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In the bustling world of call centers, there’s an age-old, but ever-burning, question that keeps the managers up at night:
How do I hire top talent that’ll propel the business forward?
Hiring managers in call centers rarely realize that the race to secure top talent is a marathon, not a sprint.
With the right call center recruiting strategies, you can cross the finish line with a team of all-stars ready to elevate your business. But you can’t just randomly fire and hire, hoping for the best. You need strategy.
And what’s better than strategy? 7 strategies.
That’s why, in this article, we’ll teach you the best 7 call center recruiting strategies that won’t just fill your seats. They’ll help you transform and scale your business instead.
According to NorthOne, our hiring cycle can be 60% shorter with an optimized recruitment process
The quality of your call center agents directly impacts customer satisfaction, retention, lifetime value, loyalty, reputation, and ultimately your bottom line. So, you tell us… Do you think creating a call center recruitment strategy is worth the hassle?
It’s a rhetorical question really. Creating effective call center recruitment strategies is not only worth the hassle… it’s crucial to the success of your business.
The faster your call center grows, the more you’ll need to standardize your hiring processes.
If you don’t, you’ll waste a lot of resources every time you need to hire for a position… or you’ll just have to settle for bad hires.
Throwing dice on talent sourcing might cause a lot of problems down the line. A not-good-enough fit will require more time to get trained. They can also slow down the A players in your team, undermine your team spirit, and kill productivity in the end.
You want your leaders to be able to focus on developing the business instead of coaching slow learners.
Simply put, bad hires are a liability.
A bad call center recruitment strategy can lead to costly hiring mistakes. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost your company up to 30% of the individual's yearly salary.
Before we dive into the right hiring strategies, let’s make sure that you avoid the following call center recruiting mistakes:
Let’s say you’re looking for a developer for your position. Make sure to broaden your search and include similar keywords such as “software engineers”.
This is just an example. The trick is to always take the bigger picture into account so that you don’t lose important candidates down the line.
Does your candidate selection process include a series of psychological tests, unpaid assignments, a trial period, or a contractor role?
Make sure to let your candidates know that in advance. That way you’ll avoid wasting time with people who won’t agree with your hiring policy.
There’s more to a business than salary, revenue, and numbers. Employees are living, breathing people with their own interests, values, and preferences.
That’s why you should always make sure that your new hire is a cultural fit. You don’t want them to fill like the oddball or disrupt the team’s flow. Your values and worldviews have to align to a certain extent so that you can work together.
A “cultural fit” doesn’t necessarily imply the same backgrounds and worldviews in every single candidate. Culture does not equate to uniformity. Or it equates to it as much as it equates to diversity. Diversity requires respect and admiration for each other’s differences.
Remember that differences in your coworkers’ identities adn/or lifestyles shouldn’t divide, but instead complement the team.
The significance of diversity is recognized by 76% of candidates, who consider it an important aspect when evaluating a company.
While a firm handshake and good eye contact might be impressive, they don't necessarily indicate competence.
It's essential to look beyond first impressions and assess a candidate's skills and fit for the position.
Competence in itself is not enough to qualify a candidate. That’s why a hiring manager can’t be one-sided.
A+ candidates usually have the right mixture of hard and soft skills. And soft skills are especially important when it comes to call center recruitment.
Misleading or unclear job descriptions can lead to hiring candidates who are not a good fit for the role. To avoid this, make a list of the job responsibilities, experience, and skills that your ideal candidate should possess.
Also, explain the working conditions, day-to-day activities, benchmarks, KPIs, etc. The more transparent and clear you are, the better.
Call centers sometimes require flexibility and the willingness of teammates to provide coverage for each other in terms of schedule and shifts.
Everyone has a different understanding of what flexibility is so you’d be wise to agree with your candidates on the schedule beforehand.
Resumes and working history are not the same. Read that again.
Everyone can make an impressive CV and a lot of people do that. That doesn’t mean that all those people really have an impressive working history.
Checking references allows you to gain valuable insights from previous employers and colleagues, providing a clearer picture of a candidate's work ethic, reliability, and performance.
Embracing recruitment software, applicant tracking systems, and online assessments can streamline the hiring process, improve efficiency, and help you identify top candidates more efficiently.
The ol’ what’s in it for me is the first question that your candidates will ask themselves.
Answer the question in your job listing and show that you’re not one-sided and that you take their interest and their perspectives into account.
