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  • Apophia

What Goes Into The Recruitment Process Of Customer Support Staff?

Every businessman or woman wants to have the best employees who will bring the best out of his or her business.

Recruitment means finding and attracting the potential resources/candidates to fill up vacant positions in an organization. It involves sourcing out candidates with the abilities and attitude required to achieve the objectives of a business.

Recruitment involves identifying the jobs vacancy, analyzing the job requirements, reviewing applications, screening, shortlisting and selecting the right candidate. Recruitment in a business is done by Human resource management.

Practices to guide you on dealing with recruitment and getting the best employees on board.

1. Recruitment Planning

Recruitment planning is the first step of the recruitment process whereby the vacant positions are analyzed and described. It includes job specifications and nature, experience, qualifications and skills required for the job.

Here are some of the few aspects that the human resource department looks at;

(a) Identifying a vacancy

As part of the recruitment plan, identifying a vacancy involves getting requisitions from different departments requesting Human resource replacement. Recruitment involves;

  • Number of posts to be filled

  • Number of positions to be recruited

  • Duties and responsibilities to be performed

  • Qualification and experience required

(b) Job Analysis

Job analysis involves identifying, analyzing, interpreting, and determining a specific job's duties, responsibilities, skills, abilities, and work environment. These factors guide a recruiter about job requirements and what a candidate must possess to be productive. Job analysis helps to understand important responsibilities and how to implement them. Job analysis documents job relations like; selection, training, compensation and performance appraisal. Job analysis involves;

  • Recording and collecting job information

  • Accuracy in checking the job information

  • Generating job description based on the information

  • Determining the skills, knowledge and skills, which are required for the job

(c) Job Description

The job description gives details about the role requirements and responsibilities a selected individual is expected to fulfil. The job description helps interviewers to source out the best employees to fill the lagging positions. The job description involves;

  • Classification and ranking of jobs

  • Placing and orientation of new resources

  • Promotions and transfers

  • Describing the career path

  • Future development of work standards.

A job description gives detailed information about;

  • Job Title / Job Identification / Organization Position

  • Job Location

  • Summary of Job

  • Job Duties

  • Machines, Materials and Equipment

  • Process of Supervision

  • Working Conditions

  • Health Hazards

(d) Job Specification

This looks at the specifications of the candidate to be hired by a business. Job specification involves getting a list of jobs ready and generating information about each of the jobs. Job specification details are different depending on different organizations; however, the most common ones are;

  • Physical specifications

  • Mental specifications

  • Physical features

  • Emotional specifications

  • Behavioural specifications

Job specification usually highlights some of these elements;

  • Qualification

  • Experiences

  • Training and development

  • Skills requirements

  • Work responsibilities

  • Emotional characteristics

  • Planning of career

(e) Job Evaluation

Job evaluation includes analyzing, assessing, and determining a job's relative value/worth about the other jobs in an organization.

The main objective of job evaluation is to analyze and determine which job commands how much pay. Job evaluation can be done through; job grading, job classification and job ranking. It goes ahead to form the basis of salary and wage.

2. Recruitment Strategy

This is the second step of the recruitment process, and a strategy that will be followed is put in place to hire employees. A recruitment strategy is a process, but having the right strategy is credible for you to attract the right candidates. The steps involved in developing a recruitment strategy includes;

  • Setting up a board team

  • Analyzing HR strategy

  • Collection of available data

  • Analyzing the collected data

  • Setting the recruitment strategies

3. Outsourcing the Right Candidates

Searching is the process of recruitment where the resources are selected depending on the requirement of the job. Sourcing consists of two steps;

Source activation: Once the line manager verifies and permits the vacancy, the search for candidate’s starts.

Selling: The organization selects the media through which the communication of vacancies reaches the prospective candidates. Searching involves attracting job seekers to the vacancies. The sources are broadly divided into two categories: internal sources and External Sources.

Internal sources of recruitment refer to hiring employees within the organization through;

  • Promotions

  • Transfers

  • Former Employees

  • Internal Advertisements (Job Posting)

  • Employee Referrals

  • Previous applicant

External sources of recruitment involve hiring employees outside the organization through;

  • Direct Hiring

  • Employment Exchanges

  • Employment Agencies

  • Advertisements

  • Professional Associations

  • Campus Recruitment

  • Word of Mouth

4. Screening / Shortlisting

Screening starts after the completion of the process of sourcing the candidates. Screening is the process of filtering the applications of the candidates for the further selection process. Screening helps in removing unqualified or irrelevant candidates, which were received through sourcing.

5. Evaluation and Control

Evaluation and control is the last stage in the process of recruitment. In this process, the effectiveness and the strength of the process and methods are assessed. Recruitment is a costly process; hence the performance of the recruitment process must be thoroughly evaluated. The costs incurred in the recruitment process are to be evaluated and controlled effectively. These include the following;

  • Salaries to the Recruiters

  • Advertisements cost and other costs incurred in recruitment methods that is agency fees.

  • Administrative expenses and Recruitment overheads

  • Overtime and Outstanding costs, while the vacancies remain unfilled

  • The cost incurred in recruiting suitable candidates for the final selection process

  • Time spent by the Management and the Professionals in preparing a job description, job specifications, and conducting interviews.

