Posted: Monday, August 8, 2016 6:01 pm
A call center in McGregor that fields inquiries from health insurance customers is hiring nearly 500 people, which will increase employment there to nearly a thousand.
C3/CustomerContact-Channels, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary of leasing a facility from the city of McGregor, needs customer service agents and nearly 20 supervisors to meet the needs of growing insurance clients. About 100 of the positions already have been filled, said Suzette Mansfield, C3 site director.
“We have been awarded additional work by one of our national health insurance companies and therefore have a need to ramp up hiring fast,” Mansfield said.
She said new hires who work the phones start at $10 an hour, but can make more through the company’s incentive program.
C3 opened its facility in McGregor in August 2011 and has seen employment fluctuate as the demands of its clients change.
“Establishing a customer contact center in the Waco area turned out to be a great move for our company, because the talent pool here is exceptional,” said Rick Ferry, C3 chief operating officer for the Florida-based company. “We have been fortunate enough to be able to hire thousands of people in the region and make them part of a team that loves what they do for a living and loves giving back to the community. That’s the cornerstone of our culture.”
Mansfield said C3 will find most of the employees it needs from the Greater Waco and Temple areas. She said those hired will receive six weeks of classroom training and two weeks of on-the-job instruction before taking insurance-related calls about coverage, physicians included in networks, prescription drug coverage and the like.
Operations manager Chris Koch said he thinks C3 will have little trouble meeting its goal of filling 400 to 500 new positions.
“We’re not just going after those without jobs,” he said. “Some are underemployed and want to join a culture where you work hard and love what you do.”
While some call centers are allowing staffers to work out of their homes, C3 assigns employees to its state-of-the-art call center in McGregor’s industrial district.
The building had been vacant about nine months when C3 moved into the building in 2011. The city of McGregor spent about $1.2 million on upgrades that made the 52,000-square-foot facility not only suitable as a customer-contact center but as a data center that can house computer systems and associated components.
C3 pays $37,500 a month on its lease, which is about to expire but likely will be renewed, City Manager Kevin Evans said.
The 1960s-era structure received an overhaul from the city when it became vacant shortly after the turn of the century. Crews removed asbestos and mold and installed climate controls to make it attractive to Austin-based Dell Inc. The computer giant spent $4 million to make the building a modern call center, but it left in 2007.
Cincinnati-based Convergys signed a three-year lease for $324,000 a year with Dell’s departure, but it did not renew its contract, choosing to let employees work at home.
That’s when C3 arrived, promising it would employ nearly 500 people in a matter of months, a figure it now is poised to double.
“In its latest round of hiring, C3 is looking for motivated people to handle inbound customer calls,” the company said in a release. “Candidates must have exemplary communication skills and be computer-proficient. Prior experience is a plus, but C3 offers training for those who are new to the industry.”
Koch, the operations manager, said the company promotes from within, adding that he was hired as an agent but shortly thereafter was assigned to management.
C3 operates other contract centers in Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma, and in the Philippines, Bulgaria, Guatemala and China outside the U.S.
At least 16 companies in Greater Waco have call centers or divisions devoted to making or taking calls, creating 4,106 jobs.