Our panel reveals how to find and keep the best candidates for your contact centre.
Avoid simply “going through the motions”
It is all too easy, when you are regularly recruiting for similar roles, to just “go through the motions” and do what you have always done. This can apply to everything from your job description to choice of interview questions.
However, business needs are always changing, so the person you recruited last year, or even last week, might not be the person you still need today.
Revisit your role and requirements regularly to make sure you get the right person for the job every time you advertise.
Align your interview process with your business culture
If you consider your business to have a really engaged ‘people first’ or fun culture, make sure your recruitment experience matches up.
A faceless or automated recruitment process – with a lengthy application form and too many formal interviews – could send mixed signals and leave potential applicants confused about who you are.
Introducing themed interviews, or allowing a more relaxed interview stage as part of your process, might brighten up your interviews and change the direction of how you hire.
Ask your applicants for feedback – and act on it!
A simple way of finding out where you are going wrong is to ask your applicants.
Just asking “how did you find our application and interview process?” – as part of your standard follow-up activity – may help to uncover the critical changes that your business needs.
With thanks to Michelle Ansell at Douglas Jackson
Conduct a basic skills test
Ask all of your candidates to take part in a basic skills test.
You need to be confident that your new recruits have the core skills to do the job you are hiring for.
Why? The cost of recruiting the wrong person is typically 2.5 times their annual salary.
Focus on creating a positive candidate experience
You need to make your candidates feel valued at your assessment centre.
Candidates will talk about the experience they have had with you, so make sure that your recruitment process is a positive one!
It is key to look at it from their perspective.
A mobile-friendly site is increasingly important to candidates
Make sure you have a mobile-friendly site.
This is becoming increasingly important, with 68% of job seekers aged 18-25 using their mobile devices to search for jobs.
Getting this right could help to improve your chances of connecting with the right candidate.
With thanks to Amanda Davies at ISV
Show your candidates the call centre
Show your candidates the call centre by giving them a full guided tour and letting them speak to other agents.
We can sometimes forget that the scale, noise and intensive environment of a call centre can be hard to adjust to, especially for those who haven’t worked in one before.
Providing your candidates with this early introduction can help to reduce the shock for new starters.
Let your candidates make an informed choice about you
Be really honest. If the shift patterns include working weekends, be upfront about it. If car parking can be difficult on certain shifts, let them know they will probably need to be in earlier if they want to park.
If candidates find out these things later on, they can be deal breakers.
It is better to manage their expectations upfront. Let them make an informed choice about you in the recruitment process – and you’ll save yourself heartache and financial pain at the 3-month mark.
Test your candidates during the recruitment process
Taking the time to do some telephone role play, spelling and grammar tests, typing speed tests, or general aptitude tests can help save you from recruiting people who are only good at being interviewed – and being disappointed with their actual job performance later on.
If you want multi-skilled agents who are good at email and social media, then testing their writing and typing skills is a must.
With thanks to Carolyn Blunt at Real Results Training
Make sure candidates receive the right information on time
Ensuring an excellent ‘candidate experience’ is key to recruitment success. In line with this, your process should be slick, seamless and quick.
Also make sure candidates receive the right information on time and that everything to do with the recruitment process is designed with the candidate in mind.
Find out why your employees are leaving
It may not be the recruitment process that is the issue, especially if you are recruiting on a regular basis due to high staff turnover.
A good first step is to ask yourself:
- Why are employees leaving? When in the process do they leave?
- Why do employees stay? What type of profile, traits, skills and experience are common in those who are successful?
If you are not absolutely clear on why an employee stays, you can never be clear on what you are looking for when it comes to recruiting.
Keep in regular contact with your chosen agencies
When trying to find the right candidates for your contact centre, it is important to keep in regular contact with your chosen agencies.
Help them to build a profile of what a ‘great’ candidate looks like for your business – and use your existing workforce to determine what ‘great’ looks like!
With thanks to Francesca Randle at Cactus Search
Give the candidate a taste of what it would be like to work for you
Throughout the various stages of the job application process, you should give the candidate some experience of what it would be like to actually work for your company.
Those that have mastered this tend to secure the best talent within the market and create a great work environment.
Also, don’t be afraid to be creative with your job descriptions and interview processes.
With thanks to Mark Conway at CCP & PACT
Look for candidates who will thrive in your company culture
Look for candidates who fit with your company values and will thrive in your culture.
Also make an effort to keep your existing employees challenged, motivated, supported and rewarded.
Getting these things right can help you become known as a great company to work for, which can in turn help you to attract excellent candidates.
With thanks to Gary Lane at NewVoiceMedia
Save time and boost employee engagement with an internal search
Most employers always consider internal talent before looking to recruit externally.
Taking a moment to ask “Is there someone internally who could benefit from a good development opportunity?” can help you to engage with your existing employees, as well as ensure that you do not waste anyone’s time looking for external candidates.
Keep your recruitment process as short as possible
With the employment market heating up, candidates (especially in specialist roles) are being offered new jobs within an increasingly short time frame.
To ensure you don’t miss your ideal candidate, keep your recruitment process as short as possible.
This can be achieved by mapping out your processes:
- Set a deadline to receive applications.
- Book time to review CVs – a maximum of 2 days after the application closing date.
- Book time for interviews – no later than 1 week after the review.
With all of these steps pencilled into your diary, you’ll give yourself maximum opportunity to find and hire your perfect candidate.
Make sure the advertised salary exceeds the market rate
If you are not paying the market rate, you are unlikely to find your perfect candidate.
However, if you are paying what the rest of the market pays, you are not going to be able to entice candidates from their current employers either.
If you require specialist skills, you often need to pay 5-10% above the candidate’s current earnings to get them to make the move.
Don’t be naïve to counter-offers
With employment levels rising, more and more counter-offers are being made by current employers.
You should be prepared for this from the very moment you first engage with a candidate.
Never rest on your laurels when expecting a candidate to join your team.
Remember your candidates are assessing you too
Don’t forget that interviews also provide an opportunity for candidates to assess whether your business is right for them!
With this in mind, don’t fill your recruitment process with one-way communication.
Take the time to tell your candidates about the benefits of working for you, as well as explain the opportunities which will help them to build a career within your business.
With thanks to Barrie Brown at CCA