If you work as a call center manager or executive, hiring new call center employees, unfortunately, tends to be a frequent activity. In an industry notorious for high turnover rates (60% is an average for many call centers), recruiting, screening, and hiring employees is a big part of the job.
Well, it’s a new year and a time for re-evaluating your hiring practices. The good news is that you can change your turnover rates, increase employee satisfaction, and create a culture where employees feel valued and enjoy coming to work. Read our best practice hiring tips below, and revitalize your call center’s hiring practices.
Before you start hiring, do you know what qualities you want in an employee?
Is your hiring philosophy based on a nebulous set of ideals you want in employees? (Shows up on time, good people skills, good work history, etc.) If you haven’t clearly defined what you want in employees, chances are, you’re going to have a hard time finding employees who fit your company’s culture and who will stick around. Let’s define how we mean “define what you want from employees”:
– What makes a great employee at your company? What kinds of qualities do they have? Some of your standout employees may not have a traditional “good” resume or background, yet their personalities and work ethics are noteworthy. Spend some time taking notes on your star employees, and write down the qualities that make them stand out.
– Interview others in your organization and get their input on great employees. Find out what types of qualities others appreciate and notice from star employees.
– From this list, you’ll start to see patterns that your top employees share. Bring this list with you when you interview new candidates.
Find the gaps and fix the broken links
Is your turnover a result of gaps in your call center system? Are agents leaving because of poor organization and stress? For example, do you have a lot of customers who speak Spanish, but only a few agents that do? Is this putting unnecessary stress on your Spanish-speaking agents? If so, consider hiring more bilingual agents. Do you have really high call volumes during a certain time of day, but you’re keeping the same staff levels during these shifts? Look at your metrics and see when you need to have more agents available. Examine your data to help you find the gaps and decrease the stress on your current staff.
Are you always recruiting from the same pool of talent?
Do you think that part of your hiring problem is caused from the talent pool you’re hiring from? If you are always relying on the same job boards, recruiters, or career networking sites, then consider changing it up and looking for a new way to recruit candidates. Try tradeshows, reach out to vocational schools or universities, or hire new recruiters – see if adjusting where you hire from changes the types of candidates you attract.
Do your new hires receive proper training?
While we’re dissecting your hiring and recruiting practices, let’s also take a moment to have you evaluate your onboarding program. When new call center employees start working for you, do you have a system in place that helps them feel welcome, gives them an orientation period, and takes them through a dedicated call center training program that’s specific to your company and your company’s culture? When you consider that 90% of new hires decide within the first six months whether or not they will stay with a company, you start to realize just how important onboarding is. Make your new employees feel welcome, and give them plenty of training so that you’re setting them up for success and not failure.
It is possible to hire the right call center candidates, the first time
Put effort and some strategy behind your call center hiring practices, and take what feels like a full-time job of hiring and screening employees to something that you rarely have to do. By putting some upfront work into your hiring practices, and sticking to your revised hiring philosophy, you will start to attract the types of employees who enjoy their jobs, stay with your company for a long period of time, and, most importantly, work well with customers and increase customer satisfaction.