Working From Home Interview with Dickon Moon,
Director Strategic Sourcing
Arise UK is the global leader in sourcing home workers for home based call centres across the world and recently set up a dedicated office in London to continue to recruit home working professionals for flexible jobs working from home in the UK.
RE: Dickon, welcome. When did Arise UK commence and what is its current size?
DM: Arise in the UK actually started in 2008 and is still relatively small 2 years later with 15 people in the UK, though in the US the company started in 1997. Currently in the US we have over 13,000 agents and as of today in the UK, we have around 450 agents.
RE: Tell us about Arise UK’s unique method of working.
DM: Arise has championed the self employed home worker and in short this means that Arise is the world’s largest supplier of self employed call centre operatives.
That means that we enable people to work with our clients in providing sales, support and general customer service to their customers predominantly in country.
RE: Describe in a little bit of detail the job that you are now sourcing.
DM: Typically the people that work with us answer calls of an order or enquiry nature from household names.
|Dickon Moon taks at the recent Remote Worker Awards |
So we help companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines or Time in Americaand over here, clients such as Littlewoods and Kays would be good examples of people with whom we are working today. In the next 3 – 6 months the number of clients with whom we are going to be working will grow rapidly here in the UK and indeed Ireland.
RE: What plans do you have for the Arise business in the UK for the immediate future?
DM: Well the immediate future is very rosy in fact! This is because we have more work than we have agents so a number of questions that I have had in my 3 months in the business so far have related to how we can guarantee work.
Both here and in the States we have over 98% adherence to our contracts for our people which means that every time that somebody says they’d like to work with us 25 hours a week, they are getting 98% of that time and I can only see that number increasing as we are adding more and more clients.
The key message here is we have the right amount of demand for our services ahead of my team’s actions to source the next generation.
RE: And for people working or thinking of working with Arise UK, what benefits could they expect from working with Arise UK?
DM: Clearly there are the benefits of being a self employed home worker which regular users of Remote Employment will know well - flexibility of being your own boss, working when you want and how you want. Additionally, because we have multiple clients, there’s the ability to fill any time that somebody has in their given working week, that makes us very flexible and it makes the people with whom we are working very happy because they can mould their hours to their needs.
RE: So I take it that you are currently very active in sourcing new candidates?
DM: Yes we are, and we are using a number of different methods to find people. If you think of the overall recruitment market as a blank page I would say that there are very few sectors that we would not target trying to find who might be interested in working from home and keen to provide great service.
RE: What does the sourcing process involve for prospective candidates:
DM: It depends a little bit on the way in which they want to work with us but in short people will have to ensure that they have a landline, a broadband connection at home.
They also need to set up their own limited company, or go through an existing limited company and those are things we can provide information on, and then they go through a self-certification process on our website that enables them to understand whether this is the sort of work that they would enjoy doing and indeed, capable of doing.
RE: Do you train candidates and how long does it take to complete the training process?
DM: Again the training depends a little bit on the kind of calls people are going to be handling but it can take up to eight weeks, four weeks of which can sometimes be paid.
It can be as short as four weeks for certain types of calls we have to handle. But by and large, it is an eight week training course and you do need to have that full eight weeks to enable you to take the calls that we will be putting through to you.
For the longer client certification processes, some of that time is paid but it depends upon the work and the commercial relationship with the client. So, training can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 8 weeks depending upon whether you are dealing with simple sales orders or more complex enquiries. Whichever it is, all training is done online.
RE: To join Arise, are there any costs involved for applicants?
DM: A good question and one that we are often asked. There are no direct costs that you have to pay to Arise to apply. The only cost involved are you setting up a phone line and a broadband connection at home and you paying for a security check that you own and you provide a copy of to us. That is currently done through an organisation called Disclosure Scotland and it costs £23.00. That is the only cost associated with working with Arise.
RE: Just tell us a little bit more about that particular cost?
DM: That £23 that you pay to Disclosure Scotland produces a report that just demonstrates that you are who you say you are, you don’t have a criminal record and that you have been resident at you address for a given period of time.
The report also prevents people from fraudulent behaviour and will enable us to verify whether people have a right to work in the UK.
RE: What type of person are you looking for? Where would you like them to be located? What do they need to be good at and what do they need by way of equipment in order to do the job well?
