In the contact center industry, the biggest continuing struggles are recruiting, training and keeping qualified individuals who enjoy their job and deliver high quality customer service.
To overcome this challenge and reduce the amount of financial strain that high attrition places on the contact center, many organizations have sought solutions that help to better identify qualified candidates, improve training and provide ongoing coaching to keep the agent happy and productive.
Perhaps the most important area that should also be taken into consistent consideration is that of hiring the right candidate in the first place. A recent Jobfox poll found that Gen Y workers are perceived by recruiters as being the weakest performers among the four generations that now makeup the U.S. workforce.
According to Jobfox CEO Rob McGovern, the problem is not the individuals within this generation, but the corporate leaders. Is it possible he is taking this approach simply because Gen Y will ultimately represent the largest population of workers since the Baby Boomers?
“Businesses must shed negative perceptions and learn new ways to incorporate Gen Y views into the workforce,” McGovern said in a Contact Professional piece. “The companies that succeed over the next two decades will be the ones that can most inspire Gen Y. This is the most educated and technologically savvy generation ever.”
To reach its results, Jobfox surveyed more than 300 recruiters regarding their perceptions of job performance across generations. The poll found that employers have yet to embrace the unique work habits of Gen Y, a population that is roughly 28 years old and younger.
The survey found that only 20 percent of recruiters surveyed considered Gen Y, also known as Millennials, to be generally great performers. This compares to 63 percent of recruiters who believe Baby Boomers are great performers, 58 percent who gave Gen X high markets and 25 percent who gave a nod to Traditionalists – those 63 or older.
“Once you begin to understand them, Gen Y is a very impressive group of workers,” added McGovern. “Just as we saw workplace changes made to accommodate Baby Boomers and Gen X, I foresee major changes ahead for companies that want to get the most out of our youngest workers.”
So, what does this mean for the contact center manager who is seeking to fill his center with qualified and motivated agents who will deliver the optimal experience for the customer and stay in that position for any length of time? In reality, it could mean everything, or nothing at all.
While age has been shown to be a factor in the effective hiring and retaining of qualified contact center agents, it is not the only factor to be considered. In fact, if it is too heavy of a focus, the contact center faces penalties for breaking the law. But, it can provide guidelines when designing the position and executing a strategy for recruitment.
At the end of the day, it is important to understand that the world and the market is constantly changes. Unless a business is willing to be flexible enough to weather that change and embrace the opportunities, it could easily work itself into a hole.
To ensure optimal success in recruiting and hiring qualified contact center agents, managers need to be sure they have designed a strategy that incorporates innovation with skills and experience, monitoring this strategy and subsequent performance constantly to protect the agent and the quality of service provided to the customer.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi