Does your contact center have sufficient staff? This is something that many growing centers struggle to determine; are there enough agents on the payroll to efficiently handle daily operations without stressing the labor budget?
If you’re in the market to add to your staff, doing so may seem like a daunting task. There are so many things to consider when improving your hiring practices and so many reasons why you shouldn’t add too many agents at once. Taking all of these into consideration, we’ve prepared a quick guide to new employee recruitment and making your center a better place through recruiting agents who are best prepared for the job:
First - Do You Really Need More Agents?
When you are facing issues with staffing, it can be easy to jump straight to the idea of recruiting agents to flesh out your workforce. However, this may not be the best approach for your center - especially if your labor budget doesn’t allow for an expended staff. Remember, there are other ways to get those calls made or answered without bringing more agents on board!
One way to ensure that your staffing needs are being met is by rearranging schedules. If you are experiencing predictable fluctuations in call volume, these can easily be addressed by scheduling agents more heavily at these times and sending agents home if call volume does not meet these expectations during the given period.
Dealing with less-predictable influxes in call volume? This can happen during seasonal booms, around tax season, and before and after major events. An easy way to address this potential problem before it arises is to hire remote agents. These agents can work from anywhere - all while still providing top-notch service under your center’s name. What’s more, they can be brought on board during busy times without taxing your labor budget or taking the hours of regular, on-site agents when they aren’t needed. It is a perfect solution that many centers use to prevent hiring more full-time agents.
Still, no matter how carefully you attend to scheduling or how carefully you arrange your agents’ workloads, there will still be times when hiring more staff is not avoidable. Look at this as an opportunity for growth - and plan accordingly to ensure that it is one!
Next - How Should You Be Recruiting Agents?
When you’re ready for recruiting agents, the way you approach the task can make all the difference in how successful you are. It’s not enough to simply put an ad in the newspaper or on a classified website anymore. Recruiting agents who perform means putting in a little extra effort to make it happen!
Look for platforms that allow you to post advertisements or available positions in numerous locations at once, all while curating and collecting responses in a single one for your management team to review. This will give you maximum reach for a minimum amount of effort and a bigger return in your hiring investment.
Remember also to extend your reach when hiring. There are so many places to hire great agents from; don’t limit yourself to the local market, especially if hiring remote workers. Contact center work lends itself well to this type of hiring, so use it to your advantage.
Start Better to Finish Better - Hiring and Training Practices
How do you hire smarter? Begin by taking today’s technology - and your staff’s use of it - into consideration. Your agents will be using sophisticated software every day to make their jobs easier; doesn’t it make sense that technology would play a big role in helping you find the right agents to fill those positions?
One way to do this is through the use of virtual interviews. Using a list of prerecorded questions or scenarios, your prospective agents can navigate an interface similar to the one used by your current staff. This allows them to preview the type of work being done and ensure that they are truly interested in it, as well as letting your management team see which applicants move through the virtual interview easily. This gives a good picture of who is truly qualified for the next phase of hiring without wasting any time for your on-site team members by allowing applicants to complete these preliminary interviews on their own time.
Don’t rely on an applicant’s resume alone. Remember that there is far more to a person - and to their level of qualification for a position - than what appears on paper. Your agents should have the proper certification and training, but it may be even more important that they have real-world experience and an understanding of the type of tasks they are facing in the line of work they are applying to be part of.
Call center life can be stressful. This is one reason why so many successful centers are incorporating psychometric testing an evaluation into their hiring practices. This allows management members to see who is truly qualified for the positions they are applying for by evaluating more than just their skills. An agent may be capable of typing quickly and answering phones with speed, but can they handle an irate customer on the other end of the line with grace and patience? This is the type of job qualification that a resume alone cannot detail.
Lastly, be sure that you have the right technology in place to streamline hiring. Reference checking, for example, is one area that the right software can expedite so that your managers can focus on more important tasks. By automating the checking of references, you can move straight on to the task of narrowing lists of qualified candidates down further and finding exactly the right fit for every open position.
Whether you’re looking to improve your hiring practices or streamline recruiting agents for your staff, you can do it all with better, more efficient technology. The industry leaders and ChaseData can help you find that technology through our top-notch software solutions. We offer everything you need for finding the right agents, hiring smarter, and training better, so your center can realize real growth in no time. To learn more, give us a call today!