Call center staffing: The importance of hiring well

This chapter offers advice on hiring call center agents, with tips on interviewing, recognizing service-oriented candidates and making the offer. It includes a sample call center job analysis, and top interview questions.

Excerpted with permission from "Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees" by Malcolm Carlaw, Peggy Carlaw, Vasudha K. Deming and Kurt Friedmann. Published by McGraw-Hill, December, 2002, ISBN 0071428925. ©2003. For more information about this book and similar titles, visit McGraw-Hill.

First, Get the Right People: Hiring Frontline Staff for Your Contact Center

The Importance of Hiring Well

It's no secret that one of the most difficult aspects of contact center management is finding and keeping the right people for the job. The contact center industry experiences one of the highest turnover rates anywhere—by some estimates, upward of 50 percent. Additional factors such as a tight labor pool of quality candidates and a limited career path compound the already challenging process of hiring. Furthermore, many contact centers are adding multiple contact channels such as e-mail and chat, which only adds to the need for a more skilled workforce.

Regardless of how difficult it is to attract and retain quality agents, however, it's crucial that you take great care in hiring for your center. Hiring agents isn't something that should be done in a rushed or desperate manner.

Hiring well can save you considerable pain down the road. Not only is it expensive to replace employees who have been miscast for a job, but it's also inconvenient and unpleasant to lose agents (whether the termination is your idea or theirs).

Even if you're not the person primarily responsible for recruiting and hiring agents, you are the person primarily responsible for managing those who get hired. For this reason, your knowledge of and participation in the hiring process are indispensable. At the very least, you should help define the skills and behaviors that drive job performance and participate in the selection process by speaking to prescreened candidates over the phone or in person and by participating in the final hiring decision.

Read the rest of this excerpt and download Chapter 6: First, Get the Right People: Hiring Frontline Staff for Your Contact Center

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