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      02-28-2018, 04:28 PM   #1
Alfisti
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Anyone have any idea what is costs to provide staff benefits in the US?

We have an office in the US, a call centre, entry level so wage is not exciting. Retention is becoming a real issue as we have seen the labour market tighten over the last three years.

One option to address this is to provide benefits, theoretically it results in less turnover and maybe even higher production, regardless, that's my problem.

My question is, for about 250 staff working an average of say 25 hours per week, any idea what half decent group benefits would cost us?
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      02-28-2018, 04:36 PM   #2
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      02-28-2018, 04:43 PM   #3
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Hire college students instead
More likely to stay since a call center seems more appealing that flipping burgers at a mcdonalds, plus a college student won’t complain about less work hours since they’re already busy with school
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      02-28-2018, 05:01 PM   #4
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Honestly i suspect it is.
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      02-28-2018, 05:41 PM   #5
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Standard rate is 30%. But that's for 40hrs/wk, I think you'd need to use a higher rate for part time.

I actually get a number closer to 27% if you're already paying FICA, SUTA and Medicare.
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      02-28-2018, 05:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Standard rate is 30%. But that's for 40hrs/wk, I think you'd need to use a higher rate for part time.
That's roughly what I use as well. Includes retirement contributions.
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      02-28-2018, 06:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by e92_bryan View Post
Hire college students instead
More likely to stay since a call center seems more appealing that flipping burgers at a mcdonalds, plus a college student won’t complain about less work hours since they’re already busy with school
That's a pretty dumb idea, and will achieve the opposite of his goal of keeping good employees. College students are the most flaky, unskilled, and temporary employees you can have. Unless they start as interns with the potential to get a better position within the company, they will be off to another job as soon as they graduate.

To the OP: benefits certainly will help retain good people, and so will a good environment. My first job out of college was at an insurance company. The department hired mostly entry level people fresh out of college, and had a 50% turn over each year. The benefits sucked, and the pay was not competitive with the industry. These factors made the environment seem more stressful, because the high rate of turnover caused more work to be dumped on those who stayed. I personally know people who have stayed at their job only because of the benefits. My neighbor runs his own business, and his wife works at a company for peanuts. She stays there because the benefits are good and allows them both to have insurance.
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      02-28-2018, 11:03 PM   #8
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Curious: what kind of call center?
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      03-01-2018, 04:22 AM   #9
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Part time work ? No benefits.

Move to full time work and for benefits offer: matching 401k (no limit), free dental, vision and health along with unlimited sick and vacation time. If salary is competitive with those benefits turnover will drop.
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      03-01-2018, 05:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Standard rate is 30%. But that's for 40hrs/wk, I think you'd need to use a higher rate for part time.

I actually get a number closer to 27% if you're already paying FICA, SUTA and Medicare.
Yep, this is a good rule of thumb.
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      03-01-2018, 07:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by e92_bryan View Post
Hire college students instead
More likely to stay since a call center seems more appealing that flipping burgers at a mcdonalds, plus a college student wonÂ’t complain about less work hours since theyÂ’re already busy with school
This. Generally speaking, im the US, working in a call center is a job people take to pay the bills, not a job people want.

Some companies let call center employees work out of their homes. Just depends.
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      03-01-2018, 09:34 AM   #12
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It's a market research call centre and we do offer work from home. The idea of full time and massive benefits just isn't gonna happen, there's just not the money coming in from clients for that and the shift times are short (5-10pm).

Students are usually perfect but there's just not enough of them.

What am I looking at pp per month here?
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      03-01-2018, 09:42 AM   #13
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Have you considered trying to partner with local disability-employment agencies? I am in the US, so may be different in Canada, but I know there are a lot of agencies trying to place willing, capable workers who would do much better with this type of work environment (i.e. people in wheelchairs, blind, needing dialysis 3x/wk, etc. and can't really manage a 'normal' 40hr week retail job). Some of these are even subsidized - they actually pay to cover benefits or part of wages, and may also have support people to help with the EAP-type issues that arise.
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      03-02-2018, 11:36 PM   #14
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One of these annoying call centers?
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      03-03-2018, 02:45 AM   #15
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Maybe work out a deal with one of the local prisons? They have some good discounted labor.
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      03-03-2018, 10:08 AM   #16
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If you are able to avoid the ACA requirement to provide group health, i think you would be far better off offering higher wages than going down the benifit rabbit hole.

We have around 60 FT professional employees and total health cost averages $1k pp per month, of which we contribute between 50-70% depending on the individual's selections.

We've been experiencing premium increases of 20%+ per year.
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      09-15-2019, 01:54 PM   #17
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+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzvero View Post
One of these annoying call centers?
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      09-18-2019, 04:11 PM   #18
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Alfisti, what did you eventually do? Did the 30% advice help?

Another suggestion is to increase wages by up to 30%, keeping working hours constant. This is a similar cost scenario to offering benefits, and is easier to manage/administer.

Have you collected data through exit interviewed on why people are leaving your call center? If the reason is benefits, is it also because the leavers are taking a 40hr per week job?

Benefits for part time jobs are uncommon in the US.

Please let us know how you made out.
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      09-18-2019, 04:19 PM   #19
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We shut the place. Marketplace was seriously over saturated and we set up shop in Michigan.
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      09-19-2019, 09:09 AM   #20
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Companies have high turnover b/c they pay shit & the benefits suck & also, most of the time, they treat people like crap.
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      09-19-2019, 09:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
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We shut the place. Marketplace was seriously over saturated and we set up shop in Michigan.
Was your place contributing to the insane amount of spam that we get?
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      09-19-2019, 10:29 AM   #22
Alfisti
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Define spam? It's survey research only, no sales or gimmicks.

Jobs are entry level, used to be wall to wall students who liked the flexibility and evening/weekend hours but seems less students are working these days.

Would love to pay more but the data collected is only worth so much, if it gets any more expensive the product will not be worth the asking price. Margins are razor thin.

The market were in became saturated as soon as we moved in, over 2,500 call centre seats were added in two years by companies that make billions (call centre work being a cost centre for them not their core business) so we were pushed out. Michigan has been better so far but let's see how it goes long term.
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