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August 28, 2007

Call Center Jobs: The Recruiting and Hiring Process

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

For many call centers, 60 percent or more of the operational budget is devoted to human resources—find the right agents, training them, working to reduce turnover, etc. This implies that call center jobs are, in certain important aspects, different from employment opportunities in other industries.
It makes sense, given how much of the budget that HR eats up, for a prudent call center to develop a solid staffing strategy designed to reduce both the time it takes to hire and train an agent and the amount of turnover that occurs.
Reducing turnover and increasing productivity starts with finding the right people to fill call center jobs. This means not only finding people who want the jobs offered, but also ensuring that they will be successful working in the unique environment of a given call center.
Software is now available that helps streamline this process. Call center jobs-related software includes a variety of HR functions, including: human capital ROI analysis, pre-screening tools, candidate assessments, call center simulations, market and wage analysis, turnover management, and workforce forecasting/scheduling.
One way that call centers can work to enhance their staffing strategies is to make use of the business process improvement process known as Six Sigma. Six Sigma (which was first developed by Motorola (News - Alert) and is now employed by corporations in a variety of industries) involves several steps for ensuring quality outcomes.
In the call center jobs arena, Six Sigma’s steps can be applied as follows.
  1. Define what type of agents are needed, what skills they will needed, and how they will be trained. 

  2. Measure the qualities of each potential agent, and his or her performance once hired.

  3. Analyze call center jobs market trends (salaries, benefits, etc), the performance of potential agents while being interviewed, and the performance of agents currently working in the call center.

  4. Improve the speed with which agents are hired and trained, and boost the performance of established agents.

  5. Control the overall performance of the call center by analyzing individual and agent group effectiveness, and making adjustments as needed.
 To learn more about call center jobs, please visit the Call Center Jobs channel on, sponsored by

What’s the best resource to learn about latest trends in the IP communications industry? Why, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO, of course. ITEXPO West 2007 is just around the corner—this year it’s being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California, Sept. 10-12. Preview sessions, speakers and exhibitors—then register to attend.

Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.

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