Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Global Empire Corporation (GEC) is making Liverpool the site of its only call centre in Canada.
"We have about 3,000 employees internationally and it's about time we give opportunities to our fellow Canadians," GEC's founder and president, Moe Nashman, told LighthouseNOW.
Nashman, who resides in Edmonton where the company is headquartered, said when it came to selecting a site for a call centre in Canada, Nova Scotia stood out, "and the people of Liverpool stood out even more."
Nashman was in Liverpool Dec. 22 to sign a five-year lease agreement with the Region of Queens Municipality (RQM), which owns the Liverpool Business Centre located at 54 Harley Umphrey Drive, where GEC intends to locate.
A small portion of the building is currently the home of the accounting firm, Belliveau Veinotte Inc., which moved into the building in May 2021. The former tenant of 13 years was Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS), which did not renew its lease in January of 2020.
"We are extremely pleased that Mr. Nashman has chosen Queens County to be his only Canadian location," RQM Mayor Darlene Norman said in a recent announcement.
Nashman considered locations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, however they soon were crossed off the list and he focused on Maritime locations, identifying four communities in New Brunswick and two in Nova Scotia (Truro and Liverpool).
"I travel a lot, and in the international world Canadians are looked upon as the nicest people in the world, and when you hold your Canadian passport it's a sense of privilege," said Nashman, who is Canadian. He commented that a lot of the positive comments concern people from Atlantic Canada. "I can even go further and say Nova Scotians, and I can go further and say Liverpoolians, if that is even a word?"
Nashman praised the efforts of people in Liverpool, such as Steve Burns, RQM's manager of events, promotions and sponsorships, and Mary Jane MacDougall of the province's business development agency, Nova Scotia Business Inc., saying they went above and beyond to "make me feel at home."
Recruitment efforts and dates
For the past several months Nashman has been advertising for people to fill management positions. During a recent four-day trip to Liverpool, he interviewed and hired his senior executive and management team.
"We had a lot of responses and we know that the need for jobs is there," he said.
Work has already begun on the building in which the call centre will be housed. The doors are expected to open Jan. 11, when work on recruiting between 100 and 120 service agents will begin. Nashman said there will be an advertising blitz in newspapers, flyers and on Facebook, along with job fairs at various locations.
Training will begin March 1 and the expectation is to go live by the first week of April.
Why bricks and mortar?
The former occupant of the Liverpool Business Centre, HGS, offered its employees the option of working from home after it decided not to renew its lease with RQM. Nashman has no intention of doing the same.
He says he's not interested in employing people to work remotely; otherwise the company wouldn't be establishing itself in Liverpool and would simply employ people from Edmonton.
"That is the differentiating factor between myself and some of the previous tenants of that building. Unless it is for any pandemic, we as a company are anti-work-from-home," he said. "We do not believe in it being a productive atmosphere and there are many problems socially and psychologically with people being at home all the time, which in itself may turn into a prison."
Who will it serve?
The call centre in Liverpool will provide support for Lifeline, the medical alarm service integrated with the health-care system across Canada. Rather than a sales service, GEC will perform a customer service role, with an estimated 90 per cent of calls expected to come from people over 60 years of age.
"I need customer service representatives who know how to speak to their grandmothers. These are the people I need to hire," he said. "Our partner, Lifeline, is looking for customer-oriented individuals. When we're talking about respectful and people with a good work ethic, that defines people in Nova Scotia," said Nashman.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Nashman launched GEC and its first call centre in that city in 1999. However, the company found itself competing with salaries doled out to employees in the oil and gas and energy service industries. In time, GEC switched its focus to international locations, and it now has 10 contact centres in 10 different countries with more than 3,000 employees.
Nashman has decided to pivot once again. "Over the last few years though there has been a need to have domestic call centres," he said, adding, "I have always had an itch and an obligation to open up a call centre in the country where I was born and raised."