The key to keeping employees around starts with call center recruiting.
High turnover isn’t good for any business. Whether the exits are voluntary or not, employee separations cost a lot of time and money, which can prevent your teams from reaching their goals and meeting expectations. It might seem strange, but one of the most important aspects of employee retention starts with call center recruiting.
It sounds obvious that if you hire the right people, you won’t have to worry so much about turnover. But call center recruiting, like any recruiting, isn’t as easy as it may seem. You can’t really know a candidate and how they’ll perform until you hire them and they spend some time on the job.
Still, there’s a lot you can do during the call center recruiting stage that can help ensure that you not only hire the right people, but that they’re happy and satisfied with the company and their work. Here are a few methods you may want to try out if you haven’t already.
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7 Tips for call center recruiting that will help you find the best candidates for the job
1. Ask the right questions
Especially if you’re new to the call center recruiting process, you may be asking questions during an interview that don’t give you as much insight into a person as you’d like to think. Questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” aren’t great. Even if the answer is genuine, it doesn’t tell you much about the employee now, which is when you’re hiring them.
Instead, ask questions that dig a little bit deeper into the psyche of the candidate. Give them an example problem and ask them how they’d solve it. Or ask them to explain what made them choose call center work as a career. You can even ask odd questions like, “What’s your professional superpower?” because their answer will give you a better idea of how they see themselves. Just remember to steer clear of any illegal questions. (Questions about race, gender, sexuality, family structure, etc.)
2. Give them a test
Another best call center recruiting practice is to give candidates a skills test. It could be a mock phone call or something else that demonstrates their ability to do the job. Especially in high-volume call centers, you want to that a person can back up the claims they make on their resume. Not just anyone can work in a call center. Recruiting the best may require testing out their skills in a controlled environment so you can see what they’re made of.
3. Check for culture fit
Possessing the hard skills necessary to work in a call center won’t be enough to reduce future turnover. During the call center recruiting process, take an opportunity to evaluate candidates on how they’ll fit into your company culture. Company culture is all about shared values, behavioral norms, and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share. That doesn’t mean that you should maintain a homogenous employee population—that can weaken productivity and lead to more turnover. Hire diverse individuals, but question them on their values in particular. Someone who is quiet and reserved may not be the best option if your call center is buzzing with activity all the time. Culture is becoming one of the most important aspects of a company to active candidates, and it can be the number one reason they either stay or leave.
4. Hold an open house
Open house recruiting is not only effective, but it can even be fun for everyone involved. Rather than asking candidates come in one at a time, invite them to the office for group sessions where you can see not just how they interact with you, the interviewer, but also their peers. This can give you significant insight into how the candidates think, act, and react to different situations. You’ll still want to conduct individual interviews afterward, but starting with an open house is a good ice breaker that tells you a lot about your candidates that you probably wouldn’t get with them sitting across from you at an interview table.
5. Put them at ease
Interviewees are often nervous when they come in to speak with you, which means they may not be themselves during the call center recruiting process. Do what you can to ease their minds. Make the interview conversational rather than transactional. When a candidate puts their guard down, you’ll learn a lot more about them, which will give you a better idea of whether or not they’d be a good fit at your company.
6. Pay attention to exit data
When an employee leaves voluntarily, you might give them an opportunity to provide feedback on their time with you. These exit interviews can be pivotal components to call center recruiting because they’ll give you an idea of what you’re doing well and what might still need work. That doesn’t mean that every employee who completes an exit interview is correct. Still, you’ll know which of their opinions and experiences resonate with your company’s culture and which ones don’t. If an employee leaves involuntarily, look at the events that led up to that. Were there signs that the person wouldn’t be a good fit? Do you see something now that you didn’t see before? Make it a learning experience for the next time.
7. Offer competitive packages
Most people work to live, not the other way around. If they can do the same job somewhere else for more money or better benefits, they probably will. Make sure that your pay rates are in line with market value in your particular locale. Offer quality benefits at an affordable price as well as other perks like tuition assistance or gym membership discounts. These little things put together can add up to enough to attract the best talent and keep them.
Hiring the right people can take time and effort. But in the long run, any energy you put into the process will benefit you, your team, and your organization.
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