Call centers have notoriously high turnover rates, with some centers experiencing greater than 100% turnover over the course of a year. Average turnover rates fall between 30% and 45%, and call center workers between the ages of 20 and 34 usually stay in a given position for only about a year. Of course, numbers remain theoretical until they start affecting your workforce.
High turnover rates lead to continual high volume recruiting for many call centers. Everyone wants to know how to recruit more people successfully, but what if there was a way to shift your focus to recruiting the right people—the ones who will boost productivity, increase sales, and stick around longer?
Call center recruiting often emphasizes volume, but you can and should also focus on the quality of the people joining your team. Let’s look at 5 crucial keys for hiring the right people:1. Know Your Numbers—Analyzing hard data about the market and your current workforce helps you predict future behavior and make better hiring decisions. Consider the following metrics as you recruit:
- Overall turnover rate—What is your internal turnover rate (call center workers moving to other internal positions) vs. external turnover rate (call center workers leaving the company)?
- Voluntary vs. involuntary turnover—How many workers leave by choice as compared to the rate of involuntary termination?
- Team turnover rates—Are there higher turnover rates in particular teams? Is there a specific type of call activity that employees find more difficult?
- Turnover costs—Consider cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, training costs, and lost productivity during the time the position remains unfilled.
- Turnover by cohort—Is there anything being done differently for particular groups that could positively or negatively impact turnover?
- Expected Activity Levels—Monitor expected activities such as call volume, time spent on phone, average wait time, voicemails, call-backs, and customer call frequency. These metrics help candidates form a realistic idea of what the job will be like and what they will be expected to do.
- Average Market Compensation—Knowledge of the labor market and competitors’ compensation rates will help you determine whether it’s worth paying employees more in order to reduce turnover rates.
As you examine these numbers, patterns will begin to emerge, showing when and where turnover is likely to happen and how you can attract the best candidates to fill open positions.
2. Assess Your Culture and Branding—Culture plays a huge role in retention for repetitious jobs. Employees who love their co-workers, enjoy cultural perks, and have a great boss will be more likely to stick around. Cultural assessments can help you identify and fix problem areas in your call center so that you can brand yourself as a desirable place to work. Incentives for goal completion, friendly competition among coworkers, potential for upward career paths, and competitive pay and benefits all contribute toward a positive culture and increased retention
3. Define Your Ideal Employee—Cultural assessments also help determine what kinds of employees become top performers. Gather biographical data, pinpoint desirable soft skills, evaluate personality profiles, and analyze motivating values to create a persona that represents your ideal employee. You will use this persona as you recruit, screen, and interview. Look for candidates with good communication skills, creativity, problem-solving skills, and an even temperament in addition to the hard skills needed for the job.
4. Implement Job Simulations During Screening—Job simulations assess a candidate’s ability to perform necessary tasks. They give you information about the candidate’s performance and the outcomes they may achieve. Not everyone will thrive in a call center environment, and this is your opportunity to identify high performers before making a hiring decision you may regret.5. Use Technology Effectively—The screening process will winnow out candidates who don’t meet your qualifications or don’t have the necessary experience. During screening, follow these best practices:
- Employ several different assessment tools. Multiple assessments give you a comprehensive look at the candidate and his or her skills rather than relying on a single test.
- Apply data to drive decisions. The right data can screen for personality, general ability, and specific skills. You’ll also want to benchmark each candidate against the needs of your company.
- Utilize blind tests—Blind tests score candidates based on performance and help eliminate bias during the hiring process.
Successful high volume hiring depends on creating a reliable pipeline of qualified candidates who can fill the open positions in your call center. At Hire Velocity, we partner with you through each stage of the process to design a flexible, scalable recruiting solution that delivers top quality candidates when you need them.