Call center jobs have many challenges including meeting quotas, following scripts, upselling customers, and dealing with irate customers tactfully. These challenges make it difficult to find quality candidates, and turnover is predictably higher than in other jobs.Read more
Despite these challenges, call center employees are needed in several industries. Without them, customers experience long wait times and can’t find resolutions to their product and service issues. Here are some top strategies for call center recruiting that can help your company fill essential roles.
1. Get Help From Current Agents
Current call center agents know what types of candidate would be good for which positions and what traits are most effective. Asking them for input about what to look for in call center agents may yield positive results and show them you value their help and input. Doing exit interviews with departing agents can also be valuable in exposing ways your workplace can be improved when future agents are hired.
When you get good input from current and departing agents, be sure to include it in your job postings and as part of the screening and interview processes for new agents. This will allow you to extend a job offer to a candidate of increasing quality, which will improve the functioning of your call center and help everything run smoothly.
2. Know the Reasons for Turnover
The biggest reasons for high call center turnover are the following:
- Burnout from the stress of dissatisfied and angry customers
- Burnout from the stress of unrealistic call and upsell quotas
- Limited advancement opportunities
- Feeling isolated and disconnected from others in the workplace
- Feeling unappreciated and undervalued
While these reasons are general and don’t apply to every call center, it’s important to find out the specific reasons for high turnover in your center. As part of your exit interviews with employees, it’s necessary to understand the specific reasons for your turnover so it can be addressed with future hires.
With turnover rates as high as 100% in some call centers, anything that can be done to reduce turnover will benefit your center and enhance stability.
3. Avoid Mass Job Postings
There’s nothing worse for your hiring team than getting hundreds or thousands of job applications for a limited number of positions, but this is exactly what happens when you indiscriminately post jobs everywhere online. Target your listing to industry-specific sites or use platforms like LinkedIn, which allow you to target specific users within the platform. This will yield a smaller number of candidates, but most of them should be qualified.
Customer Contact Week is an annual trade show held in May, both in-person and digitally. Employers can post jobs on this site for professionals looking for positions in the call center field with a level of assurance that respondents will be of high quality and with relevant experience.
4. Recruit All the Time, Even When Not Actually Hiring
Many high-turnover industries have found that constant recruiting efforts are necessary to be adequately staffed. The advantage of constant recruiting is that you’ll have a talent pipeline to draw from when you need to hire someone, so you won’t be starting over every time you must fill a position.
Most constant recruiting efforts require good amounts of employer branding so applicants perceive the employer as a positive company to work for. This may carry over into other positions and benefit a company’s reputation as an employer overall. Perpetual recruiting can also help a company prepare better for fluctuations in hiring so they have better ideas of their specific needs.
5. Use Referral Programs
Current employees may know others who want to get jobs in this challenging, yet rewarding field. Referral programs offer rewards (anything from bonuses or paid time off to gift cards) when new employees are hired based on names and information given by current staff members.
Your employees have connections you don’t. They’re often willing to share this data when they’re rewarded for doing so if it’s good and can lead to hires. Most referral programs defer the reward for a probationary period (typically three to six months) to make sure the new employee works out and doesn’t quit right away.
6. Don’t Count Out Career Fairs
Career fairs are common sources of job applicants, and recruiters can talk to them before they’re screened or interviewed. While not everyone who approaches your booth will be qualified, it’s easy to set aside applications for the ones that are and then fast-track them for interviews.
Also, word of mouth and other in-person methods may seem like dinosaurs after COVID ushered in the ultimate virtual age, but they can sometimes be the most effective recruiting techniques due to their immediacy and the fact that you can avoid people embellishing their skills like so many often do online.
7. Use Psychometric Assessments
Call center employees do well when they have certain traits (i.e., empathy, patience, problem-solving, excellent communication skills, etc.) Psychometric assessments allow employers to measure the traits of prospective employees and screen them before they start working demanding jobs without the skills that will make them successful.
Assessments are also objective ways to screen applicants, as all are measured in the same way according to the same criteria. Assessments can put everyone on the same playing field and snuff out some of the bias that inevitably makes its way into the hiring process, no matter how hard recruiters try to push it away.