Written by Miles Tucker
At our Professional Sales & Client Services Event, Arizona’s best companies shared why their employees loved working for them. Panelists from these companies discussed company culture, employee benefits, and the skills you need to bring to the table to land a sales job.
Career Opportunities for Customer Service Professionals Panelists:
- ADP, Laura Lynn Smith, Division Vice President/General Manager
- Freedom Financial Network, Brandon Peterson, VP of Client Experience
- Robinhood, Taeshima White, Site Lead
- USAA, Lee Jacobs, Director, Insurance, Sales and Service
What do you like most about your company?
Laura Lynn Smith from ADP says that the company culture is what has convinced her to stay with the company for 17 years. “We have amazing people that work here,” Smith says. “We also have amazing leaders that are connected and engage with our associates.” ADP is a leader in the human capital management industry and is a member of the Fortune 500.
Brandon Peterson from Freedom Financial Network says he joined because the Freedom team has a great deal of passion behind what they do. “We are a debt relief company. We believe that to do that we really have to have an outstanding client experience which is solely driven by our people,” Peterson says. “We truly care about our employees developing and growing.” Leaders at Freedom are excited for workers to join the team and gain new skills. Freedom was named a Top Company in diversity and women in leadership.
Taeshima White from Robinhood said that she is in love with Robinhood’s mission and what they achieve by helping clients. “It’s really a space where each employee is an owner of our culture,” White says. She noted that while she is the site lead, she does not dictate the culture of her Tempe office. “Every person comes in and gets to do that. What I love even more is that each of us gets to do that in a way where we get to be our full selves every day.”
Lee Jacobs from USAA stated that he appreciates the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and also the benefit packages offered to the employees from the very beginning. USAA has both in-person and remote options to accommodate workers. They have been recognized a top employer on a national level and on a local level.
Describe some of your customer care opportunities? What skills are you looking for?
Brandon says that a variety of roles offer many different opportunities for employees at Freedom. “Our job is to advocate for our clients to help them become debt free.” Workers assist clients using phone calls, chat messages, and email communications. Brandon says, “We look for individuals that truly have a passion or empathy for a client situation and can problem solve.”
Taeshima highlighted Robinhood’s CXR Pathways program. This program offers workers the chance to learn skills and earn licenses associated with positions at Robinhood. Robinhood will pay for employee’s licenses and support passionate individuals as they onboard.
Lee mentioned that USAA offers customer service roles on and off the phone. “What we look for in our candidates is those that seek to improve themselves from a development standpoint and those that like a relationship,” he says. “We want a relationship with our members. We want to know and support them through every stage in their life. We really invest in our people.” While licenses are required to handle property and casualty insurance, USAA is prepared to help applicants train and prepare for tests and even pay for the licenses.
Laura Lynn shared that ADP has many opportunities in client service, sales and implementation. “We are really interested in candidates who are looking to grow their career in the long-term with ADP,” she says. “We are looking for talent who is passionate about learning, solving problems, and excited about providing great service to our clients.” Client service positions at ADP entail problem solving for clients and the company supports workers as they earn certifications to better assist clients.
Do you have established career pathways?
Taeshima said that employees at Robinhood can choose their own path, and new careers are waiting for applicants. New jobs are always being created so the job you will have in the future might not even be created yet! Taeshima also says, “on the flip side, there are some established career paths where you come in as an unlicensed agent, you could move into becoming licensed and then be able to move into our more specialty roles.”
Laura Lynn shared that ADP has multiple different career paths. There are opportunities for growth in many directions. “We focus on our associate strengths. The first week at ADP you take an assessment of your strengths, and every week you’re meeting with your leader about those strengths,” Laura Lynn says. These meetings are meant to help workers grow their strengths and identify things to optimize those strengths.
Brandon says that there are lots of opportunities for growth on the client services team at Freedom. After 90 days in your position, you become eligible for a role change either laterally or as a promotion. “If there’s opportunity and you’re a strong performer with leadership support, we’ll look at it. We really care that our employees are able to grow their career,” Brandon said. Over 70% of supervisors at the Freedom call center have been promoted internally.
Is working in a call center a requirement to starting with your company?
Lee Jacobs from USAA said, “depending what your career path looks like, and what you apply for there could be member-facing jobs where you’re on the phone supporting the membership. But those lead into other opportunities to move into leadership. There are also non-member contact jobs that you can apply to directly and get right into.”
Brandon said that most entry-level positions at Freedom are at the customer service call center. “There are so many positions available whether it’s on the product or engineering side, or even some of our administrative roles that that’s not a requirement.”
