Geico to add about 520 workers in Macon this year

lmorris@macon.comApril 16, 2014 

012698 Geico SIM

With the jobs Geico will be adding at its Macon office, the company will employ more than 5,700 people in the midstate.

TELEGRAPH FILE PHOTO

  • Get to know Geico

    • Geico is located at 4400 Ocmulgee E. Blvd. in Macon.
    • The company now employs about 5,200 people at two buildings totaling about 500,000 square feet.
    • It expects to hire about 520 workers by the end of this year.
    • Applications are only accepted at www.geico.jobs.
    • The company was founded in 1936, and the first Macon office opened in 1974.

One of the largest private employers in Middle Georgia is adding hundreds of new jobs.

Automobile insurance company Geico is planning to add about 520 positions to its Macon operations by the end of the year, the company said Wednesday. With the new jobs, Geico will employ more than 5,700 people in its offices on Ocmulgee East Boulevard in east Bibb County.

“It’s about 10 percent growth for our workforce here,” said Rhett Rayburn, regional vice president for the Southeast region. “We promote a lot of people and we also have people move around within the company, so we never exactly know how many hires it will mean.”

The company is looking to fill a variety of positions, including:

• Entry-level positions in sales, customer service, claims, emergency roadside service, glass claims and salvage total loss.

• Positions for college graduates in liability claims customer service positions and the management development program, one of Geico’s leadership programs.

But even college graduate jobs are entry level, Rayburn said.

The annual salary range for the new jobs is $28,000 to $40,000.

Pat Topping, senior vice president of the Macon Economic Development Commission, said the community is fortunate to have a company of Geico’s stature.

“Not only do they employ a lot of people, but they are great corporate citizens also,” he said. “I think the fact they continue to add employees here is a tribute to their employees that they have now and the workforce base here in the Middle Georgia area.”

Rayburn said the reason the company needs more people is pretty simple: growth.

“We are the fastest growing automobile insurance carrier in the country for the 10th consecutive year,” he said. “And we need more people.”

While the entire company is growing, the Macon facility is the only one that includes two regional operations -- the Southeast and Midwest regions -- as well as a large centralized operation that handles corporate-wide work.

“We handle emergency road service and things similar to that (in Macon) for the whole country,” Rayburn said.

Most of the company’s new hires likely will be people who already have had two or three jobs, he said.

“Practically everyone has work experience,” he said. “But they say, ‘I am looking for more benefits, I need a growing national company. I need more.’ Those are the people who come to us.”

Geico offers a tuition reimbursement program, profit sharing and opportunities for advancement.

Last year, nearly a fourth of Geico’s employees throughout the company received at least one promotion.

“So in addition to keeping up with growth, we also need to bring on new associates to step into those roles,” he said.

The company already has started the hiring process for the new workers and makes use of nearly every method possible to find them.

“We’re everywhere,” Rayburn said. “We’re on every electronic job board we can get our hands on. We advertise in the newspaper. We advertise in the movie theater. We have billboards. We’re on Monster.com. We’re on Indeed.com. When you are trying to add the number of people we are, you are doing everything you can.”

Geico only accepts applications online at www.geico.jobs.

Someone with Geico will call back applicants whom the company is interested in moving to the next step in the hiring process, he said.

“Universities don’t teach insurance operations, rarely, so we invest a lot in training our people in any job they are going to do,” Rayburn said. “So even a college graduate is going to get extensive training. But there are management development programs that a person needs a degree or some college education to qualify for. ... High school or equivalent is a baseline. Not everyone has to have a college degree. The majority of what we hire doesn’t.”

Geico prefers to hire people who have worked with customers before, he said.

“We sell service, and we are looking for great personalities,” Rayburn said. Geico is looking for “people who love interacting with customers and can give them the attention, empathy and understanding they need. We want energetic and personable people.”

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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