As the face of the company, contact center agents play a major role in the customer experience. In order for your contact center to meet its objectives, the recruitment process has to be well thought out. Training can only do so much and it won’t be able to fix what was ultimately a bad hiring decision. By defining your recruitment process, you’ll be able to choose the best candidates from the start.
Here are four tips for hiring new contact center agents:
- Be professional.
Job candidates get their first impression of your contact center from how you present yourself during the recruitment process. Hiring new agents should be approached with the same care that you use when handling customer service inquiries.
- Write realistic job postings.
It’s common for job postings to have a lengthy list of “must-haves” for job seekers. However, a lot of these “necessities” are based on corporate boilerplate information instead of actual, meaningful job requirements. It’s better to list just the necessary minimum requirements for the specific role you need to fill. Get rid of any cognitive, personality and behavioral requirements that won’t actually impact job performance. It’s likely that there are agents out there who would be a great fit for your contact center if only they didn’t have to meet a multitude of extraneous prerequisites.
Some characteristics will be important for contact center hires across the board – communication skills and critical thinking, for example. The rest of the screening and assessment process, though, should focus on how each job candidate will fit the specific role you need to fill. A person interviewing for a sales position should demonstrate skills of persuasion and the ability to convert. A person interviewing for a customer care role should showcase their empathy and their knack for problem solving.
- Take advantage of technology.
Finding the right agent is partly a numbers game. The more agents you can attract and consider, the more likely it is that you’ll find the ones who are right for your contact center. Expanding your reach means you’ll have to consider alternatives to traditional hiring practices. Consider interviewing some agents virtually. There’s even cloud software that can record answers, making it easy for you to sift through candidates when you’re ready to take the next step.
Agents are the heart and soul of the contact center. State-of-the-art equipment and brilliant cloud software will never be able to replace quality agents.