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Call Center Staffing: How to Overcome Your Hiring Issues

For many companies that operate their customer service call center internally, staffing is an ongoing concern. This is currently an even larger concern in an environment where the national unemployment rate is only 3.8%.  This can be both daunting and frustrating. With that in mind, here are a few tips on overcoming hiring issues:

How can you overcome your hiring issues?

      • Hire a recruiting firm that specializes in call center staffing. Recruiters may know the marketplace better. They can provide input on where to look for and uncover and secure top talent for their clients. They can provide advice on the current wages necessary to drive applicants to your organization.
      • Make the most of social media. Post alerts about new openings and encourage social followers to share. More importantly, post about your company and your culture. It is a very competitive marketplace, so why should someone choose to work for you over another call center?
      • Enlist your current employees. Referrals are a key source of new recruits. Current employees can speak first-hand about what their job entails and the working environment. Motivate and reward your employees with incentives if they make referrals.
      • Renew your focus on retention. Retaining a current, qualified employee is far less costly than recruiting a new one, and employees who love their job are most likely to promote your call center in a positive light to prospects.
      • Increase wages. Make sure you are offering a competitive wage, or it make not happen.
      • Broaden your benefits package with non-traditional offerings your employees are asking for.
      • Never stop building relationships with candidates because fluctuating needs are a hallmark of most call centers. You will always need a backup list of qualified people to call.
      • Give yourself more time.  It is unlikely that you will find people who are unemployed and qualified to do the quality work that is important to you.  It takes time to compete and attract new recruits, it takes time to interview and select, and it takes time for qualified applicants to give proper notice to their future ex-employer.  The whole process is going to take longer, and recognizing that up front and allotting for that extra time could make all the difference.

Outsourcing May Be the Answer

We mentioned earlier the possibility of hiring a recruiter. Outsourcing the recruiting function may help, however you may also want to consider if this the time to work with an customer service outsourcing company, or at least a good time to discuss your situation with an outsourcer. They may have the type of people you are looking for because recruiting, training, and managing qualified talent is what they do for a living.  

And if the tight labor market is going to be around for a while, outsourcing your customer service function may be a longer term solution.

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