A New Year and New Employees: Best Practice Hiring Tips for Your Call Center

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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.

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