By J. Craig Anderson
January 2, 2018
Brunswick-based customer service outsourcing firm SaviLinx, one of Maine’s fastest-growing private companies, has been gearing up for major growth in 2018.
The company, which has contact centers in Brunswick and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, hopes to increase its staff by about 50 percent to over 600 workers and grow its revenue, currently about $11 million a year, by up to 60 percent, according to CEO Heather Blease.
“We could certainly add another 200 (workers) … some here and some in Mississippi,” Blease said.
Currently, SaviLinx has about 120 employees in Brunswick and another 300 in Hattiesburg. Founded in 2013, the company provides customer service and back-office and technical support to commercial and government clients.
SaviLinx has a 30,000-square-foot contact center inside a former naval facility at the Brunswick Landing office park that offers ample room for future growth.
Hiring in Brunswick is more challenging than in Hattiesburg, Blease said, in part because of the Maine community’s extremely low unemployment rate. Since mid-2016, the company has increased its Hattiesburg staff by about 100, while only adding about 20 full-time positions in Brunswick.
However, SaviLinx did hire over 50 temporary workers in Brunswick for a government project that concluded recently. It’s possible that some of those workers could be brought back.
Blease said the company recently upgraded its employee benefits package to include better employer-sponsored health insurance and 401(k) matching of up to 8 percent. Contact center jobs at SaviLinx range in pay between $12 and $16.50 an hour to start, with additional bonuses for things such as perfect attendance, high customer satisfaction scores and handling calls efficiently.
Blease has prior experience with mass hirings in Maine. She previously led EnvisioNet, a tech support company that grew to a staff of about 2,500 before an offshore competitor wooed away a top client, eventually bringing the Brunswick-based company to bankruptcy in 2001.
SaviLinx has experienced rapid growth since it began operating in May 2013. In August, Inc. magazine named it one of the country’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies.
SaviLinx was ranked the highest of any Maine company at No. 28 on the Inc. 5000 list based on its more than 9,000 percent revenue growth from 2014 to 2016. It reported 2016 revenues of $11.4 million.
Blease said the company spent most of 2017 upgrading its facilities and systems to accommodate anticipated growth in the coming year. SaviLinx has stepped up its efforts to land new contracts and expand existing ones, with a 2018 revenue target of $15 million to $18 million.
“SaviLinx is an employment engine,” she said. “For us to grow, we need to hire people.”