Recruiting for the long term…


If you want to improve attrition rates, then you may need to look more at the way that you recruit staff.

Stuart Pearce gives a few pointers on recruiting staff who will stay with you.

When you are starting the journey to bring in new staff, there are several things you need to consider, the first being that you want the people you recruit now to be with the business for a reasonable amount of time, otherwise you’ll be constantly recruiting.

It makes sense to think about what you want the new employee or employees to do. I don’t mean what their job title is.  I mean what do you want them to do? Most people would call it a job description, but I always think there’s more to it than that.

Think about the team dynamic

If you’re recruiting to add to an established team then you will need to think about the current team dynamic. You’ll need to think about the role the new person will take within that team, what sort of personality they’ll need to have.

If you want them to see this as a long-term position then you will also have to put some thought into what they might want out of it.

All too often in the past, there has been a ‘bums on seats’ mentality, which has done two things. It has pushed attrition rates forever upwards and it has damaged the somewhat fragile reputation of the industry.

Recruiting staff is a task that should never be taken lightly because your staff make the very backbone of your business.

What will make people stay?

Recruiting for the long term is an involved and delicate operation. Not only do you need to consider what skills and personality traits the new employee will need and what will be expected of them once they join the team, but also what will make them stay.

For sales people, the immediate answer is always money! And, yes, that will make up a good-size portion of what will interest a sales team member but, contrary to popular belief, it is not the be all and end all. All the money in the world won’t make a difference if you’re working in a negative and messy environment with equipment that doesn’t work – although it will probably soften the blow.

Look at the working environment

Customer service teams will pay even more attention to their environment as they don’t generally have the big financial rewards to rely on.

I have worked with many sales and customer service teams over the years and I can safely say that the companies that have the most long-serving team members are those that take in to consideration things outside of job descriptions.

If you want those that you employ to be committed and focused on the job you are asking them to undertake then you have many areas to consider.

Don’t put too much faith in the CV

Think about the recruitment process. Think about the interview process. I always find that a two-stage or two-person approach works well. In no small part because it then takes out any personal opinion and becomes a discussion between two professionals.

I for one never put too much faith in what I see in a CV. They are too easily manipulated.

Telephone interviews

It will never cease to amaze me that someone recruiting for a call centre or telesales team won’t, first and foremost, conduct a telephone interview. How can you even consider someone for that type of role if you firstly don’t know how they sound?

With no desire to get into a row over discrimination, what I’m talking about here is clarity. Are they clear and concise over the telephone? Can they make themselves understood by an irate customer?

If they can’t, you’ll frustrate your customers and the agent will not be happy in the role and will not be a long-term employee.

Staff have to feel comfortable

For them to see the role as a long-term prospect, they have to feel comfortable, they have to feel confident, and they have to like where they work.

Give them a good remuneration package with a sensible amount of holiday allowance – long-term employee.

Good, clean environment with equipment that works – long term-employee.

Supportive managers that don’t continually ask them to do things outside of their job description (although we all have to be flexible) – long-term employee.

As you can see, recruiting for the long term is far more than just a good advert and a solid job description. If you want to recruit for the long term, you have to consider what it means for an employee to be with you for the long term and what that actually entails.

Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce is is a Director of PRG Solutions.

He is the author of “The Telesales Handbook”, and is an ex Telesales and Call Centre Manager, with a passion for helping people to improve the performance, productivity and motivation of their teams.

Author: Jo Robinson

Published On: 6th Feb 2013 - Last modified: 28th Oct 2020
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