How to Build a Sales Career with a BEST Company Panelists:
- CarMax, Richard Buscher, Regional Vice President/General Manager
- GoDaddy, Joe Lawrence, Employer Brand Manager
- Liberty Mutual, John Walters, Sales Director
Tells us a little about your company and its culture.
Richard Buscher said that after being at CarMax for 17 years that it has been an amazing experience. Richard enjoys how associates are treated in the company. “We’ve been voted Fortune 100’s Best Places to Work for 17 years in a row.” CarMax was also awarded Best Place to Work for LGBTQ community, millennials, and veterans along with many other groups. Richard says, “not only do we have a customer experience center, but we also have 223 stores across the entire country which creates an enormous amount of opportunities for folks to grow and develop their career throughout CarMax.”
Joe Lawrence shared that GoDaddy is the largest platform for entrepreneurs to host their domains and websites. “We are very diverse here. We want our employee base to look just like our customer base so having different communities at the table is definitely a key here at GoDaddy.” GoDaddy has over 11 employee resource groups that represent the diversity at the company. Some of the groups represented are Women in Tech, Veterans in Tech and entrepreneurs.
John Walters noted that Liberty Mutual is a Fortune 100 company that reaches across the nation and even in a few other countries. Opportunities at Liberty Mutual are wide ranging and open workers that want to work around the globe. “Liberty Mutual is consistently awarded top awards for veterans, working mothers and LGBTQ,” John says. “The culture I love the most about Liberty Mutual is rewards and recognition.”
What skills do you look for in a sales position?
Richard said that the first thing CarMax is looking for is ethics, culture, integrity and honesty. “We are looking for people who are really passionate about customer service and have great teamwork skills,” he said. “We use competency-based feedback for our associates. That’s how we grow and develop others as well.” Candidates don’t need to have car experience, they just need to be passionate about helping people.
At GoDaddy, Joe says that they are looking for passion. “It’s amazing that people that aren’t typically in that sales profession can definitely do the job. You just have to have those people skills.” Recruiters at GoDaddy also look for employees that will fit into the team culture. They welcome team players that can help others that are struggling within a caring environment. Rather than looking for sales experience they are looking for talent that can connect with people.
John says the characteristics that make someone a great employee at Liberty Mutual are drive, an awesome attitude, and coachability. It is for this reason that sales workers at Liberty are some of the highest paid in the industry.
What does success look like to receive higher compensation bonuses?
At CarMax employees are offered a base salary with a combined commission bonus. Average associates earn $22.50 an hour and there is no cap to earnings for customer experience associates. “Our whole intention is how can we help our associates be more successful and how can we help our customers throughout their car buying experience,” Richard says.
John mentioned that Liberty Mutual has a base salary and a commission that work together. An average associate can make between $60k – $70k their first year. “The compensation piece is driven by your desire and where you want go because the business model is there for you,” he said.
GoDaddy offers both a base salary and commissions to its sales representatives along with a compensation plan that allows for bonuses. Employees can see first year wages as high as $50k – $70k if they are hard workers. Employees will also receive first day benefits that allow for trips and other incentives.
GoDaddy has over 9,000 employees worldwide that empower over 20 million entrepreneurs every day. They are searching for Inbound Sales Representatives and Technical Support Representatives to work on their Gilbert team. Benefits range from full medical, dental, vision and disability to day care discounts and paid parental leave. You can visit Careers.godaddy.com to apply and learn more.
ADP provides companies of all sizes help with recruiting through retirement. They are recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the world. New hirers have reported that they enjoy the supportive environment. Employees enjoy benefits like stock purchases, a work life balance, and merit opportunities. Over 100 open positions in implementation, client service, sales and technical roles are available with very competitive pay at the Tempe location.
Visit https://jobs.adp.com to learn more about open roles.
CarMax’s purpose is to drive integrity by being honest and transparent in every interaction. The company has won many awards generated by associate feedback. CarMax was named one of the 100 Best Companies to work for 17 years in a row. Their core values are based on integrity and respect and play a role in everyday activities. The Tempe customer experience center is hiring over 200 new associates over the next few months. CarMax is looking for Customer Experience Consultants and Customer Experience Assistants that will receive a $2,000 sign-on bonus. Learn about careers at CarMax at https://careers.carmax.com/.
