Josh Tolan, SparkHire

How to Reduce Attrition by Making Smarter Hires Up Front

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By Josh Tolan, guest contributor

Employee turnover is the biggest issue that call centers are continually dealing with. It can seem as if even the best call center employee begins their work with one foot already out the door. The issue of employee turnover must be dealt with head on and can be solved by connecting early on in the hiring process with the right candidates who will be solid employees that want to stick around.

A study done by the ILR School of Cornell University found that total annual turnover among call centers averages at 33%. This includes quits, layoffs, dismissals, and retirements. Subcontractor call centers have the highest turnover rates averaging at 51% and retail call centers at 47%. Furthermore, the study determined that total annual turnover averages 45% in centers that use a production line approach to service compared to centers taking a high involvement approach (25%).

These statistics may be discouraging, but call center hiring managers should not surrender to the high turnover problem. Implementing new strategies into your call center hiring process can lead to bringing on rockstar employees that will help grow your company (while developing their own skills), thus, avoiding turnover.

Don’t Hire Just to Fill Seats

Employers must avoid the mindset that high turnover is inevitable in call centers and that call center work has to be a temporary position. This will only lead to candidates being hired that are unlikely to stay.

Rather than hire a candidate just to have someone in that open position, connect with candidates who have career goals and are driven by their passion to grow their skill set; candidates who are interested in eventually taking on leadership, management, customer service, and sales roles. These are the types of candidates who will be willing to stick around because they see value in their position. They may even continue to provide value to your company by taking on larger roles in other departments.

Moreover, fostering a healthy, happy, and productive company culture will most definitely help with increasing your call center’s employee retention. If call center employees see that you genuinely want to invest time and effort to help them develop their skills, they won’t be so quick to put in their two weeks notice.

Find and Hire Team Players

A call center that operates under an assembly line environment is unlikely to experience high employee retention. It was mentioned earlier that call centers using this production line approach experience a total annual turnover average of 45%.

Acknowledging that your call center employees are valuable and treating them justly will ensure that they stick around. They are an essential part of your company culture, but treating them as if they are not will make them feel isolated on the job. The ILR School of Cornell University’s study found that call centers with at least 30% of the workforce working together in problem-solving groups have 50% lower quit rates.

It is crucial then that call centers encourage and enforce a collaborative work atmosphere and connect with candidates who will excel in this kind of environment as an additional strategy to avoid turnover. Call centers will greatly benefit from bringing on candidates who will support their co-workers and contribute to a positive company culture. Call center employees will feel more connected to their co-workers and company culture if they are working as a team. This will lessen the chances of them immediately wanting to leave with the first opportunity that arises.

High turnover doesn’t have to be the norm for call centers. Employers can come out on top of this issue by adopting new strategies for their hiring process. The above methods can easily be implemented into your call center hiring process helping to ensure that you only hire employees who will bring great value to your company and deliver amazing service.

Quickly Connect with the Best Using Video Interviews

Video interviewing technology can be a powerful tool for call center hiring managers and can also be utilized for executing the aforementioned strategies. Video interviews allow for quickly connecting with the best candidates, thus, making the call center hiring process more efficient. Furthermore, video interviews enable employers to interview more candidates in less time, which leads to an expanded talent pool so you can reach the best candidates even if they’re out-of-town talent. Utilizing video interviews can help you gain more insight into candidates earlier in the hiring process. You can also leverage video to evaluate a candidate’s company culture fit. This will save you from wasting time on candidates who clearly won’t be successful at your call center.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a robust and affordable online video interviewing platform used by thousands of employers and staffing firms in 40+ countries. Find out more about using video interviewing for call center recruiting and connect with Josh and Spark Hire on Facebook andTwitter.