Sammer Metair and Bonita Costello each came to Parallon without any call center experience. Metair came from a blue-collar background. One day, he cut his eye open on the factory floor of his old job and decided he needed safer and more stable work.
Costello came from a management background. The physical demands of her position were too much. She has a back problem and the work was making her day-to-day life unmanageable. Something had to change.
Neither Metair or Costello knew what to expect when they came on at Parallon. “I was really nervous the first time I was on the phone,” says Costello. Metair agrees.
“Even though you have a couple weeks of training, you don’t learn everything in that time. You still have to learn, and that’s where your management team comes in and they’re really good at helping you any time you have a question.”
Mentoring helps employees achieve goals
Not everyone is a natural when it comes to collections work. It takes time, training, patience, and experience.
Costello says. “Supervisors and managers are here to help anyone set their goals and be able to meet their goals. You know, it took me a good eight or nine months before I started bonusing, but once I did, then I was good.”
Parallon is a medical collections call center, and while being a collections specialist is a challenging job, the supervisors have all been there. The company is big on promoting from within. Managers have a feel for the employees’ experience and work with people to help them succeed and excel.
Mentorship is huge at Parallon, which is not a company that gives up on its workers. It may take time to start achieving results, earning monthly bonuses that can be more than $900.
Costello’s former supervisor would have regular meetings, using employees’ experiences as examples, and train everyone on the finer points of the job. There’s a lot to know about legalities, and how to help people structure their payments before they go to collections.
“I like it because we’re the step before collections,” says Metair, “So we help save people’s credit so they can still get that house they want. And we’re not only helping out our community but also thousands of communities across the country.
“Our purpose, and I keep it on the back of my badge,” he says, lifting his lanyard and reading, “‘We serve and enable those who care for and improve human life in their communities.’ I feel like without us and our hospitals, a lot of people would go without the healthcare they need.”
“I know if I wasn’t here,” he says, “I’d still be somewhere making like ten dollars an hour in a factory, or some type of job like that, if I didn’t take that chance to go for a pay range higher than what I thought I was probably worth. I definitely enjoy being here.”
Step-rate raises and bonuses
Parallon starts new employees with no call center experience at $13.50 an hour and offers quarterly step-rate raises of 50 cents an hour for those who qualify. Within two years, a new hire can be making $17 an hour.
“I took a cut in pay when I started here,” says Costello, “because I was a manager of a store, but I built up my pay. I mean, I’ve got step-rate raises the last five quarters,” she says.
Beyond performance bonuses, Parallon employees enjoy numerous benefits including health insurance with vision and dental, 401K, life insurance, short and long-term disability insurance, and stock options. So even though Costello took a pay cut, from the start, she was able to get her back problem seen to properly, and now is far out-earning her former managerial salary.
“It’s easy to refer people here and you get a referral bonus too,” Metair adds.
Parallon employees have flexibility in their location. With offices all over the country, it’s easy to move to a new city and retain their jobs. There are opportunities for advancement aplenty, but one thing employees consistently say is that working on the Parallon team is like working with family. There’s an emphasis on fun, and checking in with people about how they’re feeling and what they need.
Management seeks and acts on employee input to improve conditions through the Employee Engagement Task Force, and in 2017 Parallon was named a “Best Place to Work in Kentucky” for the 11th consecutive year. There are even opportunities for employees to get paid to volunteer in the community.
Interested in learning more about career opportunities at Parallon, as part of its Revenue Cycle Services Team? Email the company’s Human Resources team at [email protected].
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