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Call Center Closure Incl. Potential Opportunity

Capital One

Hundreds of people are losing their jobs as a Sioux Falls financial call center closes. A spokesperson for Capital One says the company is shifting strategies and moving work from Sioux Falls to other places. It’s supposed to happen by the end of the year. A layoff of 750 workers is significant, but the situation offers those employees some opportunities.

Thursday Capital One leaders alerted workers that their business in Sioux Falls is shutting down. Employees are not out of a job right away. They can work for a few months before Capital One’s operations end.

Steve Horan is the director of the Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Sioux Falls. He says people facing a large layoff can collaborate on their job searches.

“It’s kind of a different dynamic. Everybody knows everybody will be leaving at some point in time, and you have a hard end date of when the business will actually shut down, so it is different because you’re comparing notes with each other,” Horan says. “You’re asking about, ‘Where have you applied? Can I review your resume for you? What are some job tips that you have?’ – the kind of conversations that you normally don’t have in the workplace. You might have them with a  friend at coffee or lunch but definitely just not water cooler talk.”

Horan says Capital One employees in management in Sioux Falls may have trouble finding similar positions in the area. He says the local business climate is an advantage for people in entry-level positions.

“There are plenty of other call centers in town that do struggle to hire people, so I’m hoping that’s a good signal to other employers in town who would need people with these skills to go ahead and hire them,” Horan says. “And if they have a 90-day window with their severance, maybe it gives the other employers in town who would use those people time to kind of ramp up their training and think about maybe can we hire some of them in a few months.”

Horan says the low unemployment rate in Sioux Falls means more workers are in demand.

He says employees can’t control forces outside of their job performance, so people should be prepared for a job change. Horan recommends talking with people in professional networks and keeping resumes and online Linked In profiles updated.