Global BPO Services Provider To Create Additional 600 Full-Time Jobs? Southern hospitality when it comes to customer support convinced Alorica, a global call- and customer-service company, to expand a second significant time in High Point in four months.
Alorica, based in Piedmont Centre business park, said Tuesday it is adding 600 full-time jobs to the 800 full-time positions it has hired since making its first project announcement Nov. 17.
However, where Alorica’s overall workforce is at now remains unclear.
The two expansions represent ripples from the June 30 closing of Alorica’s purchase of Expert Global Solutions. That purchase expanded Alorica’s global workforce to more than 100,000, including nearly 50,000 in the United States at 102 domestic centers.
The local Expert Global workforce of 1,100 that Alorica gained was comprised of temporary, part-time, seasonal and permanent employees, Muchè said.
“Our goal is converting the High Point operations to mostly full-time, permanent positions, with the exception of workers wanting part-time hours and we match them up to create a full-time equivalent,” Alorica spokesman Ken Muchè said.
As such, Alorica officials have told High Point economic officials that the local workforce will be closer to 1,900 and 2,000 by the end of 2017 as former seasonal and temporary Expert job positions are being phased out.
“Our corporate management and key clients have noticed the productivity and care that the High Point workforce has added to the company,” Muchè said.
“There was a recognition that this was one of our best sites in the country and we want to give you more of our business.”
As in November, Muchè said the company is not requesting local or state incentives.
Along with applying online, Muchè encouraged applicants to come to its facility at 4336 Federal Way. He said the company has 1,600 applicants in November, and those that were not hired at that time will have to reapply.
Muchè said the goal is to have the nest 600 positions filled within weeks.
“This was an area where the workforce is already performing at a high level that we want to expand and reward,” Muchè said. “We want employees who want to take care of our customers like they are their neighbors.”
Alorica capitalized on the media attention for its announcement to publicize its pledge to put its customer-service expertise to work for Military Veterans Project, a nonprofit advocacy group focused on getting veterans physical and behavioral health care once they return to the country.
The group placed military boots inserted American flags and a photograph of a veteran in front of the podium as symbols of the suicide rate among veterans upon returning home.
Muchè said Alorica employees will volunteer to place phone calls and social media messages in the Triad to raise awareness and donations for the group.
The Alorica projects represent the second largest in recent High Point history in terms of pledged jobs, trailing NationsBank (now Bank of America Corp.) and 1,900 jobs in 1993.
It now exceeds the 900 jobs in 2010 by Ralph Lauren Corp.
However, Ralph Lauren had 2,843 full-time and full-time equivalent workers in High Point as of December 2015, according to the city economic agency.
Muchè was again tight lipped about most of Alorica’s local operations, declining to identify corporate customers except to say many were in the e-commerce side of retail, along with financial services, transportation, telecommunications and health care.
He declined again to provide a wage range except to say “it is very competitive” for the local market — such as that 10 cents an hour could make a hiring difference — and that 99 percent are full-time positions.
Muchè said while its operations primarily handle phone calls, it also handles client emails and social media messages. He envisioned in the near future employees would be handling video chats.
“We provide what our clients say they want in customer service and engagement, taking a wider view as technology evolves with our clients,” Muchè said.
“We have proven ourselves, locally and companywide, to have earned additional business from these clients, which is the main reason behind the expansion.”
Although previous call-center experience is welcome, Muchè said Alorica has a multi-week training process that has proven valuable in bringing in workers from other fields. For example, he said applicants with retail sales experience are valuable in providing services to retail clients.
Alorica, after buying Expert Global, became the largest call-center operation in the country and third largest worldwide with $2.4 billion in annual revenue and 147 centers.
Alorica announced plans Nov. 2 to add more than 8,000 employees in the Philippines. Muchè said it is also hiring at facilities in Kentucky, Indiana, New Mexico and Virginia.
That level of domestic and global critical mass has given Guilford County economic officials confidence that Alorica would be successful in expanding after the county’s loss of thousands of jobs related to the closing of call centers by American Express and Citigroup.
Gov. Roy Cooper praised the cooperation between Greensboro and High Point’s economic development and elected officials. The cities have combined some economic efforts into the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance.
“This project is recognition that old rivalries between cities and counties can’t continue to exist when there is global competition,” Cooper said.
“Here’s an example of coming together to compete and win.”