The fact that you hire and/or pay your employees does not mean you’re superior in any way.
You need them as much as they need you so never forget that it’s a two-way street. Your job listing and your attitude need to reflect that. That’s how you’ll attract top talent.
Everybody starts from themselves. The trick of exquisite recruiting is to step into the shoes of the person in front of you.
Think about what interests them, what would they want to know, and what would they like to hear.
Remember the two-way street thing?
Have in mind that you’re not the only one asking questions. Always leave room for a little switcheroo. Let your candidate ask the questions and you do the talking.
Ok, this is not necessarily a hiring mistake, but it’s an offboarding mistake that impacts your hiring in the future. Not making this mistake will improve your hiring and employee retention in the long term.
Always schedule exit interviews. Ignoring them can hinder your ability to identify patterns and improve your management.
This won’t necessarily improve your recruiting, but it will improve your employee satisfaction and employee retention.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common call center hiring mistakes, let’s tend to those call center recruiting strategies.
Your call center’s culture is all about employee retention, mutual growth and attracting the right candidates.
Bad hires work for money, tire and leave quickly. Top candidates on the other hand will join your cause. They’ll come for the money, but they’ll stay for the culture.
That’s why defining your call center's culture is a crucial step in your call center’s recruitment process.
Your call center’s culture is the glue that holds your team together. It's what makes your call center unique and it can be a significant factor in attracting top talent.
A strong company culture is not just about having a fun work environment. It's about shared values, goals, and attitudes. It's about creating a workplace where employees feel valued and motivated to give their best.
To define your call center's culture:
Identify your core values: What does your call center stand for? What are the principles that guide your operations?
Communicate your mission, vision and goals: Make sure your employees understand the call center’s purpose and where it's headed.
Foster a positive work environment: Create an environment where employees feel appreciated, respected, and part of a team.
Encourage open communication: Foster a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and feedback.
Your company culture should be reflected in every aspect of your business, from your job descriptions to your interview process and your onboarding program.
If you need an example of a company culture done right, look no further than Cisco and their peer-to-peer recognition program. Cisco is constantly giving out small rewards to employees that honor their core values.
That way, instead of having employees rate each other’s performance, Cisco has shifted the coworkers’ focus towards mutual recognition. That’s why their employees are encouraged to interact with each other and boost each other’s productivity.
In the last 5 years, Cisco gave out more than 600 awards per day.
Employee satisfaction? ✔️
Employee retention? ✔️
Your call center’s brand is important because it’s what gets top talent to reach out to you instead of you having to reach out to them.
Invest in establishing a brand presence and watch people go above and beyond to work for you.
Sajjad Raza, says that:
If you don't focus on branding, you lose people because they feel like they don't have a career where they can grow and get promoted, branding makes your call center a company.
It’s important to note that your call center brand is more than just a logo or a tagline.
Your brand is the perception people have of your call center based on their experiences and interactions with your call center.
A strong brand can help attract top talent and retain your best employees. On the other hand, bad reputation can repel top talent from your call center.
When assessing potential job opportunities, 86% of women and 67% of men indicate they wouldn’t apply for work in a company that has a bad rep.
On the other hand, well established brands are known to attract 50% more qualified applicants.
Here are some tips to manage your call center brand effectively:
Be consistent: Ensure that your brand message is consistent across all platforms, including your website, social media, job postings, and communication with candidates.
Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP): What sets your call center apart from others? Highlight these unique features in your branding materials.
Highlight your employer value proposition (EVP): Stand out from other call centers with unique value that you offer to employees.
Showcase your company culture: Your company culture should be a key part of your brand. Show potential candidates what it's like to work at your call center.
Engage with your audience: Interact with potential candidates on social media, respond to reviews, and share content that reflects your brand values.
Branding for the purposes of more efficient hiring and improving team productivity is called employer branding.
The first company that comes to mind when employer branding is concerned is definitely Google.
They have a Hollywood movie as a part of their employer branding campaign for crying out loud.
Not to mention the numerous employee benefits, campus-style workspace, a competitive compensation package, etc.
By the way, when we say competitive compensation package, we mean it. If your compensation package is nowhere near competitive, ditch the buzzword. The same goes for “dynamic work environment,” yuck.
You don’t really need to fund a Hollywood movie… Just try to be authentic, genuine and up to date.
