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Call Center Hiring: Understanding Agent Performance and Business Outcomes


TMCnews Featured Article

June 24, 2009

Call Center Hiring: Understanding Agent Performance and Business Outcomes

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

With today’s down economy and attendant job losses, cost-cutting measures and a market that makes winning new customers more difficult than ever, the contact center industry is facing new, critical challenges.
It's essential, in this environment, to find and retain quality hires. Because attrition rates plague the call center industry more than others, tools that help businesses find and keep the right hires have become far more than useful. They're necessary.
FurstPerson helps call center hiring managers find, hire, and keep the right employees with simulation tools, assessment tests and other resources.
Recently, the company released a new white paper, “8 Steps to Great Contact Center Hiring,” which offers insight into the necessary steps for successful call center hiring.
The first two steps in this list include the need to understand and define desired business outcomes, and getting a grasp of which agent performance metrics tie into achieving those outcomes.
These steps are critical to the initial hiring process, because once businesses understand how they drive revenue, they can focus on hiring agents with the skills to assist them in continuing to improve their margin, profit and revenue growth. Examples of specific outcomes can include a goal to drive top line revenue or reduce operating costs, or both.

Understanding these goals eases the hiring process by helping hiring managers narrow down performance metrics needed.
These metrics should align with the desired business outcomes and track a candidate’s performance to determine their ability to succeed in the job function.  
Specific examples include measuring customer satisfaction metrics to see if an agent is able to help the company meet its goal of reduced customer churn, or measuring and tracking average handle times to check if a candidate will help the company reach their goal to reduce operating costs.
Understanding how agent performance and business outcomes relate to one another early on in the hiring process helps managers to save time reviewing performance metrics and ensures groups within the business are aligned – reducing barriers and gaining quality hires.
For more, check out the Call Center Hiring channel on TMCnet.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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