Four Field-Tested Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process
By Kevin Parker
The call center is the hub of your customer experience. A great call-in experience keeps customers loyal and engaged; a bad experience can drive them away. In fact, according to recent research by American Express, 33% of consumers say they would consider switching companies after one bad experience. 60% say they would consider switching companies after 2-3.
But call center recruiting is a unique challenge. Successful customer care agents need a unique combination of skills and aptitudes, and many call centers experience very high turnover, which can be costly. On average, it costs around $2,500 to hire a new agent, according to ContactBabel’s 2017 US Contact Center Decision-Maker’s Guide.
To reduce turn over and increase customer service in the call center consider these four field-tested ways you can refine your hiring process to deliver the best talent:
1. Leverage pre-hire assessments. 85% of the companies Aberdeen considers “Best in Class” use some sort of pre-hire assessment. As mentioned above, pre-hire assessments don’t just reduce turnover, they identify the key competencies required for success on the job. Pre-hire assessments can give great insight into how a candidate works with people, as well as general cognitive competencies, like their ability to understand instructions and focus on a goal.
2. Use situational judgment questions in interviews. Situational judgment questions ask candidates to act out or describe how they would handle a hypothetical scenario. These sorts of questions give good insight into their customer focus, empathy, and problem-solving skills. If you deliver these questions via on-demand video interview, you can even present the scenario as a video.
3. Use past behavior questions in interviews. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Past behavior questions - asking candidates how they responded to challenges in their past - give good insight into their dependability, customer focus, and problem-solving skills.
4. Create a structured interview process. Structured interviews are 34% better at predicting job success than unstructured interviews; they are also 3x more predictive than work experience, 2x more predictive than work references, and 5x more predictive than years of education.
Kevin Parker is CEO of video intelligence company, HireVue. Previously, he was a Co-Founder and Senior Operating Principal of Bridge Growth Partners. Parker also served as CEO of Deltek, and as CFO and Co-President of PeopleSoft (later acquired by Oracle).