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Knowlagent Helps VTS Train Disabled, Disadvantaged for Home-based Call Center Positions
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
One of the biggest advantages of the home-based agent model is that it significantly widens the geographic reach of an organization's recruiting and hiring efforts. With the home-based agent model, organizations are no longer limited to hiring workers who are within commuting distance of the main center: Suddenly the entire region or nation, if not the entire world, becomes an organization's hiring ground.
As a result they no longer have to worry about "tapping out" all of the good talent in the main center's immediate area. That means no more settling on agents who are "good enough" - in fact, organizations adopting the home-based agent model have the luxury of being much more selective about the candidates they hire.
What's more, the quality of the agents tends to be better. Many of them are older (most are 30 to 60 years old, compared to 20 to 30 for most brick and mortar centers) and thus have more work experience. They are stay-at-home moms, senior citizens (including retirees) or people who have a full time job but are looking for part-time work to supplement their income. As a result many of them tend to be more educated and have a better work ethic, which in turn translates into better customer service, improved customer loyalty and increased sales.
Studies show that home-based agents stick around longer too: A much higher percentage of home-based agents make it past the 90-day mark than do their brick-and-mortar peers.
One of the specific advantages a home-based agent program brings is that it allows organizations to tap into new demographic groups that they were never able to target before, such as the disabled. People with physical disabilities can make for great call center agents and the home-agent model makes it possible for organizations to tap into this yet-to-be-exploited labor pool.
Recently call center talent management solutions provider Knowlagent helped non-profit Virtual Training Systems (VTS) prepare persons with disabilities and economically disadvantaged individuals to work as home-based call center agents. Candidates come to VTS through other non-profits, local community groups, and military and/or veterans groups.
According to a company press release, about 62 percent of the 364 candidates that VTS trained in the past year went on to be employed by companies such as DirectTV and Home Depot.
'Providing qualified candidates for at-home call center agent programs requires effective screening and training,' said Linda Walsh, VTS President and CEO, in the release. 'Knowlagent enables us to fulfill our mission of providing free job skills to disabled and economically disadvantaged Americans worldwide.'
VTS uses Knowlagent Hiring to give candidates a realistic preview of what it's like to work in a call center. The software solution also provides hiring organizations with the information they need to determine if candidates are a good fit with their organization.
VTS also uses Knowlagent Training to prepare candidates with the information and skills they need to become certified on basic service and service-to-sales calls. Both solutions ensure that VTS candidates have a high probability of success as at-home agents, which is critical to the Agent 101 program, which includes assessment, education and training.
'Knowlagent helped VTS create a scalable, repeatable process for hiring the right people,' said Matt McConnell, Knowlagent CEO. "We are pleased to partner with VTS on this unique program to provide this community with additional opportunities."
Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard