Back in December, Sprint announced it would bring back or create 5,000 jobs to its stateside workforce as part of a broader initiative from SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and President Donald Trump to bring 50,000 jobs to the U.S. economy over the next four years.
But where are those jobs going to come from?
At the time, Sprint said the positions would cover a variety of functions across the company, including customer care, sales, and other areas. In the carrier’s Tuesday earnings call, CEO Marcelo Claure expanded on that statement, revealing that the “vast majority” of the positions will be in telesales.
According to Claure, Sprint’s digital and Web sales have been growing and become intertwined. He said the carrier has found many customers begin a transaction on the Web but transition to telesales agents to finalize their sales, and noted the conversion rate for telesales agents in the United States is “substantially higher” than that of telesales agents abroad.
Claure said additional job growth at Sprint will come from the carrier’s planned expansion of its distribution network.
“We’ve been very public that we believe that we’re under distributed, so we plan to open anywhere between 500 to 1,000 stores in the next 18 months,” Claure said. “And if you figure that every store carries between six to ten people, you see where the job growth will come in Sprint and it’s going to be mainly through distribution and bringing back agents that were sitting outside.”
But in Claure’s revelations there were two more subtle comments of note.
First, on the telesales front, Claure noted Sprint has had “plans to do this for a while.” For me that implies the idea to bring back those jobs predated the agreement Son made with Trump back in early December, which is … interesting, for a variety of reasons, one of which is certainly the assignment of credit for job creation.
A Sprint spokeswoman confirmed that the company had been thinking about job additions in certain areas for some time, but noted it wasn’t until after the election that the carrier “determined that the economic climate under the new administration would support the investment risk.”
Second, Claure tossed in a comment that Sprint will “continuously balance” its number of employees. That is, Claure said as Sprint becomes more efficient it might “need less employees” in certain areas while it plans to expand in other areas like retail. Again, this strikes me as having interesting implications, potentially impacting the real net figure of Sprint’s promised job additions.
Of course, on that last point, it’s possible Sprint plans to shift employees from one area to another to prevent losses. But then again, maybe not.
It bears thinking about.