Desert Financial is the largest credit union in Arizona and is continuing to grow over with 370,000 members. They are committed to people that are innovative risk-takers that care about their team. Their amazing benefits include 100% of tuition coverage at ASU because they are invested in employee growth. They are growing all over the state and are looking for Universal Tellers and Relationship Bankers along with many other roles available in subsidiary companies that specialize in technology and wealth management. Learn more at https://jobs.desertfinancial.com.
Farmers Insurance is a reputable organization that allows workers to advance their professional development. The leadership within Farmers values helping employees succeed within the organization. Their people first environment strives to celebrate wins within their workplace culture. Farmers has 10 ERGs open to all employees that allow workers to network, develop skills, and take part in volunteer opportunities. Visit https://www.farmers.com/careers/corporate/ for more information.
Freedom Financial Network was voted Best Place to Work 10 times in less than 20 years. They have been a leader in consumer debt solutions since 2002. Their company strives to have a very nurturing and inclusive environment. They have recently created ERGs that focus on awareness, education, and career/personal development for cultural groups within the company. Freedom provides spectacular benefits like new parent leave, medical/dental coverage, and employee mental health resources. They are currently hiring very heavily for sales roles and also customer service roles. Visit ffnjobs.com to apply.
Liberty Mutual has 50,000+ employees in 30 countries across five continents making it one of the largest insurance agencies. Culture is extremely important at Liberty and workers are encouraged to embrace their community. ‘Serve with Liberty’ gives workers the chance to volunteer in their community and give back. ‘Give with Liberty’ matches charitable donations with 50 cents for every dollar to any cause employees choose. Their ERGs represent the company’s diversity and create places for people to fit in. Liberty is currently looking for outside sales associates, claims, service and inside sales roles. Visit https://jobs.libertymutualgroup.com to learn more.
Northern Trust was founded in 1889 and offers corporate and institutional services to worldwide institutional investors. The company is currently growing so it’s a great time to join for new grads and those looking for entry level positions. Northern Trust makes diversity a priority and has been recognized for their efforts on a global level by Forbes. Their Business Resource Councils include 42% of the employee population and feature groups like women in leadership, Black businesses, and Asian leadership. They are recruiting Asset Specialists, Audit Specialists, Financial Consultants, Investors and even more roles in the financial sector. Visit www.northerntrustcareers.com to find more information.
Robinhood’s purpose is to create a platform for investors to learn and make investments. 50% of investors using Robinhood are first-time investors. In the workplace, the company fosters a culture of diversity and inclusivity. They have ERGs for multiple cultures including Black and Latin communities. Their benefits feature premium dental vision health insurance along with a competitive salary. They are hiring Registered Customer Experience Representatives, Customer Experience Managers, and many other roles at the Tempe site. Visit careers.robinhood.com for more information.
USAA is recognized by Forbes as a Best In-State Employer. Over 36,000 employees work for USAA and they serve over 13 million members. Over 4,600 of those employees are in Phoenix. There are many benefits to working with USAA including an on-site fitness center, parental leave, and a 2-for-1 401k match. Roles fall between banking and insurance positions that can be worked on-site or remotely. They are hiring for Bank Sales and Personal Lines Insurance Sales positions all over Arizona. Go to usaajobs.com to look at more available jobs.
Voya Financial is a financial services company that provides health, wealth and investment solutions. Applicants get 6 – 10 weeks of paid training to learn the skills associated with the position. On-going training helps employees develop skills that they can use to earn new positions and advance their careers. Voya has won awards celebrating their disability inclusion, LGBTQ equality, and ethics. Some of their benefits are medical, dental, and vision coverage from day one, a 6% 401k match, and a pension plan. Learn more about Voya at www.voya.com/careers.
Jasmine Chamblin, a Customer Relations Associate from Pipeline AZ, shared how the platform allows job seekers to connect with the companies they want to work for. Pipeline AZ is a career matching and exploration platform built for the Arizona community. It is a non-profit that allows employers and job seekers to connect for free. “You can actually go to this site and look up in-demand sales jobs, customer service jobs and see the ones from our employers here today,” Jasmine says. Start your profile at https://careerconnectors.pipelineaz.com/.
BestCompaniesAZ validates and elevates the best companies in Arizona with a variety of resources that connect top talent with top companies. Their website highlights the characteristics of the award-winning companies in Arizona and gives workers the opportunity to apply to jobs across the state. You can learn more at bestcompaniesaz.com.
Career Connectors is focused on building a better community one career at a time. Their virtual career events allow job seekers to connect with employers actively looking to fill their roles in various industries. The Career Connectors website features videos from all past events, video updates, and resources for job seekers visit https://careerconnectors.org to learn more.