Call Center Hiring Featured Article
Dispelling Myths in Call Center Hiring: Part One
October 03, 2011
By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor
FurstPerson, a provider of a call center hiring software solutions through a software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model has recently written a blog entry in regards to how last month at the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) conference in San Antonio, Texas, Barbara Morrison, a human resources director for Suddenlink Communications, and Jeff Furst, president and CEO of FurstPerson, presented a case study entitled “Separating Myth from Fact: Hiring for Peak Performance and Service.”
With this still unstable economy, call center hiring has seen had many obstacles placed in its path. A FurstPerson study completed in 2009 showed that the average per agent cost of attrition is $4,284.73. Now although attrition can cost any organization a pretty penny, hiring new employees who just don’t measure up on the job can lead to even more financial costs. Customers who need immediate assistance will most likely turn to a competing business if their issues are not resolved in a timely manner.
After the presentation concluded, FurstPerson highlighted three important strategies that will help call center hiring managers to separate truth from fiction when creating and carrying out all call center hiring procedures.
First, it is crucial to understand and define the job. In a majority of situations, call center organizations do not provide the background needed for employees to successfully complete their jobs. Then, when and if those job responsibilities are altered, the hiring model is not changed, causing hiring managers to interject their own personal believes about what the job entails into the hiring process. This then results in a miscommunication of what the job actually is.
According to the blog post, Suddenlink has used countless job descriptions to highlight their call center jobs and continuously ensures that they are updated. The job analysis process allows call center hiring managers to view experts who are either currently working in the job or supervising the job to identify what the most important job requirements are. Job requirements can vary, but typically are defined in terms of skill levels that will help the newly hired employee to be successful.
FurstPerson’s four quadrant model offers a road map of sorts that can be utilized within the job analysis process. The model is separated into work habits the employee did do, the work abilities the employee can do, work skills the employee can complete and work attitudes the employee will do.
Suddenlink has “three main job families” the blog detailed, including customer service, technical support and inbound sales and the company has continued to revamp their operating model as the years progressed. As a direct result, as the time has passed what is required from these jobs has been significantly altered. In addition, different performance metrics have become key to reaching financial goals over the years.
Moreover, a major change is that learning aptitude is now extremely important to successful technical support , forcing Suddenlink to take a second look at changing their hiring process to include a problem-solving test that can accurately gauge the prospective employee’s ability to learn and then apply new information, the blog revealed.
Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco
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