High-volume contact centre recruitment: Best practice process
5 minute read
Posted by Emily Hill on 18 December 2023
Time constraints, poor candidate experience, and elevated costs can all be symptoms of a recruitment process that needs reviewing and updating.
In this article, Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap, walks you through a step-by-step process to streamline your contact centre staff recruitment, offering tips to cut costs, optimise hiring efficiency, prioritise an exceptional candidate experience, and ultimately reduce overall attrition rates.
Start by agreeing your hiring criteria with hiring managers and other stakeholders. This is critical. If you are looking for the wrong attributes or if there is misalignment either the wrong people will get hired or candidates you think are great won’t get offered delaying time to hire.
2. Conduct a job analysis
Jobs change and a job analysis is a way to ensure the hiring criteria are reasonable and realistic. If a job analysis has not been done in the previous 12 months then it’s imperative you do one. Job analysis involves surveying and/or interviewing people in the job to ascertain the correct hiring critieria. Please note that if your hiring process is deemed to be assessing attributes (behaviours, skills, knowledge) that aren’t job-relevant then you can be sued for discriminatory hiring practices. Use Signal to create a job analysis for free here.
3. Create honest job adverts
Job adverts should only be created after the hiring criteria has been agreed and should be honest and transparent about the realities of the work. For call centre roles, keep your job advert basic. If you wouldn’t actually screen someone out who doesn’t have a qualification then don’t include it in the job advert.
4.Distribute the job advert widely
Distribute job postings from your ATS to various job sites and talent pools to reach a diverse applicant pool.
5. Direct all applicants to your ATS
All applications should ideally all go to your ATS provider and not be kept in external job boards. If you’re not using an ATS, use a spreadsheet. If you’re using Indeed, it’s important you redirect candidates to apply on your careers page rather than using Indeed’s candidate management system.
6. Simplify your application form
ATS application pages should be simple, quick and not include long-form interview questions or a cover letter without a good reason.
7. Use knock-out questions
Use one or two simple, fact-based knock-out questions to eliminate ineligible candidates. Eligibility criteria will vary but may include things such as right-to-work status or holding a valid driver’s licence. Only use these criteria if you can prove that having that licence is intrinsic to the nature of performing the job well.
8. Set up an assessment invitation trigger immediately after job application
Set up a trigger with your ATS that automatically invites candidates to take their assessment as soon as they apply. This will boost assessment uptake rates and deliver a positive candidate experience.
9. If using Indeed One-Click Apply, set up an automated email trigger
Indeed One-Click apply usually means candidates apply on Indeed’s platform rather than being redirected to apply in your ATS. This leaves you in a position of having 2 applicant tracking systems to work from. It is not recommended, however if you insist on using one-click apply then ask your assessment provider to set up an automated email trigger so that all applicants from Indeed are instantly invited to the assessment as soon as they apply. This will boost assessment completion rates.
10. Validate your assessment
You’ll want to check that your assessment scores are correlated with who gets selected for interview. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to run a double-blind study where scores are not used in hiring decisions for the first few weeks. You then take the average scores for the candidates hired and compare them with the average scores of candidates who were not hired. Assuming candidates that score well are more likely to be selected, it’s time to start using the assessment scores in selection decisions.
11. Fast-track top-scoring candidates to interview or assessment centre
After your assessment has been validated, you can invite all candidates above a pre-agreed assessment score or score banding to an on-site interview. The best way to do this is to have an assessment provider that can calculate candidate scores in real-time comparison to other applicants (hint: we do this at ThriveMap). Once you’re confident in your assessment you can automatically reject candidates that don’t achieve the required score.
12. Validate skills in person
Have clear scoring for in-person assessment items (e.g. exercises, role plays, interview questions). Ensure scoring aligns with the online assessment’s hiring criteria. Misalignment between hiring criteria across these stages will lead to sub-optimal candidate conversion.
13. Offer candidates at the interview/assessment centre
It’s best to offer candidates on the day of the interview. If candidates were unsuccessful provide them with personalised feedback and give them something to take away with them from the day.
14. Retain your interview data
Keep all Interview data and send it to your assessment provider to run analysis on which attributes are most indicative of performance at Assessment Centre. Your provider should be able to use this data to make recommendations to improve your assessment for the following hiring cycle.
15. Measure post-hire outcomes
Keep track of post-hire data such as probationary pass data and send it to your assessment provider to run analysis on which attributes are most indicative of performance at interview.
16. Run a validation study
It’s recommended that you continue to validate your assessment is correlated with both who you are likely to select at interview and on the job performance. Work with your assessment vendor to demonstrate this through statistical analysis.
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This article is taken from ThriveMap’s High Volume Recruitment Strategy Playbook.
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ThriveMap creates customised assessments for high volume roles, which take candidates through an online “day in the life” experience of work in your company. Our assessments have been proven to reduce staff turnover, reduce time to hire, and improve quality of hire.
Not sure what type of assessment is right for your business? Read our guide.
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