Contact Center Pipeline August 2022 August 2022 - Page 33

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UNDERSTANDING REQUIREMENTS
Aligning people with jobs demands a clear , objective understanding of the jobs ' requirements . This demand is the first place where misunderstanding the job leads to misalignment .
Properly documenting a job ’ s tasks , context , and worker requirements takes considerable effort and specialized expertise . Consequently , many centers unknowingly take shortcuts that lead to downstream issues , especially worker-related needs .
Frontline contact center jobs cover a range of skills ( e . g ., service , sales , and support ), channels ( e . g ., voice , chat , and email ), and environments ( office and work-from-home [ WFH ]).
Virtually every center attempts to define a job ’ s requirements through job descriptions and competency models . However , the process companies follow to create the documentation usually lacks the rigor necessary to match people with the right job accurately .
One large-scale study in the public domain provides insight into the shared and unique competencies across contact center jobs .
The study drew on data from nearly 3,000 subject matter experts ( SMEs ) in 16 countries to investigate the requirements of six jobs ( care , support , retention , collections , and inbound and outbound sales ) across the office and WFH environments .
The results allowed the authors to draw three conclusions :
· First , frontline contact center jobs require many social and technical skills .
· Second , the six jobs share 15 “ universal ” competencies , regardless of whether work occurs in an office or WFH . Those 15 competencies encompass responsibility , communication , emotional intelligence , adaptability , and comfort with change .
· Finally , the job-and environment-specific competencies provide vital details for placing a person into the right job .
The research helps illustrate where misunderstanding the job leads to misalignment . Contact centers appear to unconsciously rely on hasty generalizations when documenting a job ’ s requirements .
The result is that centers begin to assume “ universal ” competencies capture critical worker KSAOs ( knowledge , skills , and other characteristics ), leaving the impression that jobs are far more similar than different . For example , one driver behind the emergence of the “ superagent ” job is a belief that a good contact center agent can deliver service , support , and sales equally well .
Although some agents thrive in a superagent role , data suggest that they are the exception rather than the rule . The lack of precise , comprehensive job-specific documentation affects recruiting and training directly .
RECRUITING AND HIRING
The second place where misunderstanding the job leads to misalignment occurs during the recruiting stage .
Contact centers , particularly global BPOs and large corporate operations , are recruiting machines capable of attracting and processing thousands of applicants daily .
Interestingly , many centers rely on wide-net strategies that favor applicant volume over applicant quality . The idea is to get people in the funnel and let technology and process sort them out .
But by unwittingly relying on inaccurate or incomplete job requirements , recruiters generate large pools of applicants who frequently lack the skills and capabilities necessary to succeed in contact center jobs .
Yes , the large influx of applicants places enormous pressure on talent assessments and interviews to distinguish between high and low potential candidates .
And that might be okay if applicant testing and interviewing solutions deliver consistently on their value promises . However , data indicating that as many as 81 % of new hires fail undermines the narratives of virtually every testing and interviewing company .
The mass exodus of employees , known as The Great Resignation , compounds the recruiting challenges .
AGENT PERFORMANCE
The vast departures at least partly reflect decades of poor leadership that left employees feeling disconnected from their employers .
The way recruiting teams source and hire people amid the talent crisis will have long-term implications for companies and their workers , as described below :
“ Many companies now offer high-value incentives , such as tuition reimbursements or sign-on bonuses , to help fill job openings . These strategies may deliver short-term results , but incentives will not produce long-term value unless companies address the underlying causes . The biggest single mistake a company can make in this environment is to hire for body heat , a tendency borne out of panic that can negatively impact a brand ’ s reputation …”
Unprecedented churn , combined with a worker shortage , leaves companies in the precarious position of choosing between lowering employment standards ( increasing misalignment ) or reducing capacity .
Unfortunately , pressure to achieve recruiting goals further increases the problem by rewarding fill rate over hire quality , leading some recruiters to mislead applicants about the job .
Sourcing qualified applicants and vetting them properly and fairly are vital to hiring people with the highest likelihood of staying and performing well . However , the recruiting-job disconnect and worker shortages are magnifying organizational misalignment . The consequences of which reverberate into employee onboarding and training .
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