Attracting Better Candidates to Call Center Jobs
The call center industry has an old reputation (perhaps deserved) for referring to its employees as “butts in seats.” It was once believed that since the job was so simple – answering the phone and checking customer records – anyone with a pulse could do it. At the same time, the call center industry also has a reputation for producing low-paying jobs that see high turnover rates. Coincidence? Not likely.
The contact center job is no longer simple enough to hire based on whether a candidate can fog a mirror. Modern agents need to be adept at multiple communications media – sometimes at the same time – tech savvy and knowledgeable about increasingly complex products and services. Properly run contact centers are also no longer cost sink-holes: there is enormous cross-over today between marketing, sales and the contact center, which means that there is an opportunity for a contact center to earn more money than it requires to run.
Attracting talent to the contact center should be the goal of call center management today. People who actually like the job are the key to a great customer support experience. Amanda Davies writing for Call Centre Helper wrote that contact centers should put in an effort to “sell” the job to good candidates.
“Making an effort to sell the benefits of your business – at both the application and interview stages – can be the difference between hiring the best talent in the area and losing to your competitor,” she wrote. “So if you have a new restaurant, offer great health benefits, have solid career development plans or guarantee a car parking space for every employee… shout about it! After all, why should someone work for you when they could have a better experience in the building opposite?”
It's also critical to recognize that today’s contact center candidates are more likely to be members of the Millennial generation, and they’re probably NOT looking in the “help wanted” sections of newspapers for jobs. These workers use their mobile phones to job hunt, so it’s important that your website and application process be mobile-friendly, easy and relatively simple. Don’t require applications in paper form, or you may be missing out on young, tech-savvy workers.
“If your business has yet to create a mobile-responsive Web site, your candidates are likely to find the application process clunky and give up (that is, if they find your vacancy at all),” wrote Davies.
It’s also worth taking advantage of younger candidates’ fondness for video. Long, dusty paragraphs about why your company is ideal are likely to go unread. Instead, consider producing a video for the application section of your Web site.
“Don’t expect candidates to trawl through pages of literature on your Web site to find out more about your company,” wrote Davies. “Instead, embed a video on your website showing them what it is like to work for you. This video could include agent success stories, footage from awards evenings and company events, or even a virtual tour of your contact center.”
Davies recommends that companies looking to hire contact center agents go through the search and application process themselves to ensure that it’s easy to find, easy to apply for and responsive to applicants.
Edited by Alicia Young