In the Mindsight guide, Happier Agents, Happier Customers, we discussed with contact center managers proven strategies to retain customer service talent. From onboarding strategies to workforce management, these contact center managers had a strong collection of methods to inspire their workforce to do their best work. Yet, we’ve never discussed the best strategies for contact/call center hiring in the first place.
Before you can retain top talent, you need to locate, interview, and hire contact/call center agents worthy of representing your brand. Here, we’ve gathered a few successful strategies to accomplish this.
Contact/Call Center Hiring Made Easy
- Use Social Media as a Recruiting Tool: There’s a million ways to advertise a job opening, but social media lends a few unique advantages. With paid advertisements, you can target your audience to those most likely to fit your needs, and it’s a very large platform with a potentially large reach. Most importantly, however, social media is proving to be crucial for modern customer service strategy and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The agents you want to hire need to have experience with these platforms. If a candidate found your ad on social media, it is fair to assume they use and are at least familiar with the platform.
- Be Realistic with Your Job Posting: In our guide, Happier Agents, Happier Customers, we make a similar point about interviewing candidates. You need to be honest and transparent with your job posting. Being a contact center agent requires a certain personality and work ethic, and there’s no point sugar coating it. By listing how many calls you expect an agent to field in a day, types of calls they’ll be receiving, and realistic scope of the position, you will already weed out candidates who do not have the heart for the job.
- Ask Targeted Questions During the Interview: While job history and education are important factors for a new hire, spend some time in the interview putting their customer service skills to the test. Target your questions to showcase the candidate in scenarios similar to the job their applying for. For example, if they are going to work in customer service, ask questions that shine a spotlight on their empathy, problem solving, and earnestness.
- Conduct a Phone Interview First: Talking on the phone is not quite the same as talking to someone in person. Test their skills on the phone first with a phone interview. This will give you a chance to hear them answer questions sincerely, respond under pressure, and measure the enthusiasm of their tone over the phone.
Other Strategies and Final Thoughts
There’s a myriad of other strategies that prove effective for recruiting in a general sense. Establish an employee referral program, go to career fairs, network on LinkedIn, and so on. These strategies will also be a valuable addition to your recruiting efforts.
In an industry with exceptionally high turnover rates, the first step to reversing that trend is to hire ideal candidates at the outset. From there, everything else falls into place. Hire top talent, keep top talent, and provide an exceptional customer experience.
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