Recruitment

Reducing contact centre attrition

Jenny Davies By Jennifer Davies on 22.03.2019
Contact Centre Worker

Finding star talent for your contact centre has always been a challenge and keeping them even more so. Everyone agrees that contact centre recruitment and its high attrition rate is a tough nut to crack.

Almost a third of all new contact centre employees will leave their role each year. A scary prospect if your job is replacing that missing 33% of the workforce.

Sourcing

A survey by Glassdoor found that three-quarters of recruitment managers saw attracting quality candidates as their top challenge. Low unemployment and high candidate expectations have all added to the difficulties facing the industry.

Contact Centre Monthly (CCM) recently reported that there are now just two unemployed candidates for each available vacancy compared with six looking for work only five years ago.

Before the introduction of self-service, contact centre hires could survive on resilience and excellent communication skills but with customer experience (CX) key to contact centre success the new omnichannel approaches are redefining customer interaction.

The rise of the chatbot and other self-service tools allow call centre agents more time to deal with complex enquiries and build better relationships with customers.

This changing landscape of contact centre operations has resulted in a requirement for a new type of super-agent who can deliver a great CX and ongoing customer success.

This on-demand expectation includes target candidates who expect similar experiences to real life in the recruitment process. CCM describe the importance of creating micro-moments.

We check our phones around 28 times each day, and each time we are looking for bursts of information. This micro-moment is the opportunity to capture the candidate's imagination and create an idea of what it would be like to work for you.

This is where unique and exciting brand campaigns become essential.

These snapshots can form an essential part of your campaign, particularly in an industry where rolling recruitment is often the norm. Promoting a positive brand image should form part of your ‘bigger picture’ recruitment strategy.

Screening & hiring

This need for speed in the recruitment process also works in the recruiters' favour.

Traditional phone screening is gradually being replaced with a user-led online assessment. By inviting candidates to interview via online assessment platforms, recruiters can screen and benchmark large volumes of applicants using consistent criteria and scoring.

This facility can offer a lifeline to HR departments who often operate on a lean team but are still faced with a high-volume staffing requirement. It is, therefore, no surprise that automated assessment is becoming the go-to method not only for recruiting new employees but also nurturing them through the onboarding process and then throughout the employee lifecycle.

Using AI CV search solves the problem of calling endless candidates from a job board, instead providing the recruiter with an intelligent list of suitable candidates, ranked in priority order for each role.

Preboarding

New research has found that many potential candidates ‘drop off’ during the hiring process. Poor communication between a prospective employee and company can lead to drift, with the candidate moving on to look elsewhere for employment. This disengagement sometimes referred to as ‘ghosting’ can be minimised by three tactics.

  • Keep the candidate informed of the status of their application
  • If the role has been accepted get their paperwork done – this shows commitment and avoids a lost first day on the job
  • Engage your new hire with information about the company – think links to company videos, staff newsletters, real job previews, FAQ’s about what to expect on your first day.
  • This inclusive approach will set you apart from employers who leave candidates floundering for weeks at a time, as well as creating a good feeling for your new hire’s first day on the job.

    Luckily, it’s no longer our only tool. CV search and screening offers a significant opportunity for artificial intelligence in recruitment, with forward-thinking organisations already harnessing the technology to transform hiring.

    AI software can now integrate with your existing ATS to automate the CV search and screening process. The crucial difference is the ability to learn. AI learns from your current candidate data what a high-quality, top-performing candidate looks like and can apply that when searching CVs.

    It’s much more complicated than simple keyword matching, using Natural Language Processing to understand the intention, semantic difference and context.

    Onboarding and beyond

    As mentioned previously attrition is a critical problem in contact centres. While a certain level of attrition is unavoidable in any industry sector, most learning & development departments agree that harms both staff and company alike. It creates low morale in teams and is costly to your company both in financial terms but also in the reduction of productivity and loss of expertise.

    More and more companies are now identifying the triggers to turnover and what steps can be taken to reduce it. To do this, you need to pinpoint why staff stay. In a recent blog post, ICMI identified that people would remain in jobs that they feel offer flexibility and a work-life balance. With new omnichannel customer service delivery, this is a more workable pattern than ever.

    A management culture which encourages employee strengths recognises their talents and promotes achievements can also go a long way to ensuring new hires become committed employees.

    With this culture in place, your L&D team can focus on ongoing development, so employees see a clearly defined career path which allows them to grow and increase their skill set. This clarity provides the employee with a long-term view of their future in the company.

    While turnover cannot be eliminated there is no doubt it can be reduced with a few key interventions. This progressive approach could change your employees from a transient population to an enthusiastic and productive team of brand advocates.

    The first step

    While all this may sound fantastic in practice, you have to take decisive action to reap the rewards. Here at Tazio, we help organisations of all sizes with advice and support, and our range of award-winning products and services.

    Contact us on 02922 331 888 and talk to one of the team today, and start your journey towards a more productive, engaged and committed workforce.

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