Recruiting managers responsible for hiring frontline service, support, and sales employees consistently face challenges hiring the right people.  As a recruiting leader responsible for frontline job hiring, how do you make sure that you are hiring the right people into your organization?  Drawing from our eBook - 7 Steps to Better Frontline Service, Sales, and Support Hiring, we discuss each of these seven steps separately.  In our first post, we discussed the importance of understanding the desired business outcomes.  In our second post, we discuss the importance of linking employee performance to your desired business outcomes.  Now, we discuss the importance of carefully defining the job.

Understand and define the job families.

Investing time to understand a job (e.g., tasks, environment, and equipment) and the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics employees must possess to complete required job duties well is the foundation on which the hiring process will be built.

Many hiring managers think all service jobs are the same or all sales jobs are the same. While they are similar, they are not the same jobs from company to company. The third step to achieving great   hiring results is to define and understand the job families. Unfortunately, this process is often overlooked by recruiting and hiring managers. For an organization seeking to improve new   hire retention, the critical starting point is a job analysis for each major call type. The job analysis should define the abilities and behaviors that drive job success.

By defining the job,  the hiring organization lays the foundation for the recruiting and hiring process because the job criteria are linked to organizational success. Typically this process involves meeting with job family subject matter experts to have them describe the job tasks. From there, the job tasks  can be summarized into similar groups.  These groups can then be assigned to competencies which are abilities, skills, and motivations.  Successful job performance means that competencies are interacting with one another enabling the employee to perform the job successfully.

Screen_Shot_2014-04-24_at_1.55.38_PMThe chart above highlights different competency categories.  Understanding key competencies within your job will allow you to qualify each candidate against those competencies.  The key is to obtain a holistic measurement and not focus on just one area.  In a simple way, the hiring process should measure what each candidate "can do”, "will do", and "wants to do."

The chart below highlights the results of a job analysis process for an insurance organization.  Two job families exist for this organization - Customer Care and Sales.  The result of the job analysis demonstrates that key competencies are weighted differently between the two job families. In this case, customer focus is highly ranked for customer care (#2) but not as important in sales (#9). The hiring process should be able to distinguish competency models between job families in order to drive business outcomes.

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Recruiting managers responsible for hiring frontline service, support, and sales employees consistently face challenges hiring the right people. As a recruiting leader responsible for frontline job hiring, how do you make sure that you are hiring the right people into your organization? Drawing from our eBook - 7 Steps to Better Frontline Service, Sales, and Support Hiring, we discuss each of these eight steps separately. In our first post, we discussed the importance of understanding the desired business outcomes. In this post, we discuss the importance of linking employee performance to your desired business outcomes.

Understand which performance metrics relate employee performance to achieving the desired business outcomes

Hiring managers need to understand what performance metrics provide the insight into whether the employee is meeting the desired business outcomes or not. The key is to make sure that alignment between the business outcomes and performance metrics exists. The performance metrics link the frontline employee's performance against the business outcomes. For example:

  • If the business outcome is to drive additional top line revenue, then a sales yield performance metric might be critical to measure and track.
  • If the business outcome is to reduce customer churn to protect existing revenue, then performance metrics like customer satisfaction (CSAT) or issue resolution are important to measure and track.
  • If the business outcome is to reduce operating costs, then schedule adherence is an important business metric to measure and track.

Hiring managers now have advantages in tracking performance because technology now enables more available data at the employee level. This means that employee performance can be collected frequently and consistently. This data can then be used for future analysis.

Historically, many hiring managers have not spent time understanding how their new hires will be evaluated by the production teams. This has led to disconnects between Recruiting and Staffing and production leaders. A side benefit of going through a discussion on employee performance is that it forces Operations, HR, and Training to be in agreement. Gaining alignment between these three functional groups reduces barriers to achieving great hiring results.

