North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Step 3 Agent Recruiting


Continuously attracting qualified candidates is the single most significant recruiting challenge in contact centers today. Therefore, site selection is so critical. Many hiring managers find themselves with a limited labor pool due to the geography. This can be compounded by too much competition; too many other contact centers or too many in the same industry like insurance or mortgages. Without a steady pipeline of candidates, the contact center suffers with long hold times, longer handle times, higher abandonment and thus poor customer satisfaction. Choosing a site location that has the right demographics and the depth and breadth of candidates is critical to long-term success.

In competitive markets contact center candidates are on the market for an average of 10-15 days. The recruiting process can take 7-14 days to complete from the initial resume review to scheduling an interview, then another 7-21 days to complete background checks and prepare offers. No wonder candidates have already taken other positions! While the recruiting process has come a long way with automating the steps, still more automation is required to speed up the process. For example, resume screening, pre-employment screening, applicant communication, background checks, processing tax credit eligibility can reduce the time to hire if automated. Tweaking these processes to shave time off can make the different in landing top performers.

Glassdoor, Facebook and other social media channels are where people vent about employers. Are these comments hurting your recruiting efforts? Are these comments true? While the disgruntled employee will sound off unfairly, you must be honest and look at how many of those comments are true and what is the company doing about them? When candidates see one or two, they think that’s the disgruntled one, but when they see too many negative comments to count, that raises concern. Being prepared in an interview to answer candidates concerns about negative comments is just as critical as selling the candidate on the differentiators of your company. Clean up social media with positive comments.

Is the bar set too high? Are recruiters complaining they can’t find quality candidates? Recruiters weed out potential top performers due to no experience. It’s not always about experience or what have they done. It’s about what they CAN DO!

Pre-employment assessments can provide the recruiter with candidates that fit the personality traits of your top performers. You can always assess skill level and intelligence, but what about traits? Are you looking for a patient person? It’s easy to teach the technicals like the computer system, how to answer the phone, conflict resolution and other skills of the job, but what can’t be taught is just the right amount of assertiveness or conscientiousness that the agents need, or the right amount of energy. Too little energy or slow pace yields low production, inefficiency and the tendency to get tired easily. How does that show up on a resume? It doesn’t, therefore pre-employment screenings that evaluate traits can help identify future top performers.

By broadening the definition of qualified candidates and focusing on what candidate’s capabilities and motivations are will net a larger pool of qualified candidates.

The job posting is the single piece of advertising for attracting applicants. The job posting should scream why your contact center is the place to work. Write the posting from a “we” perspective. What can “we” do together as partners versus what “you” can do for us? The latter sounds like applicants are just pawns. This one subtle change in pronoun can change they way applicants see your job, your contact center, your company. Top candidates want to know that their skills, knowledge and presence are valued. Show how you value them in your job posting.

Tips!

Speed; everyone wants to get an interview fast, get hired fast, be offered a position fast, start their new job fast; engaging candidates with communication and shortening the recruiting process will keep winner candidates in the game so you can hire them.
Manage the exit interviews to better manage the social media conversations. A bad post can sabotage your recruiting efforts.

Take the Next Step!

There are many articles written with tips and tricks of hiring contact center agents. Hiring the wrong agents shows up in the form of reduced customer satisfaction, resulting in higher customer abandonment; and/or reduced customer acquisition, resulting in lower than expected revenue recognition. Sourcing thus proves to be a significant driver of business results.

Choose the location with a labor pool that supports your agent profile. Fine tune your recruiting process to make it fast and efficient paying attention to the job posting, negative social media and utilizing assessments that focus on traits verses skills and knowledge.

Work Space Vendors

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Furniture

Specialized Office Systems offers customized solutions to deliver printing, promotional products, apparel, office supplies and business furniture to multiple locations across the country. You will receive the personalized service you want and the attention to detail you need.

Interior Designer

Cresa Commercial founded in 1993 was convinced that representing tenants exclusively was the best way to go. Not only would it give our clients the kind of objective, unbiased advice they might not get elsewhere, but it would also give us a unique offering in the real estate marketplace.

Consultant

The North American Customer Service Management Association (NACSMA) assists Service Center professionals with improving the delivery of Customer Care to their clients by providing a collaborative networking approach to operational issues.