And remember that your brand is not what you say about your business. It's what others say about you. So, strive to create a positive experience for everyone who interacts with your call center.
Knowing exactly what you're looking for in a candidate can streamline the recruitment process and increase the chances of finding a perfect fit for the role.
Constructing an ideal candidate profile involves identifying the skills, qualities, and experiences that a candidate needs to succeed in the role.
Here's how to construct the ideal candidate profile:
Identify key skills: List the technical and soft skills that are crucial for the role. For a call center agent, this might include excellent communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and familiarity with call center software.
Define necessary experience: Determine the level of experience a candidate needs. This could be industry-specific experience or experience in a similar role.
Outline your ideal personality traits: Identify the personality traits that would fit well with your team and company culture. This could include traits like resilience, empathy, and a positive attitude.
Consider cultural fit: Think about how the candidate will fit into your company culture. Will they align with your values and work well with your team?
Mention the deal breakers: Highlight and describe who you don’t want to work with to save yourself and your candidates the trouble if they’re not a good fit.
When you identify who your ideal candidate is, think about which channels and verbiage they are using. You’ll want to emulate your ideal candidate’s tone of voice and talk to them in a language that they “vibe” with.
86% job seekers nowadays find the opportunities on social media. so that’s where you should target them.
Remember, while it's important to have a clear idea of what you're looking for, be careful not to make the criteria too narrow. You don't want to miss out on a great candidate just because they don't tick every box.
Your current call center agents are a valuable source of information. They can provide insights into what's working well and what could be improved in your candidate selection process.
Engaging with your agents can help you understand their needs and expectations, which can inform your recruitment strategy.
Here are some ways to engage with your agents:
Conduct surveys: Regular surveys can help you gather feedback on various aspects of the job, from the work environment to the training program.
Hold focus groups: Focus groups can provide a platform for agents to share their experiences and ideas.
Implement an open-door policy: Encourage agents to share their thoughts and concerns with management. This can help you identify any issues early and take action to address them.
Have call center agents hiring candidates for you: Just delegate all hiring ops to the senior call center agents that know exactly what kind of a player your team needs. Reimburse them for the extra work of course.
66% of business owners say that hiring new talent is the best way to reduce skill gaps in their company. So have your call center agent hiring for you instead of having them coach newbies and waste their time.
Reward your senior agents for extra work and you’ll end up increasing productivity, saving time and money down the line.
Remember, your agents are on the front lines of your business. Their feedback can provide valuable insights that can help you attract and retain top talent.
Employee referral programs can be a highly effective recruitment strategy for a call center. According to Recruitee, referred candidates are 55% faster to hire compared with employees sourced through career sites. They are also 25% more productive once they join the ranks.
Here's how to establish a strong employee referral program:
Offer incentives: Provide rewards for employees who refer candidates. This could be a cash bonus, extra vacation days, or other perks.
Make it easy for people to refer each other: The referral process should be simple and straightforward. Provide clear instructions on how to refer a candidate.
Promote the program: Regularly remind employees about the referral program and the benefits of participating.
Recognize contributors: Acknowledge and thank employees who refer candidates. This can encourage others to participate. Also, make sure to pay close attention to the referred candidates and fast-forward their applications if appropriate.
Remember, your employees are likely to know people who share their values and work ethic.
What’s equally important is that people who got referred will feel responsible to justify their friend’s referral. That means they’ll work hard to propel your call center to success.
And what better proof that employee referral works wonders than a whopping $5.5 million worth of referral rewards that Salesforce gave out?
And that’s not all. Salesforce hosts Recruitment Happy Hours which are sort of get-togethers where employees can bring the friends they want to refer.
It’s a casual and fun way for hiring managers to get acquainted with their potential hires over a few drinks. Neat huh?
Speaking of neat, that’s exactly what your career page has to be.
Your career page is often the first point of contact for potential candidates. It's your opportunity to make a good first impression and attract top talent.
An optimized career page can provide information about your company, showcase your employer brand, and make it easy for candidates to apply.
You want to be transparent and offer your candidates as much information as possible. On the other hand, you DON’T want to make it difficult for them to go through the application process.
A lot of call centers actually do the opposite. They hide all the important details from working hours to salaries, but their career page is full of job requirements. In addition to that, they have 15 stages of interviews, trial assignments and what have you.
It’s a good way of communicating that your relationship to your new hire will be one-sided… but that’s not what you want to communicate.