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Recruiting managers responsible for hiring frontline service, support, and sales employees consistently face challenges hiring the right people.  Customer facing jobs tend to have high attrition.  In addition, the hiring pace is fast and furious without much time to qualify each candidate.  In addition, hiring the wrong person can be expensive.  Based on FurstPerson’s research, the average cost of turnover for a customer facing contact center job $5,466. As a recruiting leader responsible for frontline job hiring, how do you make sure that you are hiring the right people into your organization?

Drawing from our eBook - 7 Steps to Better Frontline Service, Sales, and Support Hiring, we discuss each of these eight steps separately.

Understand and define the desired business outcomes!

Recruiting managers responsible for hiring frontline service, support, and sales employees consistently face challenges hiring the right people.  Customer facing jobs tend to have high attrition.  In addition, the hiring pace is fast and furious without much time to qualify each candidate.  In addition, hiring the wrong person can be expensive.  Based on FurstPerson’s research, the average cost of turnover for a customer facing contact center job $5,466. As a recruiting leader responsible for frontline job hiring, how do you make sure that you are hiring the right people into your organization?

Drawing from our eBook - 7 Steps to Better Frontline Service, Sales, and Support Hiring, we discuss each of these eight steps separately.

Understand and define the desired business outcomes!

To achieve great hiring results,hiring managers need to understand how the business drives revenue,margin,and profit. The goal of the hiring process is to hire employees who will perform their jobs in a manner that helps the business grow revenue, improve margin, and improve profit. Ultimately, financial improvement in the business determines whether the hiring process works or not. Being able to understand the business outcomes that leadership is driving and relate that back to the hiring process is a critical first step.

 

Examples of business outcomes include:

  • Does the business want to drive top line revenue?

  • Does the business want to reduce operating costs?

  • Does the business want to do both?

Recruiting managers who understand their business in financial terms are in a better position to establish a hiring process that helps propel their company forward profitably.  This creates a foundation that can be leveraged during ongoing discussions with the operational leaders and creates a shared language around the hiring process.

 

 

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In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness.  In part 1 of blog series, we discussed types of interviews.  In part 2, we discuss ways to deliver an interview.  In part 3, we review standard benefits and challenges associated with the interview process.  In part 4, we discuss how the interview adds value.  In part 5, we discuss ways to improve your interview process.  In part 6, we discussed other methods for evaluating job candidates.  Today, we discuss the right role for the interview.

The right role for the interview

What is the right role for the interview then?  Given that the interview has reduced predictive power compared to other assessment options and that the interview does allow some key benefits with candidate engagement, the structured behavioral interview should be retained but moved to the end of the hiring process.  Hiring workflows should be designed to use lower cost and higher validity options (like the alternatives mentioned above) upfront and then finalize hiring decisions using interviews.  The goal of this process is to generate a lower cost but more predictive hiring model that reduces the chance of a bad hiring decision.  The model below provides an example of two hiring workflows:

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In the traditional interview model, the recruiters will need to interview 100 candidates that have successfully completed the application process.  In the technology led model, the recruiters will only need to interview 56 candidates.  Assuming that each interview is 60 minutes for preparation, discussion, and review, this saves $66,000 in opportunity cost (60 minutes x 44 candidates x $25/hour). 

In addition, the recruiters are interviewing a more qualified candidate pool.  And, because the candidate pool is better qualified because of the alternative assessments being used, the on boarding pass rate and show rate are also higher.  The net result is a better hiring yield at a lower cost.

 

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In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness.  In part 1 of blog series, we discussed types of interviews.  In part 2, we discuss ways to deliver an interview.  In part 3, we review standard benefits and challenges associated with the interview process.  In part 4, we discuss how the interview adds value.  In part 5, we discuss ways to improve your interview process.  But besides the interview, how else can we evaluate job candidates?

