As far as the customer service industry goes, there’s no question that call centres have the highest employee and customer turnover and attrition rates. Customer service jobs can be cut-throat and the harsh reality is that not everyone has the thick skin, talent, or tenacity to stick it out. But a high turnover rate is just one of the many call centre recruitment challenges that employers face in this industry.
Common Challenges Facing Call Centre Recruiters
The call centre industry has faced and overcome a great deal of flack over the years. Management teams have been forced to find revolutionary ways to meet and exceed their sales goals, increase customer acquisition at a low cost, and maintain strong working relationships. All the while, they’ve also had to find ways to lower employee attrition rates and hire high-quality candidates from the start.
Customer service recruitment is hard work. Not only do you need to fill the roles quickly and efficiently, but you also need to make sure that you’re hiring the right people for the job to reduce the turnover rate and keep it low. Here are just some of the challenges that recruiters deal with when hiring for call centre jobs:
High Turnover Rates
Call centres are constantly working to lower their turnover rates and keep them low, but in most cases, this is a difficult uphill battle. Because the turnover rates in this industry are so notoriously high, it also means that hiring managers need to hire large volumes of employees at any given time. When those employees inevitably leave—whether it’s voluntary or involuntary—then the cycle begins all over again. Hiring managers are perpetually forced to fill these positions and oftentimes, good help is hard to find despite the fact that the applicant pool is larger and more competitive than ever.
Direct Customer Facing Jobs Are Harder to Fill
Customer service jobs are also notoriously hard to fill for the simple reason that a lot of people just don’t like dealing with customers. This is an industry that’s predicated on providing excellent customer service and representatives must do everything in their power to keep customer satisfaction and retention rates high. That’s not always easy considering sometimes customer service representatives can get berated by customers for things that are out of their control. Having a thick skin and top notch problem solving skills isn’t just a huge asset in this industry, it’s absolutely crucial.
Low Employee Engagement Rates
Customer service employees who work in call centres are usually left to their own devices unless they need assistance from their managers to handle a particularly difficult situation that’s beyond the scope of their authority. Employee empowerment is a great way to help boost engagement, but it’s not enough. You need to make sure your employees always feel appreciated because, honestly, they’re going to have some extremely tough days on the job. Aside from being a high-stress job for a number of reasons, working in a call centre can become mundane and monotonous very quickly due to the very repetitive nature of the job itself.
Limited Training Budgets
Another glaring problem faced by call centre recruiters is the limited budget that’s allotted for training new hires. One of the most common training techniques that is still used to this day is to have new hires sit next to seasoned employees and listen in on their calls, watching how they navigate through CRM software. While one-on-one training is essential and can be effective to some degree, it’s not foolproof. Working at a call centre is a lot like driving. In the beginning, people are taught the proper techniques, but over time, we all develop bad habits. Seasoned employees can often pass on their own bad habits that they’ve developed over the years to new hires.
Proven Recruitment Strategies to Help Improve Call Centre Hiring Processes and Operations
Putting all of the abovementioned issues into perspective is important, especially when it comes to how things are done in your call centre. There are a few unique and modern strategies for call centre recruitment that you can use to guarantee that you hire more quality candidates for your company.
Use Distinctive Hiring Platforms and Practices
Right now, the most common hiring and recruitment techniques are to seek out candidates on social media and job sites. While these are great in their own right, the problem is that everyone and their grandmother are using these techniques. They may have been innovative in the early days of the Internet and still hold some value to this day, but you need to start thinking more outside the box. Continue using social media and websites, but also think about expanding your horizons to radio ads, good old fashioned “help wanted” signs, posters around major cities, billboards, employee and friend referrals, and so on. As the saying goes, “Go big, or go home”.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
As mentioned, hiring good quality candidates for a customer service job in a call centre is tough. The high turnover rates require you to fill a large amount of positions all at once. Believe it or not, though, it’s possible to break that seemingly insurmountable cycle. Start by hiring a few amazing and talented employees who are highly adaptable and go from there. Once you’ve established a strong and trusting working relationship with them, find ways to make them feel valued and increase their incentives to stay.
Conduct Interviews over the Phone and in Person
Since call centre jobs are centered on being on the phone with customers for long periods of time consecutively, you need to know how well applicants communicate over the phone. Conducting phone interviews is a great way to gauge their verbal communication skills. In-person interviews are also important because they give you a chance to get a sense of the candidate’s temperaments, which will help you realize whether they’ll be a good fit for your company culture.
Resolve Recruit Inc. is your one-stop shop for all of your call centre recruitment needs in Ontario. Located in Mississauga, we’ve helped countless employers find the ideal employees to work in their companies for 20 years. Contact us today to learn all about our services!