How Virtual Contact Centers are Finding Talent outside Big Cities and Bringing Jobs to Places that Need it Most
Mesquite, Texas, located just east of Dallas, enjoys more than 220 days of sunshine a year, an average daily temperature of 85 degrees and is the kind of place visitors go for an authentic Texas experience. But like so many small towns across America, this close-knit community has been hard hit by the economic downturn.
Over the past 10 years, unemployment in Mesquite has crept to 7 percent, while homes sales continue to decline. To find employment, many people have been forced to look outside the area, enduring average commutes of 60 minutes round trip.
Yet many of Mesquite’s residents are qualified, seasoned professionals who may have given up lucrative careers in order to live in a rural area. In fact, according to city data, almost 25 percent of Mesquite’s residents are college-educated with experience as supervisors, managers and even computer specialists. These prospective employees represent an untapped, rich resource of talent.
Work-From-Home Positions Connect Remote Talent with Jobs
Work-from-home positions can be the ideal solution for employees looking for work and employers looking to hire. Through sophisticated network and IT infrastructures, virtual companies can bringing the work to the people, rather than requiring people to come to the work. This allows them to hire the best and brightest talent regardless of geographical location.
Likewise, advancements in broadband and cloud technologies now give employees the freedom to live where they want, while still enjoying a meaningful, long-term career.
When both sides are committed to successfully operating within a 100-percent virtual environment, home-based employment can provide a myriad of benefits to everyone involved:
Benefits to Employees
Home-based positions provide the unique opportunity to earn extra income while achieving work-life balance and living in a desired location. With little more than a quite place to work, a computer, high-speed Internet access and a phone line, hired employees can create a work situation that best meets their unique needs. Whether it is a desire to live in a specific area, or the need to be around to care for family members, at-home positions gives people the flexibility to fit work into their lives, rather than their lives into work. Additionally, should an employee be forced to move, the job can move too without interrupting the established career path.
Benefits to Employers
First and foremost, the ability to hire employees regardless of location gives companies access to the largest possible talent pool. This is especially important in industries such as virtual call centers, which must attract and engage an increasing large number of candidates to properly staff for continued business growth.
Other benefits of an at-home workforce include flexible staffing capabilities, built-in ability to minimize the effects of a disaster, and scalability to meet growing company needs.
Benefits to State Economies
A few years ago, some of the nation’s more visionary state leaders demonstrated their commitment to residents by sponsoring initiatives aimed at attracting work-from-home jobs. States like Wyoming and Kansas created pro-business environments well-suited for at-home businesses, which helped improve their economies and gave residents a higher quality of life.
By combining broadband penetration with work-from-home opportunities, these states continue to bring jobs to people that need them the most.
The far-reaching benefits of work-from-home opportunities are why these positions are in such demand. As more and more Fortune 500 companies switch to the services of virtual outsourced call centers, for example, more candidates are needed who are interested in working from home. In fact, Alpine Access estimates it will need approximately one million applicants per year to find and hire enough employees to meet very specific client requirements.
Connecting residents in rural communities with at-home employers may just be the key to not only solving problems for unemployed residents and their prospective employers, but also to improving the nation’s overall economy. It’s a win-win-win solution for all.
Rob Duncan is the Chief Operating Officer forAlpine Access, Inc., the leading provider of employee-based virtual contact center solutions and services. Recently included in Gartner’s (News - Alert) list of Cool Vendors as an example of innovation in the business process services market, Alpine Access’ clients include ten of the Fortune 100 companies in the financial services, communications, technology, healthcare, retail, travel and hospitality sectors. www.alpineaccess.com.
Edited by Braden Becker