Consider a Holistic Approach

While the interview does provide value, research suggests that other types of assessments offer better predictive power.  For the recruiting manager, that means screening out candidates who have a higher risk of attrition and poor job performance.  You may want to consider combining other types of candidate selection tools with your interview process.  Alternatives to consider:

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In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness. In part 1 of blog series, we discussed types of interviews.  In part 2, we discuss ways to deliver an interview.  In part 3, we review standard benefits and challenges associated with the interview process.  In part 4, we discuss how the interview adds value.  But how can the interview process be improved?

Ways to improve the interview process

The interview can add value to the candidate selection process.  By addressing risk points in the interview process, you can improve the interview process and increase the predictive relationship between the interview and job performance. 

  • Provide interview training - Your interview process can fall apart when your interviewing team is not properly trained to conduct interviews, especially structured behavioral interviews which are the most predictive types of interviews. Make sure to create interview training that includes practice interview sessions with observers also rating the interview to drive consistency.
  • Align interview questions with job competencies - Do not allow random interview questions in your process.  Not only do they increase legal risk but they most likely do not add value. Make sure your interview questions are related to your job competencies. 
  • Track and store interview scores by interviewer - Many organizations do not systematically track and analyze interview results.  Make sure to track scores and then correlate them back to new hire job performance and retention.  If possible, track this data at the interviewer level.
  • Identify inconsistent interviewers - By tracking interview data and results, you can also look for interviewers that need coaching.

 

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In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness. In part 1 of blog series, we discussed types of interviews.  In part 2, we discuss ways to deliver an interview.  In part 3, we review standard benefits and challenges associated with the interview process.  But how helpful is the interview in the selection process?

Does the interview add value?

If structured correctly, the interview can provide value.  Choice of interview format is the critical first decision. Research and practical results suggest that the structured behavioral interview is the right interview form to use. In addition, interviewers must receive consistent, constant training on interview administration. And, interviewers must undergo frequent quality assurance testing to make sure that the variance between interviewers is controlled.

In addition, including the interview, via phone or in-person, adds an ideal opportunity for candidate engagement.  Technology is allowing significant improvements to the hiring process. From removing cost, speeding processes, and improving overall hiring results, the gains from technology cannot be disputed.  However, recruiting is still a contact sport.  Candidates expect some type of personal interaction. 

Technology also allows disgruntled job candidates to post comments about negative experiences, blast unfriendly hiring processes, and quickly join forces against some companies.  The interview, by allowing interaction with the job candidate, creates an opportunity to diffuse some of those issues and engage the candidate.

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In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness. In part 1 of blog series, we discussed types of interviews.  In part 2, we discuss ways to deliver an interview.  Now that we have introduced some common forms of interviews, we can review standard benefits and challenges associated with the interview process.

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In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness.  In part 1 of blog series, we discussed types of interviews.  In part 2, we discuss ways to deliver an interview.  With technology, the interview delivery has changed over the years. 

Delivery Methods

Recruiters now have multiple options to manage the interview process.  Technology is creating multiple channels to deliver an interview.  Each option has trade-offs and should be carefully evaluated for the candidate experience, recruiter experience, effectiveness, and legal defensibility.  Keep in mind that the interview is a test just like a personality assessment, problem-solving test, or simulation. 

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Technology has made it easier to automate the interview process but keep in mind how the candidate may perceive the interview process.  

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The in-person interview is a common step in the hiring process.  In fact for many recruiting leaders, it is the only job candidate evaluation conducted for frontline employee hiring.  But how effective are interviews?  In this blog series pulled from our eBook - Using an Interview to Select Frontline Job Candidates, we discuss types of interviews, delivery methods, and effectiveness.

Types of Interviews

The interview can take multiple forms.  Before we discuss the interview's effectiveness, we should briefly understand the types of interviews being used by recruiting leaders today.  The interview is a selection process designed to predict future job performance on the basis of applicants’ oral responses to oral questions (McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt, & Maurer, 1994). 

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How does your interview compare to these types of interviews?  Unstructured, structured behavioral, or somewhere in the middle?

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