Change and Transformation in Contact Centre Hiring

At our contact centre recruitment roundtable we focused on in-house recruitment’s ability to influence change. Here's a round-up of the discussion.

At the latest meeting of our contact centre community we focused on in-house recruitment’s ability to influence change. Everyone in the room has goals to make changes to recruitment that will create better business results, here's a round-up of the initiatives and projects they’re leading to make that happen.

Change #1: Diversity in hiring

“We have a target to double BAME representation in our business by 2021”

Looking back at previous roundtables it’s clear that attracting candidates from a broader talent pool has been on the agenda for a long time. This has now transitioned from ideas into tactical action and our participants talked about their goals for more diverse hiring.

Tactics include advertising jobs for specific shifts, balancing gender through to interview stage, and consideration of home working arrangements. One participating company is using new channels including Mumsnet and has created specific hiring campaigns for the local population.

Building a workforce that has representation from the local area and from organisations’ target client bases have led our participating companies to market to specific talent populations including parents (and specifically single parents), graduates and candidates from minority ethnic backgrounds. Ensuring the process is bias-free and inclusive at every stage of the process is at the heart of the LaunchPad philosophy.

Change #2: Shifting focus up the funnel from attrition

“With attrition the buck always stops with recruitment. We need to look more closely at what’s actually driving attrition”

One of our participants has led its business through a two-year change programme including a move from outsourced to in-house talent acquisition. At the time of the roll-out, improving candidate quality and fulfilment-rate were the two key objectives. Now focus has been brought to better managing the funnel - and it’s not all about attrition.

For example, reducing the number of applications has now become an area of focus: “We’ve asked ourselves the question, is the process actually too easy and candidates who aren’t the right quality go through?” This might result in a move to more values and behaviour-led assessment in future.

For early-career hires and for roles where recruiting for potential is more important than experience, CV-free hiring that assesses potential for the role can be of much greater value than traditional recruitment. Plus, by getting more right-fit candidates in role, attrition will be reduced as a consequence of better hiring decisions.

Change #3: Educating managers about their role

“Call centre managers are good at keeping to KPIs and statistics, but they need to be good at keeping people too”

There are concerns from among our group about culture with a consensus that a ‘hiring and firing’ attitude is prevalent. This means that sadly good employees could be fired for not meeting one of many KPIs, or even excluded at induction stage for lateness.

One of our participants, who is relatively new to the business, is determined to make a change to a culture which is more supportive to employees. In her business, currently an average of only five of 12 candidates make it through induction.

Educating and training managers is a large part of this change which is being spearheaded by in-house recruiters, as poor people management has a direct impact on both recruitment metrics and business results. Gaining confidence in the in-house team from business leaders was a priority for many in the group.

TA’s role in transformation

All our contact centre delegates are going through a time of change as the profile of people they need, and the way customers interact with businesses, evolves. Three months into her role, one of our participants who has been observing the recruitment process is about to initiate a recruitment transformation programme.

Having great recruitment leaders and the technology to support it will help businesses stay ahead and we look forward to sharing the next stage of the journey in our next contact centre post. If you’re an in-house recruitment leader hiring for contact centre employees why not join the conversation at our next volume recruitment roundtable.