289 new jobs: We’re not another call centre, we’re here for the long haul

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An investor and board member at US personnel administration specialist, One Source Virtual, which wants to create 289 new jobs in Londonderry, says it is an outsourcer but not as you know it: its staff quit rate, for instance, is just seven per cent, world class for a sector dogged by high voluntary turnover.

Bill Thomas indicated that the company, which is recruiting now, wants to become the new DuPont in the sense that “we want to be an aspirational employer of choice” and a “big contributor to the future of the city.”

Enterprise, Trade and Investment minister Jonathan Bell MLA, right, chatting to Bill Thomas, second from left, of One Source Virtual, at the jobs announcement in the Guildhall on Thursday. Included are Bill Scott, left, and Derek Andrews, of Invest NI. DER2715-108KM

Enterprise, Trade and Investment minister Jonathan Bell MLA, right, chatting to Bill Thomas, second from left, of One Source Virtual, at the jobs announcement in the Guildhall on Thursday. Included are Bill Scott, left, and Derek Andrews, of Invest NI. DER2715-108KM

He was speaking as he and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell, along with officials from Invest NI, which is putting £2,871,000 towards the company’s first European operation in Londonderry, made the announcement at the Guildhall on Thursday.

One Source is a Business Process as a Service (BPaas) provider, which means it does all the payroll, pension and staff rota work for clients like Airbnb and the Dell Foundation using software and applications that harness shared resources over the internet: HR in the cloud in other words.

Mr Thomas explained: “We provide technology services and outsourcing services and leading human resource functions for companies like Airbnb or the Dell Foundation, examples of global brands, brands that need great services.

“The way that we make our business work is we need to inspire our customers to stay with us for longer, much longer than their initial contracts.

“In order to do that you have to deliver great services, in order to deliver great services we need employees to stay with us for the long term.”

Mr Thomas said the Dallas-headquartered firm is not another low paying call centre with a high turnover of staff.

“Our voluntary turnover is less than seven per cent, that’s world class,” he said. “In the industry at large, in outsourcing and technologies it’s often 15 to 20 per cent. Less than seven per cent is extraordinary.”

The Investment Minister said the jobs would be relatively well paid.

“The new jobs will be across a range of roles including deployment, application management services, and payroll services, with most of the employees having the potential to earn £36,000 per annum.

“When the project is fully operational, it will contribute nearly £12m of salaries to the economy annually.”

That would mean an impressive before-tax average of over £40,000 per Londonderry employee.

At present Grafton Recruitment are advertising for 17 junior developer roles and six consultant roles, where the salary range is actually given.

Ten analysts will start with a salary range of between £22,000 and £26,000, whilst seven ‘Workday’ analysts will start on a range of between £26,000 and £30,000.

Meanwhile, four senior human capital management analysts will be paid between £30,000 and £45,000 and two further senior analysts will get between £40,000 and £50,000.

The firm is also advertising for ‘payroll’ and ‘operations’ staff but no salary range is given for these roles, which will account for a large percentage of the 40 to 50 staff Mr Thomas and his colleagues hope to recruit by the end of this month.

In relation to why One Source decided to come to Londonderry, Mr Thomas said there were three factors: a young educated workforce; quality of life; and the business environment and support offered by Invest NI.

“We needed to find great talent supported by great universities. Northern Ireland and this region as a whole stands out.

“There is a recognition and an appetite for learning, for education, for continuous personal development, which is actually quite a stand out.

“So we see that as actually a huge opportunity for us.

“We then need to locate ourselves in a part of the world where our employees, are happy to be employees, have a fantastic place to work.

“They can also choose to live for the long term as their careers and their lives develop, be that in the culture of the environment we work in, the outdoors in the environment we work in, be that aspiring to home ownership, rearing a family, education for their own kids, all of those things are a stand out... and we see that in this extraordinary city.

“Invest NI have done a world class job in helping us to make this decision.

“I’ve built and run operations around the world, in Latin America, in Africa, both on the North Coast and Sub-Sahara, in India and the Indian Ocean, Asia through Europe.

“Being an investment agency is a tough game. It is a really tough game.

“You are competing against among the greatest organisations representing fantastic locations.

“You’ve been really world class...but I want to thank you for your efforts to make this decision happen.”

Mr Thomas went on to assure the people of Londonderry that One Source is here for the long haul and wants to be a good citizen in the years ahead.

“My commitment to the Mayor and this great city is that we want to be a great citizen. We want to be an aspirational employer of choice and we want to be recognised as a big contributor to the future of the city. That’s my commitment to you.”

“We are a firm on a mission. We are busy hiring right now.

“By the end of this month we would love to have 40 to 50 people walking out in the last week of July with hard job offers in their hands.”

One Source aims to employ 289 people in Londonderry by 2018.

The company is on the Forbes 100 list of most promising American companies and has just secured over 100million dollars in investment.

It’s recruiting now via www.onesourcevirtualjobs.com