Call centres across the globe have been important pillars that have supported businesses and paved the way for growth. The sheer size of workforce engaged in this industry makes it a cauldron of insights on employee skilling and re-skilling and the challenges seen at work. While the employee side of the story is well known, the recruiter side is still oblivious to many. Let us examine some of the pressing challenges hiring managers in this industry are facing:
The Retention Story
The turnaround time in call center hiring is one of the most discussed parameters. According to a report by Cornell University that studied 50,000 call centers, the average attrition rate was 33%. This has an adverse effect on the organization in terms of employee motivation, higher cost of hiring, skewed hiring cycles, reduction in productivity and higher re-training costs. It is shocking that the average time to hire for a call centre agent globally, hovers at around 40 working days. This certainly speaks volumes about the cost implications attributed to a bad hire and high attrition.
Hiring for a call center is not vanilla recruiting. One of the biggest reasons for this is the volume of vacancies. With growing numbers of positions to be filled, recruiters grapple to balance out the time taken to hire. A sizeable number of hiring managers try to outsource the screening level task to conventional agencies but that can result in compromised quality due to lack of technology. The most efficient way to tackle this problem is to use AI powered assessment partners that can handle the screening load and reduce the cost and hiring time significantly.
A ‘Change’ Reaction
With new-age technologies, the run of the mill jobs for contact centers will soon be replaced with AI and newer branches of services like digital technology, mobile applications, cloud computing, that will increase the demand for more skilled talent. The challenge for BPO recruiters here is to stay ahead of the curve and have a trusted call center assessment partner that empowers recruiters with the latest updated skill set evaluation repository and a holistic assessment suite of tools.
Adapt or perish
Leading BPOs are already investing in new technologies in their supplying countries. Owing to snowballing levels of skilled work today, 52% of businesses are worried about a skill shortage in the BPO industry. The epicenters of BPO dominance like India and the Philippines have been witnessing a skill shortage over the past few years.
NASSCOM has indicated its apprehension about the lack of a highly skilled workforce in the Indian BPO sector to tackle high-end services. The solution lies in the basics of recruiting. If the screening stage is managed well, the hiring decisions tend to deliver better results. With smarter call centre assessment tools and structured BPO skills assessment tests, recruiters can lay a solid foundation for a capable talent pipeline.
Essential Skills for a BPO Employee and how assessments can evaluate for each skill:
- Language Ability & Customer Orientation: It is a no brainer that the BPO industry thrives on language skills. Employees need to interact with stakeholders across the globe, expansion into newer geographies demand proficiency in different language(s) and the quality of interaction directly impacts the customer satisfaction scores (CSAT). In order to ensure the customer service delivery is standardized for call centers, recruiters need to choose smarter call center assessment tools.
The sheer volume of applicants to be screened by BPO recruiters builds a valid case for automated language evaluation. One of India’s leading players in AI powered talent evaluation – Aspiring Minds, harnesses voice recognition and natural language processing to automate evaluation and intelligently hire best candidates.
To gauge English language proficiency test online, SVAR – one of the proprietary tools from Aspiring Minds scores candidate’s spoken English with a CEFR level and provide scores on pronunciation, fluency, active listening, grammar, vocabulary and spoken English comprehension. For English language assessment, a short 12-15 min assessment is available on multiple devices - mobile, desktop/laptop and IVR phone anytime, anywhere which immensely impacts the overall candidate experience too. Besides this, SVAR is available in English, Spanish, and French and supports multiple accents like US, UK, OZ, and more that opens avenues for the recruiters to scale their call centre assessment test approach.
For job profiles that require strong written English language skills, WriteX by Aspiring Minds is the strongest English language assessment in the market today. It auto-evaluates written English in email or essay form. Using natural language processing (NLP) and AI, it provides scores and feedback on Content Quality, Grammar and Email etiquette. All that a recruiter needs – objective scores with CEFR level, customized reporting and detailed feedback; it all comes with WriteX.
With such robust solutions tailored for BPO industry, Aspiring Minds has helped organizations to manage a whopping 45% reductions in cost and time spent on hiring, reduce attrition by 30% and attain an incredible 32% jump in candidate’s productivity.
Customer is king they say, but how does it trickle down to the services and the experience one offers? Objectively evaluating the natural knack of a customer service representative must be one of the most critical parameters for a recruiter. The screening level interventions for recruiters to gauge this parameter is handled through remotely proctored interviews that give a fair picture about the overall personality and attitude of the candidate.
Autoview - An on-demand video assessment solution by Aspiring Minds allows you to schedule your own video interviews in minutes. AI powered automated scoring evaluates candidates’ actual response content, facial expressions, voice tonality and body language and scores their personality and skills. Autoview has helped organizations reduce hiring costs by 55%, improve recruiters’ productivity by 45% and cut time to hire by 60%.
- Problem-solving, Data Handling & Behavioral skills: The query resolution turnaround time in BPO industry can make or break your bottom line. To ensure your service is truly customer centric, the problem-solving skills of the representatives needs to be evaluated. Again, the scale at which recruiters operate, conventional assessments deliver results but lack of precision, speed and objectivity. The best way to approach this problem is to automate the evaluation process in a simulated environment.
Aspiring Minds’ Call Center / BPO hiring Assessment Solution offers Situational Judgment Tests that mimic real jobs be it a call or chat helpdesk, data entry or content moderation. These simulations rate candidates on all key competencies including problem solving, process adherence, CRM and typing skills. Through bite-sized games in interactive formats, recruiters can evaluate how candidates across a multitude of competencies respond to real life customer service situations. The comprehensive Customer Service Pre-Employment Assessments gauge competencies including customer centricity, problem solving, self-management and customer expectation management.
Data is the new oil and the ability to gather and manage data is not only restricted to RPOs (Research Process Outsourcing) but has become essential to any call centers as well. Aspiring Minds adaptive cognitive assessment enables recruiters to evaluate reasoning, quantitative ability and information gathering & synthesis skills of candidates.
With online pre-hiring assessments offered by leading players like Aspiring Minds, recruiters can achieve two-fold gains at the same time; increase the quality and speed to hire and offer a seamless & consistent experience to candidates. One of the leading business processes enterprise based in India evaluates over 8000 candidates every month and has saved 1400 hour of recruiting time by partnering with Aspiring Minds. This surely speaks volumes about the rapid transformation call centre assessments are delivering for the industry and that they are definitely a smarter choice.
A wide array of customer service industry roles demand exceptional behavioral skills and often, this is one of the toughest to gauge objectively and to measure.
Aspiring Minds Personality and Motivation Inventory based on the Big-Five Personality theory measures traits that motivate (or demotivate) candidates to work in an organization. High motivation and the right personality fit are directly correlated to job success and lower attrition; thus, this assessment helps recruiters to identify the right candidates for the role.
The global BPO industry is pegged to reach $332.4 billion by 2025. As promising as it sounds, the bedrock of the industry – the people - need to be in sync too. The industry is already grappling with issues like high attrition rates, outdated skill sets, high cost of bad hires, managing multiple vendors, high turnaround time to fill positions and a lot more. The answer to all these obstacles is hidden in the very first step – recruitment. With pre-hiring talent assessments built for call centre hiring, recruiters can cast a wider net, tap promising talent, objectively evaluate different skill sets faster and while doing all of it, minimize the costs. The obvious smart move for BPO recruiters here would be to switch to a modern comprehensive assessment solutions partner with historically demonstrated impact. The new decade has just begun and if you are a BPO recruiter, ask yourself “Are you prepared?”