Last year, FurstPerson conducted a benchmark study on call center hiring and compensation practices. This report, the 2008 Call Center Recruiting and Compensation survey, presents benchmark data on recruitment and compensation practices. The results will help guide best practices and enable call centers to find, win, and keep the best talent.
In this discussion, we highlight key findings around recruiting sources based on results from the survey participants.
Employee referral programs, company websites, print advertisements, and national job boards produced the largest percentage of hires. However, participants went on to say that company websites were the most productive sourcing strategy, which implied that participants considered a multitude of factors beyond the number of hires when considering the overall productivity of a particular strategy.
Two groups of people participated in the survey. First, a group of call center leaders representing 70 centers throughout the United States and Canada completed the survey (see appendix). More than 50% of these leaders were center directors. Approximately 79% of respondents had at least one year of experience and 83% represented a non-outsourced contact center. Second, a total of 1,360 job applicants from 11 centers across the United States also participated.
Recruitment Trends and Practices
The following section outlines recruitment trends and practices from North American contact center leaders. These data serve as benchmarks against which contact centers can compare their recruiting practices.
How many applications per month do participating centers receive?
As shown in Figure 1, 50% of centers included in the study received between 100 and 499 applications per month. Over 35% reported receiving fewer than 100 applications per month, and only 6% received more than 500 per month.
How many people are hired each month?
Slightly more than 83% of centers indicated that they hired fewer than 100 employees per month on average (Figure 2). However, 13% of centers reportedly hire between 100 and 499 employees per month.
What is the most productive sourcing strategy?
Based on the results presented in Table 1, participants indicated that employee referrals produced the largest percentage of new hires. The next three most productive strategies included: company web site, print ads, and national job boards.
Although referral programs appeared to be the most productive, respondents did not rate it as the most effective sourcing strategy. Participants rated company web site as the most effective, followed by employee referral programs. This finding suggested that participants may consider the number of new hires along with other factors (cost, candidate flow, etc.) when evaluating a strategy’s effectiveness.
The least productive strategies were community recruiting, college or other school recruiting, career services, and job fairs. In addition to accounting for a relatively small number of hires, more than 50% of participants indicated that they did not use these strategies.
Results indicated that internal centers are less likely to rely on community recruiting, print ads, and careers services than outsourced centers. Conversely, internal centers are more likely to use job fairs, national job boards, and the company’s website.
How many call centers do participating centers compete against for talent? Although most center leaders expected hiring to increase over the next year, they will also compete against many other centers operating in the same labor market. Most respondents reported competing with between 3 and 7 centers; only about 10% reported having no call center competition (Figure 3).