This blog post is adapted from the authors’ contribution of Chapter 7 – “How to Measure Contact Center Skills Using Multimedia Simulations” – in Simulations for Personnel Selection published by Springer
In our previous blog posts we talked about why do contact centers work hard and compentencies critical to contact center employee success. In today's blog post we will be discussing the challengs in hiring work for your contact centers.
Large companies frequently rely on contact centers to address consumer demand for quick, efficient access to information, problem solving, and to communicate the value of new products or services. However, it can be difficult to find the right fit for these important customer-facing jobs. In fact, recruiting and screening are two major challenges associated with hiring and retaining contact center representatives.
Recruiting an adequate supply of well-qualified candidates is critical to hiring the right people. Implementing strategically driven processes to sustain a steady supply of contact center talent is like taking out an insurance policy on the center’s future. Unfortunately, many contact centers seem to favor a just-in-time approach in which a pool of “replacements” is identified quickly.
These replacements are often found by posting an advertisement on a job board, rewarding employees for referrals, or by calling a staffing office. The problem is that low wages, marginal benefits, undesirable shifts and inflexible schedules force many qualified candidates to seek alternative employment. The final candidate pool often lacks the quality and skills essential for success in a contact center. However, the need to meet hiring goals often outweighs the desire to hire the highest caliber candidates. The result is that hiring managers often take chances on marginal or fringe employees.
Accurately assessing a candidate’s likelihood of success is another major hurdle in hiring contact center employees. Several factors characterize well-designed screening processes. Well-designed processes are:
- Built on job analysis and empirical validation;
- Engaging for the job candidate;
- Monitored using closed-loop analytics to ensure screening remains aligned with performance outcomes.
Many centers do a reasonable job assessing candidates’ knowledge, ability and personality characteristics. However, they tend to miss the mark when it comes to measuring essential job-relevant skills. Next in this series is more insight into accurately measuring job-relevant skills that are key to contact center employee success.