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Sitel Builds a Bridge for Onboarding Associates

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MyChoice® Market is a versatile solution

Managing benefits for a large population is a large job, no matter how you cut it. When that population has multiple eligibility categories plus ever-shifting staffing needs, it adds a whole new level of difficulty to the task. Sitel operates hundreds of call centers around the world for clients across multiple industry types. 

Company Snapshot
  • Customer service company operating call centers with more than 90,000 associates worldwide
  • More than 12,000 US-based associates
  • Needed a simple retention and benefits solution for non-FTEs 

Challenge

Call centers have special needs when it comes to HR, with historically high turnover rates—up to 30%-45%, and clients’ shifting needs throughout the year, based on busy seasons and sales. With the specialized training that many call centers require, high attrition rates can drastically affect the bottom line. Additionally, Sitel needed to solve for a separate eligibility class and how to streamline benefits access across all populations. Sitel was looking for a way to incent their valuable associates to stay, with an affordable benefits option that could flex with the demands of their workforce. Finally, with their sustained, high onboarding volume, they wanted to be able to mirror an FTE benefits experience and continue to provide one benefits enrollment platform and one resource for all employees.

Solution

Sitel borrowed a strategy from the temporary staffing industry and defined a “variable hour employee.” This definition allowed them to create an eligibility status while allowing for clients’ varying needs and flexible schedules required by the industry. They were able to create a bridge program for these variable-hour employees that would last for 12 months until the employee could be eligible for full-time employee status. 

Sitel was already a valuable Businessolver client. Anna Ortiz, benefits manager, recalls, “Businessolver is a great strategic partner when it comes to the strategy we want to deploy for our folks. We are able to leverage the technology to give to our associates. It’s been great.”

When Sitel’s Businessolver team approached their team with MyChoice® Market, Ortiz knew that this might be just the thing to solve their “bridge problem.” MyChoice Market was originally created and pitched as an offboarding solution, with a full marketplace of voluntary benefits such as accident and hospital coverage, access to the ACA marketplace, medical plans known as minimum essential coverage (MEC) and dental/vision options. Employers needed a COBRA alternative, and MyChoice Market was established to fill that gap. However, for Sitel, that gap was at onboarding, and Ortiz pitched the idea back to Businessolver as a bridge for their incoming associates. 

“Call centers are a tough business. You really have to take care of your own employees. We have to make sure we’re taking care of our own agents. They’re our business. We put our people first,” Ortiz explains.

Results

Simplified Communications

Ortiz loves that regardless of employee status, there is only one benefits URL to maintain. Because of Benefitsolver’s robust eligibility processes, associates are able to view the benefits they’re eligible for upon login to Sitel’s enrollment platform. This feature simplifies communications and creates a more cohesive associate experience throughout their Sitel tenure.

“It’s so much easier when we can say, ‘Hey, we offer part-time benefits,’ and they say, ‘OK, I want those. Where do I go to enroll?’ And it’s that simple.”
End-to-End Associate Coverage

Many part-time or variable-hour employees don’t know where to turn for benefits. Ortiz reports that onboarding associates are delighted with having options to opt in to benefits, especially in the volatility of the health care climate throughout the pandemic. 

How does Ortiz know it’s working? “We don’t hear the noise. That’s essentially gone away. Before, we literally were getting emails from associates who were disgruntled with the waiting period and the fact that they had to go to the healthcare.gov website. It feels good to be offering them something now.”

Sitel offers MyChoice Market for both onboarding and offboarding employees, creating an alternative to the
 often-untenable COBRA rates. 

Employee Adoption is High

For employees and former employees looking for coverage, the election response has been incredible. From January 2020 – January 2021, 82% of the variable hour group elected coverage; and for the terming employees, 78% elected coverage. 

Benefit offerings currently include the MEC health coverage and dental and vision options, and Sitel is looking to expand the offering to the additional products in the near future to increase their associates’ coverage options with affordable and easy-to-access voluntary benefits.

Ortiz and her one benefits analyst run a lean team, and she credits her relationship with Businessolver as the glue that makes it work, “It’s such a great partnership, two people CAN run it.”

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