Datacom creates 2000 new surge jobs off COVID-19 crisis

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Datacom creates 2000 new surge jobs off COVID-19 crisis
Datacom managing director Stacey Tomasoni.

Takes on contact centre staff for frontline government agencies.

Outsourcer Datacom has become the latest significant technology player to benefit from a massive jobs surge on the back of COVID-19, saying it will urgently take on more than 2000 people needed for call centres.

(There's a link to the jobs page at the bottom of this story.)

The now multinational managed professional services and outsourcing company, which started as an ex-government spinout, said on Monday it was rapidly hiring to fill the raft of frontline customer-facing positions needed across the public sector as multiple COVID-19 responses and stimuli are rolled out.

Aside from cloud, telco, video and cybersecurity, once bot-destined human-staffed contact centres are experiencing a massive revival as government agencies across health, welfare, public safety and revenue all go to surge mode to get initiatives up and running.

On Monday iTnews revealed the Australian Taxation Office had purchased thousands of new devices for its staff to work from home

While many of the immediate phone-based roles will obviously centre around programs like the JobKeeper and welfare stimulus packages, the lockdown of the country has also created massive telephony traffic for everything from general practitioner clinics to supermarkets and retail.

At the same time, scores of customer and technical support centre staff across many telecommunications, finance and services businesses are rapidly being re-localised after key outsourcing destinations like the Philippines and India went into lockdown.

It is understood that the NSW government has also already put in place appeals for staff across its agencies to consider volunteering at NSW Health to assist with outreach and testing related call volumes as well as contact tracing – a scenario likely to be replicated in other states.

Contact tracing remains one of the biggest challenges in terms of call centre staff because unlike a myriad of other outbound customer service tasks it is not easy to bot – even if developers are throwing the kitchen sink at mobile tracking apps, consensual or otherwise.

That means that as a lot of government staff, and those of government service providers, are sent home to work, offices empty and can be deep cleaned and reconfigured into socially distanced work spaces.

“Datacom is looking to fill thousands of roles to work in purpose-built contact centres across Australia,” the company said in its statement, adding that it is “working to provide services for those critical federal government agencies providing frontline services for the country’s COVID-19 response.”

“With enormous pressure on these services, Datacom is in the unusual position of recruiting up to 2000 people to support telehealth services and other essential government services,” Datacom managing director Stacey Tomasoni said. 

“We’re working with partners including Qantas, Concentrix and Hatch.Exchange to provide employees with work during the period they have been stood down, and in some cases beyond. Datacom is actively seeking people in Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.”

While work from home is the first and preferred option, Datacom openly conceded that “security and privacy measures required to execute [some] roles” meant that working from home wasn’t possible in all cases.

“To deliver these critical services Datacom has implemented strict and regular cleaning regimes, temperature heat readers to check the temperature of our people and social distancing protocols,” the Datacom statement said.

It is understood workspaces are deep cleaned and disinfected between shifts, with staff split into teams, like many banks are doing, to further prevent cross-infection.

Qantas is more than happy to help out, say the airline’s senior executives.

"Qantas is delighted to be working with Datacom and Hatch.Exchange so that our highly trained team members can continue to use their outstanding customer service skills to help Australians in these difficult times," said Qantas group executive for people, strategy and technology, Rob Marcolina.

The positions available can be found on Datacom's jobs page

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