Finding the Right Individuals to Deliver "Top-Notch" Service
The main objectives of the study are to identify “best practices” and to understand how best-in-class customer service organizations attract and select qualified frontline customer service employees.
Find out how companies recruit and hire customer-oriented employees, including:
- What recruiting channels work best to attract qualified candidates?
- What are the key hiring attributes for front-line employees?
- Do you use pre-hire assessment instruments?
- How do you identify the right attitudes and skills?
Improving Front-line Recruitment shares measurement approaches, best practices, lessons learned, and improvements. In addition, detailed results and analysis from our multi-industry survey are delivered in an executive summary format, featuring industry-level comparisons and company profiles.
- Improving People Processes — Findings & Trends
- Recommendations for Improvement
- Innovative or Winning Strategies
- Front-line Employees
- New Hires per year
- Countries Represented
- Industries Represented
- Union Representation
- Average Tenure (by Industry)
- Annual Average Turnover (by industry)
- Days-to-Hire (by Industry)
- Cost-per-Hire (by Industry)
- Percent Interviewed (by Industry)
- Percent Hired (by Industry)
- Candidate Acceptance Rate (by Industry)
- Front-line Starting Wages (by Industry)
- Starting Wages—Market Comparison
- Starting Wages-Market Comparison — Union
- Use Outside Firm?
- Most Successful Recruitment Channels
- Pre-hire Screening & Testing?
- Top Pre-hire Testing & Assessment Approaches
- Identifying Customer Service Personality & Skills
- Conveying Job Expectations to Candidates
- Key Attributes of Customer Facing Employees
- Recent Improvements to the Recruitment Process
- Recent Changes to Screening Requirements
- Top 5 New Recruitment & Hiring Technologies
- Measuring Quality of Hire
- Improving Bi-lingual Recruitment
- Lessons Learned
It is becoming more and more difficult, and expensive, to find the right individual to work front-line customer service positions. According to industry sources, U.S. businesses spend in excess of $244 billion on Human Resources and recruiting services annually. Contributing to this expense is a tight labor market. A recent recruiting survey (Interbiznet.com) revealed that 60 percent of recruiters are experiencing labor shortages. Recruiters are focusing less on selecting qualified employees from a ready pool of candidates but rather managing a scarce and skilled resource.
On top of this, the most recent generation of workers are less interested in careers than prior generations. New workers tend to bounce from job to job, making it difficult to retain qualified and trained employees. At the same time, many companies are experiencing or facing the retirement of its highly skilled and company-loyal workers. The generational differences pose challenges for recruitment and management. How do you entice Generation Y candidates? How do you fill the skill gaps left by retirement?
In addition, new technologies are being introduced with the potential to enhance and improve the recruiting and hiring process. The Internet has been a major player, along with systems automation, in bringing in more candidates, identifying, screening, and evaluating candidate skills and qualifications, streamlining the interview and screening process, and tracking recruiting and hiring performance.
Benchmark Study of Recruitment & Hiring Practices
With all this in mind, the Ascent Group conducted research in mid- and late-2005 to better understand the recruitment and hiring of front-line customer service employees. This research was conducted in concert with additional research into the training and development of front-line employees and performance measurement.
The main objective of the study was to identify “best practices” for hiring, screening and recruitment. In particular, focus was given to understanding how best-in-class customer service organizations determine necessary skill sets and work experience for their front-line, customer facing employees. Secondary objectives included understanding:
- The criteria used for hiring customer-facing employees?
- How are candidates identified? Advertising? Placement firms?
- What screening processes and techniques are used? Are outside placement firms used? What screening tests are used?
- What are the most effective processes for identifying highly qualified individuals?
- What are the key elements to hiring these individuals?
Participants were asked to share management tactics and strategies, as well as identify any improvement in performance. The study also asked companies to include considerations, successes, and plans moving forward. The result of this effort is captured in our report, Improving Front-line People Processes.