Driving quality of hire in customer service sector during hiring spikes

5 min read

How to maintain a high quality of candidates when the pace and volume of hiring suddenly increases?

For many companies, their customer service department is the foundation of their success. After all, having the right people to handle your customer service tasks is the first step towards delivering outstanding customer service to both your clients and customers.   

 

Recruiting customer service specialists can be challenging as sometimes the candidates with the right qualifications, experience and skill sets may not have the right attitude or mindset. So, how do you find and hire customer service specialists who match your requirements? You should start from defining what makes a good or even great hire in the customer service industry.

 

The definition of a great hire will vary depending on the type or size of your company,  the sector you operate in or whether you’re looking to hire call center agents or managers. Some of the key traits you’d be looking for can refer to skills, qualifications, soft skills, personality, experience and values. 

 

However, in some circumstances, when the pace and volume of hiring suddenly increases, it’s challenging to keep up the hiring levels without compromising on the quality of hires.

 

What causes the sudden spikes in demand for roles within the customer service industry?

 

There are several different reasons why organisations such as yours experience temporary or seasonal increase in hiring requirements that goes beyond the capacity of your existing talent acquisition team:

  • You may be going through a period of expansion or preparing for a new product launch.
  • Perhaps you have won a new contract with tight delivery times.
  • You’re opening an office in a new location
  • Your operations increase due to seasonality (eg.Christmas period).

 

When the requirements for talent influx go up, the quality of candidates may begin to drop. How can you drive the quality of hire while quickly ramping-up?

 

Here are 3 strategies that will help you maintain the quality of hire:

 

1. Focus on employee referral programs

Your current employees should be the first source you reach out to to source new talent. Referred candidates are typically cheaper and faster to hire and stay at their jobs longer than traditional hires. They are also usually a good cultural match.

 

Employees are most likely to refer a candidate within first 6 months in their job. In order to encourage them to take part in the referral scheme, you should make the program as easy to use as possible and offer a large enough incentive (financial or otherwise) to make it worthwhile.

 

2. Use technology to speed up the processes to quickly identify the right candidates

An aggressive push on your sourcing is likely to cause a flood of applications that are time-consuming to check and filter through. There are plenty of different technologies available to minimise the negative impact of this increase in the level of applicants:

  • Application tracking software such as bambooHR or workable that upload your job posting to top job seeker sites, analyse job applications, and allow you to view all candidate information in one place in an easy way.
  • Hiring apps such as HireVue that has a video interview analysis which enables businesses to interpret the facial cue recognition data to determine who is the best person for the job.
  • Skype, Whatsapp or similar applications can allow you and your team to interview and shortlist candidates whilst saving time on face-to-face meetings.

 

Cultural Fit

 

3. Create focused, clear and well optimised job descriptions

To minimize the number of irrelevant applications that will take time to process, make sure to create clear and specific job descriptions. List out all your expectations related to your required experience and skills (including soft skills). Mention all the benefits but also challenges of the role.

 

What’s more, having this information written down in front of you will make it easier to sort through resumes and discard ones that aren’t the right fit.  

 

Summary

Replacing an employee can cost anything from 30% to 400% of his or her salary. One way of avoiding this cost is to reduce employee turnover by improving your quality of hire. This explains why, according to research conducted by LinkedIn, quality of hire, next to metrics such as time to fill and time to hire, is a priority for 40% of big companies worldwide and 45% of SMEs.

 

When the hiring needs increase, the managers are often put under pressure to deliver high volumes in a short timeframe. It is in those times, that it’s crucial to stay aware of the importance of the quality and plan ahead to prepare.

 

If you’d like to learn more about scaling up your hiring and outsourcing your recruitment needs, please fill in this form to arrange an informal chat.

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