LivingSocial to hire 180 Tucsonans for call center

2012-06-01T00:00:00Z 2012-06-01T12:57:49Z LivingSocial to hire 180 Tucsonans for call centerCarli Brosseau Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 01, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Can't wait for LivingSocial's daily deal to arrive in your inbox? Now you have the opportunity to be on the inside.

The online bargain promoter and deal-maker plans to hire 180 Tucsonans to work at a call center opening here in July, company representatives said Thursday.

It is the company's policy not to disclose wage ranges, but pay will be "competitive" and the positions will come with benefits, said Jake Maas, senior vice president of consumer businesses.

The Washington, D.C.-based company will be hiring managers as well as people to work the phones, Maas said, though some workers may come from LivingSocial's other offices.

The full-time positions being filled include customer service representative, customer service supervisor and office manager.

Separate from the opening of the call center, LivingSocial also plans to hire a freelance copywriter, a technical support analyst and an account executive.

The 4-year-old company, which employs about 5,000 people in 22 countries, has its biggest offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and it encourages employees to move among its locations.

The company chose Tucson for its first facility dedicated only to customer service in part because the city has been one of LivingSocial's strongest deals markets since it was launched here in early 2011, Maas said.

Tucson's pool of customer service workers, its tech-savvy community and relatively inexpensive real estate were also part of the draw, representatives said.

No lease has yet been signed, but a deal is expected to close soon, they said.

Maas emphasized that workers would be signing up with a company in the fast-moving tech world.

"It's fun. It's entrepreneurial. You're on the cutting edge," he said. "We love to hire folks who love to use our service."

LivingSocial partners with local merchants to promote interesting and usually discounted products and services. Under the company's group-buying model, consumers are encouraged to share deals on social media. The reduced prices are contingent upon a certain number of purchases. Merchants and LivingSocial then each get a share of the proceeds from buyers using the site.

Purchases through daily deal sites account for a hefty share of online sales. ForeSee's 2011 E-Retail Satisfaction Index shows that 60 percent of online shoppers are daily deals subscribers. Of those, 30 percent subscribed to LivingSocial and more than half subscribed to Groupon.

The figures were based on a survey of 10,000 visitors to the top 40 retail websites in November and December 2011.

IF YOU GO

LivingSocial will host a job fair from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14-15 at the Tucson Marriott University Place, 880 E. Second St.

Applicants are encouraged to apply ahead of time at livingsocial.com/jobs.

Interviews of candidates who apply online will be held on June 14, while June 15 will be dedicated to walk-ins — a change from the initial schedule, said Brendan Lewis, director of communications.

DID YOU KNOW?

LivingSocial's hiring here comes on the heels of other recent call centers' expansions in Tucson.

Geico and Convergys each announced the hiring of 200 more employees in May. Afni Inc. added 150 workers in March, the same month that OptumRx, part of UnitedHealth's Optum business group, announced the hiring of 400.

Contact reporter Carli Brosseau at cbrosseau@azstarnet.com or 573-4197.

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