Ten Tips for Hiring Help Desk Software Agents
6/12/2015 3:38 PM
Companies need an effective hiring process to find quality employees. Call centers and customer support centers often have a difficult time finding quality employees. The turnover is high because the working environment can be difficult and many centers hire less qualified employees. This means a poor fit for both employees and employers. The following ten practices can help you find better employees and find ways to keep them.
1. Identify your center's needs
Before you begin the job hiring process, be clear about what your company needs. Do you need more agents? Do you need supervisors? Do you need employees to monitor your computer systems? Then, identify what skills you want your employees to have. One way to discover this is to make a list of the skills your top team members have. Why are they great team members and how do they help your company? You want to hire more team member who are like your best current ones.
Build an outline of the ideal traits and work ethic for the position, and then stick to the outline. Try not to be influenced by factors such as he had a great personality, or spoke 3 languages, or she was a single mom with 3 kids, etc; Make sure the outline is flexible enough to include workers you might not normally consider based on appearance or disability. In today’s workforce, it is important to follow federal guidelines regarding inclusive hiring. Also, often disabled workers are the most dependable, enjoyable to be around, and can be a motivator for those that are around them in the customer service call center.
2. Understand the working environment
Those who make the hiring decisions are sometimes not familiar with the work environment. It is difficult to pick the best candidates or describe what the job will be like when the hiring department has never done the job they are interviewing candidates for. Those who are in charge of hiring should spend time on the job floor, get to know some of the current employees, and learn what the job entails. Then, when they are selecting new employees, they can make more solid decisions.
3. Identify how to find better employees
Finding good customer service desk employees is not easy. A good service agent needs empathy and patience as well as a willingness to work diligently over the long term. Sometimes the perfect employee with flexible hours and a great attitude walks into your hiring office and asks for a job. More often, offering flex time, nontraditional hours, or stay at home options opens up the opportunity to find dedicated and hardworking team members. Consider traditional and non traditional workers who have the right skills.
4. Assess candidate skills
When you interview job candidates, ask questions that really let you know about their job skills and interpersonal skills. Agents' skills are what customers will see in a chat, hear in a phone call or read on a ticket. Do they align with the company image you want to portray? To figure out what skills a candidate has, ask questions about what they are able to do. You can ask some of the following questions:
1. What things you listed on your resume are you really great at?
2. How would you respond if you weren't sure the answer to a question?
3. If a customer criticizes your ability to help them, what would you say?
4. Give me three ways you could give great support.
Listen to their answers and consider how they will function as agents for your company.
5. Assess candidate behavior
Interviewing a candidate does not accurately tell you how he or she will perform in a job situation. Put the candidate in simulated job situations to see how they perform so you can better assess if they can handle the job. Give them a variety of situations such as easy and difficult customers to speak with, tough questions to answer, and problems they have to think through to answer. This will tell you more about how the candidates will perform in the job than an interview will.
6. Give the job interview in the way they will be working
If you are hiring agents to work by phone, set up a phone interview. If you are hiring agents to work online, set up an online chat. You don't want to spend time hiring and training employees who cannot perform very well in their job. Just like finding out how they behave in a job setting, you can see how they function. This can quickly give you a way to narrow down candidates who are best for the job.
7. Survey new hires during the hiring process
This step is one that many customer service centers overlook that can be really helpful. Throughout the hiring process, ask the candidates and then new agents how they liked the process, if it makes sense to them, and if it helps them prepare to work for your company. This way you can adjust or change your hiring process to better welcome new agents. If the hiring process is smooth and enjoyable, they are more likely to have a good impression about your company and to remain with the company longer.
8. Explain in detail the job they will be performing
People want to know what they will be doing at work, especially if they are new to that type of employment. How long are typical shifts? How much vacation time will do I get? Will I work holidays? How long are breaks? Can I snack or bring in treats to the office? How do I check in and check out at the beginning and end of my shift? How do I ask others for help? Is it possible to get a promotion?
9. Conduct exit interviews
When employees leave your company, it is helpful to know why they are leaving. It may be somewhat uncomfortable to conduct an exit interview but if you conduct them in as pleasant manner as possible it can really help both the former employee and your company. Carefully ask them why they are leaving without bringing up you are upset or disappointed with them. Ask them if they enjoyed working for your company and why. Also ask them what factors they would change about the job. Be sure to let them know something positive about them or their time with the company. This can encourage them to say positive things about your company to others. Combining the reasons for leaving as well as the negatives and positives about the job in hiring software can help you see where your company can find improvements.
10. Track and report the effectiveness of your hiring process
Good hiring software can help you to gather information about your hiring process and then analyze what you are doing well and how you can improve. It is important to understand that your hiring process isn't something removed from your day to day work. It is actually an employee's first step to help in growing your company. Improving your hiring process helps you to hire better employees which can help to improve your company overall.