DM: Wow! Lots of questions! Who are we looking for? We are looking for anybody who can service a minimum of 20 hours per week and who is capable of conversing on the telephone in a manner that will enable them both to take payments, orders and field enquiries.
In short, people who are capable of great customer service on the telephone and increasingly through multiple channels e.g. email and web chat.
RE: Are you sourcing for the UK only?
DM: It’s for Ireland as well. We are actually signing up clients in Ireland as well as we speak. I would anticipate in the next year or so to see us growing out into the European mainland too, but for the moment it is just the UK and Ireland.
RE: How many hours work are involved for successful candidates?
DM: Anything between 15 and 40 hours per week but ideally we are looking for people with the ability to service more than 15 hours per week but it’s up to 40, so it is really something you can use to fill your entire working week if it is something you would like to do.
RE: Is this a 100% home based position?
DM: Absolutely, it is. I think it is important that people realise that the beauty of this is ultimately a very green approach, there is no need to commute and you save the time spent commuting every day, sometimes two hours a day, ten hours a week. So yes, it’s 100% working from home.
RE: How do you actually receive calls from home? How does the system work to allow that to happen?
DM: That’s a good question. Basically it’s the software we provide will lock down your computer and your telephone line so, if you think about Windows on a PC, it will prevent you from being able to bounce around within Windows.
It will restrict you to the Arise customer service applications, and the only calls your telephone will be able to take will be Arise calls in the period you are servicing. So you won’t be able to take personal calls nor will you be able to dip out to have a look at your account on Betfair to find out what won the 3.30 at Hexham!
RE: And what type of calls are they?
DM: Predominantly they are the typical calls you get in any call centre, so we split them into orders and enquiries. If you think about the sort of calls you might make to get, say, travel insurance, book a holiday or buy some clothes, it would be all those sorts of calls.
RE: Once in the system and working, how do people get paid and how much do they get paid?
DM: They get paid between a minimum of around £6.20 per hour up to a maximum of around £11 per hour and they are paid as they would be in any other working environment, through their limited company.
They are of course self employed so Arise pay limited companies for the services of their agents via an automatic transaction from the Arise bank accounts.
RE: For those people looking for a career, could this be a career position?
DM: Absolutely, I think it is. I think the agents I have met are passionate about the model and are incredibly happy working in it and they have been people as far afield as the Isle of Bute to the south coast of England.
It seems to suit a huge variety and diversity of the cultures and people within the UK and Ireland. It is something I am proud to say fits all models.
RE: And for anyone reading this, how should they go about applying for this position?
DM: It’s important to note that when people are applying through the Remote Employment site that they will get an opportunity on the Arise site to name the source from which they came so they must put Remote Employment to make sure that you guys get the credit that you deserve.
Otherwise, go to Arise.com/co.uk and there is a section there on how to be an agent and they follow the process that is all on line and if they get stuck at any stage there are links to the team we have both here and in America who can help them through that process.
RE: If candidates have any further questions is there a facility for them to get in touch with Arise?
DM: Arise offers support as you work through the admissions process. You can call our helpline on 0131 2002100, contact us via the Live Chat function, both open Mon to Fri 9am to 9pm, or send your questions to ARISEUKINFO@ARISE.COM or ARISEUKADMISSIONS@ARISE.COM. Please allow 24 hours for an email response.
RE: Home based work can often attract criticism, cynicism and concern about the authenticity of these positions. What comment would Arise make on their particular opportunity and this particular general criticism of home based jobs?
DM: I think that’s true to say that there are a number of supposed work at home opportunities and perhaps they are pyramid selling or some variation on that theme. This is very different and we get quite a lot of comments about ‘Is this too good to true? And it really is.
The Acid test is in the US where Barack Obama, when he heard about the model we operate, actually called our CEO into one of his jobs’ conferences and personally lauded Arise for the job creation and ability to bring jobs back to the American shore. This resulted in a quantum leap in terms of the number of people who were keen to work with Arise.
I think it’s fair to say that the model we have really doesn’t have any hidden glitches or costs that are normally associated with the kind of products and services that are scams out there in the market currently.
RE: Dickon, thank you very much for that comprehensive explanation of Arise and the fascinating home working opportunity you offer.
DM: Thank you, it's my pleasure.
Income Working From Home
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