Great Entry-Level Job, Terrible Career
Operations Management Analyst (Current Employee) – Sumter, SC – September 25, 2016
Sykes is excellent as a stop-gap job, an entry-level position with a good base pay and simple requirements. A typical day for an agent involves receiving customer service phonecalls, with paid breaks and an unpaid lunch. The client requires some training to keep on top of policies, and there are performance metrics related to call management, customer satisfaction, and quality analysis to work toward. Agents are also eligible for many different incentives, from ones which are merit-based and directly increase pay, every paycheck, to contest-based ones for things from gift cards to TVs and once, a car.
Advancement within the company is horribly broken, however. Sykes favors an approach wherein they hire people into 'hybrid' or 'interim' roles, which means that a person will do all the work with none of the benefits or pay of the new position they've moved into. Some of these hybrid roles can last months or even over two years. Two years of job experience while never getting the official title or pay for the job that's being done. Advancement is also rarely merit-based, and it's not uncommon for people who are friendly with upper management to be promoted ahead of people who consistently perform well. These decisions are often made before the position is even officially available.
Because of the advancement practices, there's an abundance of both disgruntled hybrid employees and poorly qualified employees filling vital roles in the company. The problems tend to filter down, creating difficulties for agents that wouldn't otherwise be there.
Good base pay, full time hours, agent-level incentives
Poorly trained management, broken advancement opportunities