5 Call Center Recruitment Challenges

Call center employees smiling at computers

 

More and more organizations all over the world are opting to leverage recruitment software when it comes to quickly and efficiently staffing their call centers. Although hiring call center representatives, whether it’s telemarketers, customer service reps, or tech support agents, can seem like a never-ending task due to the high turnover nature of the industry; it is important to be meticulous when screening these individuals as they are often your first line of communication with your customers. The good news is, a well-rounded recruitment software stack helps you simplify the process so you can stay productive, build an extensive database of qualified candidates, and never find yourself unexpectedly shorthanded.  

In this article, we address 5 recruitment challenges in the global call center industry (and their solutions).



1. Call Centers Are Often Described as High-Turnover Environments

Call center employees routinely come and go, so how do recruiters keep up with the workload of constantly needing to fill empty seats with new talent? Interviewing candidates all day every day is expensive and extremely time-consuming, and in some cases, the vetting process is compromised for the sake of filling open positions quicker. In these instances, companies often incur losses that could have been easily avoided by optimizing their hiring.

Beyond the issue of keeping up with the intense workload and constant attrition, who can afford to invest in training and development of new hires, if they will just end up leaving you high and dry shortly thereafter? According to Greg Meares from CallCenterBestPractices.com, “some numbers bear that it costs upwards of $10 000 to hire and adequately train a new hire. That number cuts into profit margins quickly if several of those hires are made”.

Solution: Reduce Turnover by Finding Higher Quality Call Center Employees with Audio Interviewing

With tools like one-way audio Interviewing, you don’t have to worry about overlooking anything. The system enables you to efficiently phone screen call center reps while avoiding wasting your time with people who were never qualified to be on the phones to begin with. Get your phone interviews done automatically without actually having to spend time with each job seeker individually and reduce turnover by hiring the right representatives.

At the end of the day, the number one reason a new employee doesn’t work out is that they never should have been hired in the first place, and the best way to ensure you’re hiring the right people is to make sure you are screening out the wrong ones early.  

“some numbers bear that it costs upwards of $10 000 to hire and adequately train a new hire. That number cuts into profit margins quickly if several of those hires are made”

Greg Mears, CallCenterBestPractices.com

Headshot of Greg Meares

2. Identifying High-Quality Contact Center Agents with Traditional Screening Methods Is Time Consuming and Inefficient

To hire the best call center agents, you need to look beyond the resume, but it’s inefficient to interview all your candidates individually, at least in the early stages of the recruitment process.  

Unless you dedicate much of your time to interviewing every single prospective contact center representative that comes across your desk, you are left to rely heavily on a candidate’s resume alone. In reality, there are certain essential communication and interpersonal skills required to be a successful contact center representative that simply cannot be read on a resume. Pronunciation, speech and voice quality, linguistic or writing skills, among others, are elements that are impossible to read on paper, yet are critical to the sustainable success of your contact center operation.

Solution: Use Audio Interviewing and Digital Assessments to Efficiently Gauge Your Applicant’s Communication Skills  

As mentioned above, audio interviews allow you to measure and evaluate skills that simply cannot be read on a resume. Hiring platforms like VidCruiter enable you to automate the entire process so you don’t have to spend countless hours telephone screening each applicant individually. Furthermore, with email, live chat and social media customer service becoming more prevalent, it’s even harder to find good call center reps.

Mike Aoki, who is considered a call center industry veteran and thought leader in his field, explains, “nowadays you need someone who is not only good over the phone, but someone who is also good in writing. When it comes to social media customer service, you need someone who is even more skilled and able to think about the repercussions, not just in a one-on-one conversation, but a one-on-one conversation that could potentially be viewed by thousands of people”. This is where digital skills testing and assessments come into play. Beyond identifying candidates who perform well on the phone, hiring teams now have to ensure they’re hiring people who can easily multitask between the two functions. Embrace automation, let the software ask your best contact center interview questions for you, and review them at your convenience.