Here’s what you nee to do to optimize your career page so that it attracts top talent for your call center:
Highlight your employer brand: Use your career page to showcase your company culture, values, and what makes you unique as an employer.
Provide clear job descriptions: Each job posting should include a clear and detailed description of the role, the skills and experience required, and the benefits of working for your company.
Make it mobile-friendly: Many job seekers use their mobile devices to search for jobs. Ensure your career page is mobile-friendly.
Use simple conversational tone: No one likes to read the boring corporate lingo. Make your page reader friendly, simple, informative but engaging.
Pay extra attention to the benefits: Bonus points if you’re transparent about the compensation package. Your job ads will get 75% more clicks that way.
Include a call to action: Encourage visitors to apply with a clear and compelling call to action.
Remember, your career page is a reflection of your call center. Make sure it provides a positive and accurate representation of what it's like to work for your business.
Do you like the opportunity of screening your candidates before you get to engage with them?
Do you like when they send you videos beforehand so that you can separate the wheat from the chaff? Well, so do your candidates.
Just as you have a lot of candidates to chose from, so do your candidates have a sea of call center’s they can apply to.
Recruitment videos can be a powerful tool to attract top talent and help your call center stand out.
A video can provide a glimpse into your company culture, highlight the benefits of working with you, and showcase testimonials from happy employees.
Here's how to create engaging recruitment videos:
Show, don't tell: Use visuals to showcase your call center and your team. This can give candidates a better sense of what it's like to work for your company.
Include employee testimonials: Let your employees share their experiences. This can provide a more authentic and relatable perspective.
Highlight your values: Use the video to communicate your company values and what you stand for.
Use storytelling: Origin stories work just fine. Use the old where did we come from, where are we now and where are we going-framework. Or rags-to-riches, with a plot twist: make your candidate the hero of your journey and show how they will get from zero to hero in your call center.
Keep it short and engaging: Your video should be concise and engaging. Aim for a length of two to three minutes.
Include a strong CTA in the end: Make the CTA clear, but also make it cut through the noise and really get to your candidate.
Remember, a recruitment video is an opportunity to show candidates why your call center is THE call center they wanna work in.
Make it engaging, authentic, and representative of your company culture.
Here’s how Fiverr distinguishes themselves from the sea of competitors with a little humor:
You can add the video to different social media platforms and if it’s cool enough, who knows… it might just go viral and reap the benefits of the immense organic reach that social media nowadays have.
The attrition rate is a huge painpoint that most of call centers have to deal with.
High turnover rates can lead to increased recruitment costs and a decrease in team morale. And it gets even worse…
If your agents abandon you at the wrong time, you’ll have client-related complications. We know you don’t want those, so you’ll be wise to learn why employees leave your call center. That way you can improve and stop agents from leaving in the future.
Common reasons for employee attrition in call centers include:
Lack of career advancement opportunities: Many call center agents leave because they feel stuck in their current role. Offering opportunities for growth and advancement can help retain top talent.
Poor work-life balance: Call center work can be demanding, and if employees feel they don't have a good work-life balance, they may look for opportunities elsewhere.
Lack of recognition: Employees want to feel appreciated for their hard work. Regular recognition and rewards can boost morale and reduce turnover. And it’s not just about the rewards. Nobody wants to feel like a cog in the system so make sure to establish a deeper connection with your employees.
Inadequate training: If employees feel they don't have the skills or knowledge to perform their job well, they may feel frustrated and decide to leave.
By understanding and addressing these issues, you can create a work environment that attracts and retains top talent.
Investing in effective call center recruitment strategies is not just about filling seats — it's about building a team of high-performing agents who can drive your business forward.
Recruitment in call centers is not as hard as it seems. By defining your company culture, managing your brand, understanding employee attrition, and engaging with your current agents, you can attract top talent and create a thriving company.
Remember, every call center is unique. What works for one might not work for the others. So, don't be afraid to experiment with different strategies and see what works best for your business.
With the right approach, you can build an exceptional team that can scale your call center in no time. All it takes is a little strategy.
If you only implement half of the call center recruitment strategies that we discussed here, you’re bound to see results in your employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity in no time.
What more does a call center need? Clients. It needs clients. But we’ll get to that in a different article.
Key metrics to make your contact center more efficient
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. To make a contact or call center performance more efficient, managers and supervisors need to know for sure what metrics to track and where to direct resources for managing performance.
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