shout Out! campaign runs until October 10.
It includes Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts and ads.
People from outside the region will not be excluded from the survey on the assumption they may move to the region. Facebook advertisements will run in Auckland and Christchurch.
"We're being honest - we don't know exactly what these jobs will look like, or when they will become available, but we do know these new permanent, salaried positions are coming."
Mrs White said several organisations were yet to make a decision on whether they would set up in the region.
"I would expect them to be watching with interest to see how Hawke's Bay welcomes and supports Kiwibank."
The more contact centres moved to the region the greater the skill of its labour pool.
"Customer service, communication and IT skills - those skills are transferable."
Social Kiwi managing director Joshua Woodham said it was an unusual campaign.
"Usually we work with marketing businesses and brand awareness, but this is more exciting because of what might come out of it," he said.
Mrs White said the survey was not directly linked to Kiwibank's move if it was interested in the "big picture" then summary information would be made available.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said the successful pitch to Kiwibank was made despite the lack of hard data and the information would be of great value.
A link to the survey can be found at Business Hawke's Bay's Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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