“Nowadays you need someone who is not only good over the phone but someone who is also good in writing. When it comes to social media customer service, you need someone who is even more skilled and able to think about the repercussions, not just in a one-on-one conversation, but a one-on-one conversation that could potentially be viewed by thousands of people”

Mike Aoki, reflectivekeynotes.com

Headshot of Mike Aokie

3. Scheduling Group, Panel or In-Person Interviews for a Large Call Center Is an Administrative Challenge

Recruitment teams in contact centers often opt for group interviews in the early stages of the hiring process because it’s a much more efficient way to screen high volumes of applicants in a time sensitive manner. But without the proper tools, coordinating schedules for a large group of individuals is a particularly difficult task to achieve.

Solution: Use a Self-scheduling Tool to Coordinate Any Kind of Recruitment Event with Your Prospective Customer Care Representatives

Save yourself the hassle of coordinating schedules with all your applicants separately. Automated scheduling tools will integrate with your work calendar and enable you to preset your availability and have candidates choose the time that works best for them. Whether it’s a group interview, a panel interview, a live video conference or an in-person interview, automated scheduling makes it easy to set meeting times and ensure everyone is kept in the loop.


4. Efficiently Tracking Top Performers While Gathering Input from Multiple Reviewers Is Difficult in a Call Center Interview Process

Once you’ve interviewed a group of people, how do you keep track of who the standouts were? Unless your memory and/or note taking skills are impeccable, it’s difficult to keep an organized database of your applicants, and even harder to keep a record of who your top contenders were and how they might perform on the phone. Not to mention, trying to decipher your notes to a colleague for a second opinion on a particular rep is not the most productive way to get things done.

Solution: The Ability to Share Saved Audio Clips Makes Collaboration Easier Amongst Call Center Hiring Teams

Having trouble sifting through your meeting notes or remembering what an applicant said in an interview? No need to worry, the best audio interviewing platforms allow you to save your audio interviews and call center interview questions in the back end so you can go back and listen to them again as needed. Need a second opinion? Share the interviews with other hiring managers and have them weigh in and rate some of your top contenders.


5. Outsourcing Your Contact Center Offshore Brings on Its Own Set of Recruitment Challenges  

Experiencing difficulties recruiting for your at-home call center? Imagine what happens when you have to staff an entire offshore call center thousands of miles away. Beyond the obvious time zone differences that pose their own set of problems, you need to put mechanisms in place to make sure your team is vetting these potential representatives properly. After all, whether it’s tech support professionals, customer service reps, booking agents or other, your offshore call center employees are often the first interaction your clients will have with your company when they need assistance.

Solution: Leverage Recruitment Software to Eliminate Travel Costs When Hiring Offshore Agents for Your Overseas Contact Center

Are you planning on adding a team of overseas remote agents to your roster? A digital interviewing platform is the #1 way to meet with your offshore applicants and test their knowledge and technical skills virtually. Whether they complete a pre-recorded video interview or they join a live video conference from any device, the system enables you to effectively and efficiently gauge their level of expertise without even having to step out of your own office.


Do you have Concerns about using Audio Interviewing?

Some HR Professionals Might Argue That Automated Phone Systems Can Come off as Too Impersonal

Aside from the obvious time-saving benefits of automated audio interviews, the idea of a “bot”   conducting interviews on your behalf can seem as though the human aspect of recruiting is removed or undermined.

Solution: Record Personalized Voice Questions to Humanize the Process

Some might say an automated telephone interview can feel impersonal. Audio interviewing solutions like VidAudioInterviewing allow your team to record audio questions to provide candidates with a much more genuine experience. Having said this, it is also important to note that the automated audio interview does not necessarily need to replace your telephone or in-person interviews altogether, this tool helps improve the efficiency of the initial screening and qualifying stages, final interviews are often conducted in-person or by live video conference before an actual hiring decision is made. The general idea is to have the ability to hear their voice before even looking at their resumes.


Find out Why More and More Call Centers Are Choosing VidCruiter!

It’s no surprise that call centers all over the world choose VidCruiter’s top of market recruitment software to help with their staffing needs. In high volume hiring environments, finding the time to properly screen your entire applicant pool can seem almost impossible. Our recruitment tools, including audio interviewing, automated scheduling and automated reference checking allow you to get the job done without the hassle.


Headshot of JF Poirier

JF Poirier

JF is a Recruitment Process Analyst at VidCruiter. He writes about recruitment challenges, strategy and tech trends in HR. He tweets @VidCruiter


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