Call Center Hiring Featured Article
Work at Home Options in Your Call Center Hiring Strategy
March 24, 2011
By Chris DiMarco, TMCnet Managing Editor
Call center hiring strategies have shifted dramatically in recent years. Hosted technologies have allowed proliferation of communications center on a totally new scale and this has lead to an acceleration of both on and off site staffing.
The concept of remote agents has picked up considerable steam due to these advancements of technology. According to a recent research report from ContactBabel (News - Alert), in five years, 60 percent of respondents believed that agents will not be centrally located but will be working from home or spread throughout the company.
The proposed incorporation of home agent has two potential models in the research article. The hub model, in which home agents work near or around the contact center but usually are within a pre-determined driving distance and are given telecommute privileges after reaching a certain level of skill; and the virtual model which lets contact center hire agents “virtually” far beyond the labor pool constraints of a hub model. Agents can live almost anywhere the organization can support.
Entrenched agents have both good and bad connotations for call and contact center operators. On the one hand it allows for the quick and easy management of an increasing large workforce and can help call centers acquire skilled laborers who live far from their operations’ headquarters. On the other hand, geographically disbursed workforces are also under pressure from challenges like communications outages and hardware malfunctions.
Call center hiring experts FurstPerson maintains a tone of cautious optimism when addressing the concept of home agents. “FurstPerson’s research suggests some caution is needed when adopting the home agent structure. When FurstPerson compared candidate quality between candidates in a traditionally defined labor pool like a hub model to those in a virtual labor pool, the candidate quality is very similar. But, we know that home agent models consistently outperform traditional brick and mortar models.”
“In our experience, the key benefit in the home agent model is the ability to utilize the virtual model because more highly qualified candidates can be reached which pushes the candidate to hire ratio higher allowing for greater selectivity by the recruiting organization. As a result, a higher percentage of the new hires are in the above average performance zone already.”
For those in a call center management position, the prospect of remote and work from home agents is and inevitability for a truly diverse hiring solution. Fortunately, it is likely to be one that boosts quality of service as well.
Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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