Preparing Your Contact Centre for 2022

89% of contact centre leaders believe the industry has changed forever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and as we look to the year ahead, there are several trends to be mindful of in order to excel and retain top talent.

Cost per hiring agents is increasing

Despite growth in the number of applicants, the proportion of suitable candidates with relevant experience has steadily decreased. This means HR functions have had to commit significantly more time and resources to screening candidates, as well as being mindful of potential additional training new hires will require.

With our industry expert experience, Brook Street are supporting clients by reducing the resource impact and improving time to hire by conducting the first interview with vetted candidates, using our expertise to assess candidates and working as an extension of the HR or recruitment function. Additional offerings include:

  • Competency based interview, meeting requirements of the job
  • Interview scheduling for volume requirements
  • We also have a suite of assessments available (e.g. Psychometric assessments)

Customer demand is on the rise

Since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay at home, the number of people seeking assistance from contact centre staff has more than doubled. In an uncertain time, customers have called on their service providers and favourite brands to help them navigate the rapidly changing environment.

Despite technological innovations and the growing use of AI, email and chat functions by companies, voice calls remain the number one channel for customer service. 93% of customers opt for voice customer service, and the volume of voice calls into contact centres shows no signs of decreasing.

While self-service options are likely to grow in popularity and become more commonplace, for a majority of organisations the voice call option will not be going anywhere anytime soon and as such, the importance of quality contact centre staff will remain high in 2022.

Skill requirements are changing

In uncertain times like these, calls into contact centres tend to become more complex. To manage them effectively, staff are likely to need a broader skillset than before, including enhanced levels of empathy and articulacy. They will also need the maturity and discipline to work from home, given that social distancing looks set to remain for the foreseeable future and many candidates are prioritising flexible working options when considering new roles.

As mentioned before, candidates now applying for contact centre roles could likely also require additional on-the-job training to meet company needs due to a lack of experience. Candidates who display curiosity and learnability would be well positioned to take on this challenge and pick up the necessary skills quickly.

Soft skills like these can be hard to assess, meaning more time, effort and resources are required to identify the right candidates. It is important that teams are mindful of this when recruiting, as the time to hire could be longer than previously.

Improving talent attraction and retention

Contact centres are increasingly looking at their end-to-end recruitment process to ensure efficiency and engagement. With candidate priorities changing in light of the pandemic, employers should be mindful of what they are doing in order to keep both candidates and current employers inspired and engaged.

While recruiting, employers need to pay close attention to their proposition to candidates and highlighting what sets their workplace culture apart. With competition for top talent being high, the recruitment process should be made as candidate centric as possible to not only attract but also retain candidates throughout the process.

The pandemic has also brought to light that by listening to candidate and employee preferences and requirements, employers are better positioned to attract and retain diverse talent. Through offering hybrid working options, employers will widen their potential talent pool to those in new regions, or for whom a traditional working pattern does not work for.

Helping you scale up quickly and efficiently

Contact centres are likely to continue to see unprecedented spikes in recruitment activity. As a leading contact centre specialist, we understand how the workplace is evolving and that it can be challenging to anticipate and respond to changing demands. We can work with you to ensure your people have the skills they need to solve your customers’ challenges, now and in the years to come. We are also on hand to work with your team to navigate technological developments, and help you adapt your processes to maximise the benefits to you and your team.

Get in touch with our experts today to discover how to improve existing processes, hire new talent, and create a future-proofed contact centre workforce. Our team is on hand and would be more than happy to schedule a call to discuss your specific requirements and explain how we can help.