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AT&T CEO CAN’T FIND QUALIFIED PEOPLE

March 28, 2008

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is reported to be complaining about his company’s alleged inability to find qualified people to handle 5000 customer service positions being returned to the United States that were outsourced to India. According to Stephenson, AT&T is having difficulty finding people with the skill set necessary to handle the jobs. He goes on to state that, in some communities, the high school drop out rate is 50% and observes, “If I had a business that half the product we turned out was defective or you couldn’t put into the marketplace, I would shut that business down.”

 

Although I was unable to find the pay range for jobs that AT&T is trying to create in San Antonio, I did find a posting for a Customer Service Representative I in Lubbock, Texas. That job pays between $368.50 – $505.50 per week. That translates to an hourly wage of approximate $9.21 to $12.64 per hour. My suspicion is that most people, unless they have experience, will start at the lower end of that pay scale. In case the CEO hasn’t noticed, here are the hard facts:

 

1. At the time this post is made the gas prices in San Antonio are $3.07 to $3.12 a gallon. 
2. A one bedroom apartment in San Antonio rents from between $615 to $888 per month.
3. Food prices and the cost of living, in general, are skyrocketing.

 

The Bottom Line: You don’t have to be a CEO to understand that sometimes it does not make financial sense to take a job even if it is for AT&T. Perhaps the solution is to pay employees a wage they can live on. Generally, that will increase the caliber of the job candidate.

 

Just in case you wondered, according to Forbes magazine, Mr. Stephenson’s earnings in fiscal year 2007 were as follows: base salary $1,158,583, bonus, $648,750, other long term compensation $20,174,651. Total earnings for the year: $21,981,984.

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