Contact Centers: Three Evaluation Strategies for Effective Hiring
If high employee turnover or customer engagement issues plague your call center, it may be time to re-evaluate how you hire customer service reps (CSRs). With this in mind, John Weiner, vice president of products and services for PSI, a pre-employment evaluation firm, offers the following tips:
1. Test for thinking skills: Rather than focusing on a solely on a potential CSR’s past experience, Weiner suggests that hiring managers place emphasis on critical thinking skills. “The abilities to solve problems, to communicate, and to be accurate with information ... aren’t capabilities you can train someone on,” he says. While providing an explanation of a CSR’s responsibitilies, hiring managers should also introduce potential hires to scenarios that existing employees handle daily. If they don’t react in a way that suggests they can adapt to changing customer needs, they may not be the right fit for your company, he notes.
2. Test for job commitment: “A proper work attitude is particularly important for maximizing retention and minimizing turnover,” Weiner notes. While you may have a record of interviewees’ work histories, it’s important to ask whether they derived any satisfaction from the work they did, he points out. Some questions PSI uses in its testing: How much of a priority is work in your daily life? Do you take pride in your work? What sacrifices have you made in the past for work? What sacrifices are you willing to make in the future. Weiner suggests using the answer to these questions to paint a picture of potential commitment to your company.
3. Provide a good evaluation environment: Whenever you ask an applicant to take a pre-employment assessment, make sure the process is as painless as possible, Weiner says. Whether the evaluation is done on paper or on a computer, the room where the evaluation takes place should be comfortable and free from distractions. If multiple evaluations are happening at once, you may wish to supervise the evaluation process to ensure applicants keep to themselves. If the evaluation is done by computer, or conducted online, he adds, make sure the technology is functional and the Internet connection is stable, to minimize interuptions due to faulty equipment.