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Science-Based Hiring for Call Centers

By: Matthew Bock

~ 3 minute read

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Picture this: a bustling BPO building where the air is alive with the hum of conversations, the clicking of keyboards, and the occasional hum of an office coffee machine trying its best to keep up. In this realm, call centers (the heartbeat of customer interaction) reign supreme. But within their vibrant halls lay a problem that all too many faced – the challenge of staffing quickly without sacrificing the allure of high-quality agents. 

According to CX research conducted by SQM, the call center industry experienced a significant decline in both First Call Resolution (FCR) and Customer Satisfaction (Csat) during the year 2022. SQM’s analysis points to a prominent issue that plagued the industry in that year – the historically high agent turnover rate of 38%. 

While the 38% turnover rate might already sound alarming, it’s important to recognize that this statistic doesn’t encompass the entire narrative. SQM’s benchmarking data for 2022/23 shows the spectrum of agent turnover ranges from as low as 20% to a staggering high of over 200% in certain call centers. 

The repercussions of such heightened turnover include increased job burnout, absenteeism, operational expenses, and a decrease in both FCR and Csat metrics. Consequently, there’s a compelling argument to be made that call center turnover stands as the most pivotal Key Performance Indicator (KPI). This perspective is rooted in the fact that the turnover KPI plays a critical role in efficiently and effectively managing the operational practices of a call center.

Part of the issue may be in swift agent recruitment without compromising on the caliber of agents.

Navigating the BPO Staffing Maze: A Need for Speed and Quality

The pressure to fill positions quickly often results in mismatched agents who were, let’s say, not quite cut out for the job. It is a delicate balance of urgency vs. quality, where one is sacrificed for the other. 

The belief that incorporating tools for efficiency might impede operations adds an extra layer of complexity. It is difficult for BPO recruiters to accurately balance speed and quality without an objective, data-backed solution. That’s where science-based tools present a game-changer in the BPO staffing landscape.

The Heroic Entrance: Science-Based Tools

Predictive Index provides two tools for measurement – workplace behaviors and learning agility – that can accurately predict the performance of agents in the future. It’s not magic, but data-driven analysis.The Predictive Index tools are not personality tests, but are assessments designed to predict workplace behavior and performance. Decision-making can be empowered by algorithms, where licking your finger and placing it into the wind is replaced by insightful, science-backed predictions. The emergence of science-based tools marks a turning point, offering the potential to predict agent success with remarkable accuracy.

Resume-based hiring is just too risky. Candidates can alter the entire intention of the document with a mere click of a keyboard. 36% of applicants admit to openly lying on their resume- yikes! Alternatively, science, data, and objective tools can pave the way for high-quality, expedited staffing. Fears of operational slowdowns give way to tangible results, demonstrating that science could indeed enhance efficiency.

Harmonizing Speed and Excellence: A Paradigm Shift

In the realm of call centers, where numerical targets are the guiding stars, achieving these benchmarks will become a moment of triumph. This is not a distant target that hiring managers and recruiters need to wait months for – the transformation can be rapid with immediate impact to the measures they hold most dear.

The solution lay in marrying speed with quality. This transformation requires call centers to embrace predictive data insights alongside the art of cultural fit assessment. Imagine a future where agents are not just numbers; they can become potential contributors, each possessing unique skills and qualities.

Closing the Chapter: A New Era of Staffing

The key lesson remains: the delicate dance between speed and quality in call center staffing can be choreographed by the strategic use of science-based tools powered by the Predictive Index® and the examination of behaviors and learning speed. Shatter the conventional cycle, alter your perception, and become the leader in the call center landscape as you lead this hiring evolution (oh, and outpace your competitors).

Your Next Step

To those navigating the intricate realm of BPO, remember that achieving equilibrium between speed and quality is not a myth but a tangible reality. With the fusion of science-based tools, call centers are poised to enter a new chapter in their staffing chronicles. Enter your transformative era for call center staffing.

Let MindWire be your guide. You can use these workforce analytics to optimize the human capital in your call center.

Matthew Bock

Catalyst for change, this problem-solving captain loves tennis, dogs, and Hawaiian retreats. Known for brewing office beer and believing in constant self-improvement, he's always present and ready for reinvention.