Steps taken in Recruiting the Best Customer Service Employees

1. Filter for the Best Candidates

Not everyone is right for the customer support service; thereforefore, it is important to filter out people who aren’t suitable to have a pool of candidates who have better potential to excel and deliver the minimum service standard for customer satisfaction. The filtering process begins long before the tests and interviews.

2. Interviewing Customer Service Candidates When it’s time to invite customer service candidates for interviews, at this stage, the aim to meet and interact with the candidates too and ascertain if they have the character and skills requisite for the customer service role.

3. Clear Communication

Anyone in a customer service or front line role would have to interact with customers over the phone or in person; for this reason, your ideal candidates must communicate clearly and effectively with the customers. Look out for candidates who can express their thoughts clearly and confidently. Your best insight into the candidates’ ability in this area is by taking note of how well they express ideas and opinions.

4. Empathy

It is an essential customer service skill. The ideal customer service employee should be able to empathize with people easily. The desire to serve & help customers meet their needs springs from Empathy.

5. Confidence Self-confidence leads to positive interactions because if a person feels good about themselves, it is more likely he or she will be more comfortable communicating with people and working in teams. If the Customers want to know that the employee they are dealing with is confident and is capable of giving them the necessary support they need to meet their needs. They need the assurance that the advice, recommendations or products they are receiving are coming from someone is who confident and knows what he/she is doing.

How to Recruit and Hire the Best Candidates for Customer Service Jobs

When the employee hires the wrong candidates to fill your customer service positions, no amount of training will turn those ill-suited people into customer service stars. Some people aren't suited to customer service jobs, so you need to weed out those people and move beyond hiring just "ordinary" people.

It’s not just about talent or skills, but a lot has to do with the person's attitude, style, and commitment to being good at serving customers.

Seven Suggestions for Hiring the Best Customer Service Staff

Use scenarios and role-plays in your customer service interviews. When possible, have each candidate respond to tough situations during the interview. Role-plays are better than asking "What would you do in this situation?" type questions, but both can be useful.

Have a clear idea and good communication of what you want in the first place, even before you interview. You may have different criteria than other businesses, even in the same industry. If you don't know what you need and want your employees to respond, you won't get the best performers.

Experience in your industry is also significant. If an employee doesn’t want to rule out people just entering into customer service jobs, experience demonstrates a person has some skills, particularly if it's experienced in your type of business. Probably as important is that if someone has, let's say, several years of experience in a particular kind of business, it can suggest a commitment to customer service.

Don't rule out older candidates. At times customer service jobs get filled by younger people just entering the job market, and of course, there's nothing wrong with that. However, older candidates may have more maturity and life experience to bring to bear. Just because someone is older, don't assume they can't get a better job. Don't think that way. Many older workers want to work part-time and can offer a lot to your business.

Look for people with both empathy and problem-solving skills. Good customer service reps have two different skills, one emotional and the other rational. Empathy, or the ability to relate to the customer's experience, is the emotional side. On the other is the ability and enjoyment in solving problems.

Avoid "Over Talkers", and look for listeners. The fact that some people can talk well is a good thing and tends to overtalk and control conversations; it's not a good trait. Look for people who are well-spoken but are oriented to listening rather than proving themselves experts.

Don't confuse sales skills with customer service skills. Many businesses want their customer service staff to serve as salespeople and customer service providers. While there's nothing wrong with that, the skill sets and attitudes are different and sometimes in opposition.

7 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Recruitment Strategy

1. Be upfront with important information

Transparency is key any time when you’re hiring. Before you move too far in the interview process, you want to ensure both you and the candidates are on the same page. Let your customer service candidates know important information, such as salary, benefits, expected shifts, and the training process, early on. When you first start connecting with potential candidates, let them know exactly what you’re hiring for. If they’re expected to work nights or weekends, make sure they understand these obligations.

2. Highlight growth opportunities

When a third employee claimed their biggest reason for quitting a job was a lack of career advancement or promotional opportunities. This is 10% higher than insufficient pay or benefits. This tells us that hires aren’t looking for a stagnant position. They want a career.

3. Get creative with recruitment channels

Most companies use the same job boards over and over. This means your job posting can easily get lost in a situation of similar listings. To attract the best talent, you need to find a way to make your posts stand out.

4. Create a realistic job preview

The current hires have left a position within 3 months of starting, and their reason for leaving was that the day-to-day role wasn’t what they expected. A realistic job preview could have prevented this. The job preview is the candidate’s first appearance in the position. It should give them a clear idea of if they’re qualified and interested in the job.

5. Use situational judgment tests

A situational judgment test is another way to render candidates a better idea of their job duties if hired and can take your customer service recruitment strategy to the next level.

6. Take advantage of recruitment data

Data is quickly measured how business decisions are made, even when it comes to recruits. Access to recruitment and hiring data means you can find exactly what skills, characteristics, or qualities are most important to your organization and rate candidates based on how they fit.

7. Strengthen your employer brand

If any organization wants to recruit the best customer support or candidates, they need to make those individuals want to work for you. Without an employer brand, this can be not easy to do.

A strong employer brand also gives job seekers something to connect with, similar to how a company’s brand can help attract customers.

In conclusion, as a person, you have got to know what you want before you are set out to hire, knowing what will give you the best knowledge on how to get the best candidates out of the thousands.

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