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Free White Paper: Eight Steps to Great Contact Center Hiring


TMCnews Featured Article

October 23, 2009

Free White Paper: Eight Steps to Great Contact Center Hiring

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Just because there are more people in the job market doesn’t mean it’s any easier for companies to select the right people to work in their call centers.

If anything, the increase in the number of applicants has made the selection process more difficult. To put it simply, there’s more “territory” to “survey.”

Meanwhile, companies are doing everything they can to reduce agent attrition rates, while at the same time keeping operating costs to a minimum. According to a 2008 survey conducted by FurstPerson, the average cost of call center turnover is about $5,466 per agent. For this reason, companies are desperately looking for solutions that can help them hold agent turnover to a minimum.

So how do companies make sure they are hiring the right people into their call centers? A recent white paper from FurstPerson outlines eight steps an organization can use to establish and maintain a “results-driven” contact center hiring process.

The white paper, titled “8 Steps to Great Contact Center Hiring,” starts out basic but then drills down into more detail as you move through the steps.

Step 1, “Understand and Define the Desired Business Outcomes,” states that in order to achieve great hiring results, “hiring managers need to understand how the business drives revenue, margin, and profit.”

“The goal of the hiring process is to hire employees who will perform their jobs in a manner that helps the business grow revenue, improve margin, and improve profit,” the white paper states. “Ultimately, financial improvement in the business determines whether the hiring process works or not. Being able to understand the business outcomes that leadership is driving and relate that back to the hiring process is a critical first step.”

Step 2, “Understand Which Agent Performance Metrics Tie into Achieving the Desired Business Outcomes,” explains that hiring managers need to understand what performance metrics are going to be used to determine whether an employee is meeting the desired business outcomes.

“The key is to make sure that alignment between the business outcomes and performance metrics exists,” the white paper states. “The performance metrics link the contact center representative’s performance against the business outcomes. For example, if the business outcome is to drive additional top line revenue, then a sales yield performance metric might be critical to measure and track. [Or] if the business outcome is to reduce customer churn to protect existing revenue, then performance metrics like customer satisfaction (CSAT), issue resolution, or first call resolution may be important to measure and track. [Or] if the business outcome is to reduce operating costs, then managing average handle time is an important business metric to measure and track.”

As the white paper explains, the contact center has two huge advantages in this area.

“First, contact centers track a number of metrics related to agent performance,” it states. “Second, contact centers typically have large groups of people doing the same work which improves the sample size for modeling purposes. However, often hiring managers spend too much time focusing on aspects other than the critical performance metrics that drive the desired business outcomes. A side benefit of going through this discussion is that it forces Operations, HR, and Training to be in agreement. Gaining alignment between these three functional groups reduces barriers to achieving great hiring results.”  

To access a free copy of this informative white paper, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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