Charlottetown call centre plans to hire 100 new employees

A call centre in the West Royalty Industrial Park wants to hire 100 new staff in the next six months.

Virtual receptionist business Conversational opened a year-and-a-half ago

One hundred more people expected to be hired to be Conversational virtual receptionists in Charlottetown over the next six months. (CBC )

The call centre company Conversational in the West Royalty Industrial Park in Charlottetown plans to hire 100 new staff in the next six months. 

The Virginia-based business first opened an office in Charlottetown a year-and-a-half ago, and currently has 17 staff.

There's plenty of people looking for this kind of work, so I think we'll do well.— Tanya Lamont, Conversational CEO

Workers answer calls, take messages, book appointments and can do live chat support sessions for businesses. 

CEO Tanya Lamont, an Islander from Pleasant Grove, thinks it won't be a challenge finding 100 new workers.

"A lot of people on this Island that have administrative backgrounds, whether they be legal, medical or just straight up administrative business diplomas, they're struggling to find jobs," said Lamont. 

"There's plenty of people looking for this kind of work, so I think we'll do well," she added.  

Conversational CEO Tanya Lamont hopes to sign a contract to get some form of government subsidy for the new employees. (CBC )

Many of the businesses that hire Conversational, at a cost of a dollar a minute, are lawyers' offices, according to Lamont, but she said salons and a doggie daycare have also signed up. She said even some Island businesses are now using the service. 

"Hopefully we'll be able to branch out and market ourselves a little more on P.E.I." she said. "We're a little not known really yet so hopefully we'll get a few more." 

Conversational hasn't received any government subsidies so far, said Lamont, but she is in talks with Innovation PEI and Skills PEI and hopes to sign a contract within the next six months.  

The jobs are full-time, weekday shifts from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., at a starting wage of about $12 an hour, according to Lamont, and include benefits. 

Many call centres face staff turnover as high as 25 per cent a year, but Lamont said that hasn't been the case with Conversational. She said only about two per cent of the staff has left in the first year of operation and she hopes to keep turnover low in future. 


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