During a recent phone conversation with Kevin Hegebarth, who is the VP of marketing at HireIQ, Inc., he brought to my attention a contact center story that would be hard to believe if it wasn’t so well documented and there wasn’t a government agency behind it.  The story involves the recent establishment of a contact center in Contra Costa County, California.  It is one of three contact centers to be established in the state of California for the purpose of fielding Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, calls beginning October 1st.

In July the county advertised the availability of 152 new, full-time Obamacare contact center agent jobs.  They received 7,457 applications.  1,947 of the applicants passed the civil service exam and moved on to the next phase.  600 applicants went through the interview process before the final 152 agents were hired.  Some of the successful applicants were people emerging from a long period of unemployment, some were people coming from small home-based businesses that they started to try to weather the recession and many were people who left other full-time positions in the hope of finding greater stability in a county government contact center job.