Hull-based ResQ, which operates call centres for telecommunications and energy companies, is already in the process of recruiting 120 new staff after taking the first floor in the former House of Fraser store in the Hammonds of Hull building. The move will help increase capacity for its partnership with Vodafone UK.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post ahead of the launch of its new office space today, Gill Marchbank, chief executive of ResQ, said: “There are opportunities coming which could lead to another 150-to-200 jobs in the city. We also hope to continue our relationship with Vodafone and continue to expand with them.”
The company, which employs around 750 people for its Vodafone partnership, is building a broadband centre of excellence for the telecommunications giant at the new 33,000 sq ft premises.
When covid social distancing restrictions are lifted, it will employ over 500 call centre staff there.
As well as the newly-refurbished site, the company will retain its existing office in George Street.
The £50m turnover company employs 2,000 call centre advisers and management in Hull.
At the moment, 56 per cent of its staff are working from home. “Our staff are desperate to come back to work,” Mrs Marchbank said. “Being at home is very isolating for them given the job they do.”
She added: “This building is a good fit for us because of the open footplate and full glass all the way round. It’s a fantastic environment. It’s close to the bus station and the train station so it’s really central.
“It’s also a really iconic building in the city. Nic (Marshall, the firm’s chairman) is from Hull and he was quite passionate about being part of restoring it.”
Later this year, ResQ will be joined by a huge new food hall and retail emporium on the ground floor of the building, which closed in August 2019.
The community-driven Hammonds of Hull (HoH) Food Hall concept aims to support local producers, growers, makers and bakers, and has been curated by food and beverage expert Des McDonald.
Owner Redefine Paragon Square Hull had hoped to open up in September last year but plans were put back to this summer due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
Mrs Marchbank said: “I really think it’s going to be amazing if they do it to the spec that’s been publicised.”
ResQ has continued to grow during the pandemic, despite an increasingly heated debate about digital versus human call centres.
“If people are working from home or they’re isolating, or isolated, and there’s a problem with their mobile phone or broadband, it’s more important than every at the moment that someone is there to help. That’s certainly what we’re seeing,” Mrs Marchbank said.
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