Permanent employment is being increasingly used by the contact centre sector in order to secure the best available talent. Hiring demand for permanent staff is up 37 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016. Meanwhile, hiring demand for temporary staff saw an increase of 31 per cent across the same period. These figures come from a Blue Arrow report on UK-wide and regional salary and hiring trends as part of Contact Babel’s 15th edition of its UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers' Guide (2017/18). The guide identifies seven of the major challenges affecting the contact centre industry and provides data gathered from over 200 contact centre managers and directors to discuss topics including; Improving Quality and Performance, Maximising Efficiency and Agent Optimisation, Digital, Cloud and the Customer of the Future, Outbound and Proactivity, HR Management, The Customer Experience and Strategic Directions.
Sponsoring a chapter dedicated to ‘Attrition, Absence and Recruitment’, Blue Arrow offers some additional insight in to key drivers for staff attraction and attrition. With staffing accounting for up to 75 per cent of a contact centre’s operational cost; attrition, recruitment and training remain front of mind for many contact centre managers.
The report which poses the influence of recruitment on reducing attrition suggests, “Recruitment has traditionally been about asking the question “Can the applicant do the job?”. Having the skills to carry out the task is obviously important, but most skills can be learned, and in an environment such as a contact centre – where both tasks and environment are not suited to everyone – other factors are perhaps more important.” It goes on to recommend that “The most effective form of recruitment method is consistently said to be a face-to-face interview, with assessment centres, contact centre simulations and skills-testing also effective.”
Paul Burbidge, sector head of support services – Blue Arrow comments on the importance of understanding what the ideal contact centre employee wants from their work/life in the industry, “In a candidate short market where demand continues to outstrip supply, it’s crucial that we understand what ‘the right sort of person’ looks like and wants from their work life balance. It’s time to take a holistic and worker-centric view of how we compete for the right sort of people and making sure that the work available continues to offer fulfilment and a rewarding career.”
With over 60 branches across the UK, Blue Arrow provides specialist staffing services to clients across the support services, contact centre hospitality, manufacturing, public service, retail and transport sectors. The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers Guide is available to download at www.bluearrow.co.uk/whitepapers