Call center staffing rising across country as outsourcing declines

01.19.2012


Call center staffing rising across country as outsourcing declines
Call center staffing rising across country as outsourcing declines

With the economy showing some signs of sustained improvement for the first time since the recession, many companies have begun to increase their call center staffing in the U.S., bringing back some jobs that had been previously outsourced.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports many companies may be hesitant, however, to boast the addition of new call center positions in the U.S., as in some cases not all of the jobs have been brought back to the country.

Mary Murcott, the chief executive officer of a company that deals with outsourcing for call centers, said during a recent panel discussion with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and a group of executives, that the percentage of high-tech call center positions that were overseas has fallen 18 percent over the last few years.

"The reason call centers went over there 10, 15, 20 years ago no longer exists," Murcott said during the panel discussion, according to the Star-Telegram. "It was the easy calls we sent over there. What's left is the contextual, the complex problem-solving skills."

Evidence of Murcott's claims can be seen across the country, as many companies have begun increasing their call center staffing in various regions. In Tampa, Florida, for instance, one lawn care company recently announced it plans to hire 175 workers to fill positions at a call center inside a local office complex.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the company's call center director Jeff Walter said that the decision was made to bring the positions to Tampa due to the strong pool of available talent.

"We had looked around different parts of the country and Tampa was very, very high on our list," Walter said.

Further north, in Alabama, one healthcare company recently decided to bring 250 new call center jobs to the city's Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, according to the Birmingham News.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell noted that the competition to bring the healthcare company's call center to the city was "intense," as major cities such as Nashville and Pensacola had also been vying for the jobs.

Rick Davis, head of economic development with the Birmingham Business Alliance, told the news source that the new call center jobs will be important for the local economy.

"I think they fit right in our wheelhouse," he said. "What's important to us as an organization is to continue to bring these types of jobs in the industries we've identified as important to our region's future."