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How to Recruit An Agent Workforce in a Work-From-Anywhere Environment

remote workerRemote work is here to stay. As contact centers reopen, contact center managers and recruiters are faced with a new challenge: adapting pre-pandemic recruiting practices to a new business environment.

But what if instead of adapting your old hiring practices, you take this time to start fresh? Establishing new hiring practices allows you to support an environment that includes agents working both in a brick-and-mortar contact center and remotely.

The work-from-anywhere (WFA) business model is a great opportunity to gain access to quality talent as it (literally) opens up a whole new world of qualified agents. However, it also means that top talent now has more employment options than ever before—making it important that you recruit as efficiently, consistently, and effectively as possible.

Here’s how you can do it.

Make a Great First Impression

It’s no secret that agent attrition is a major issue in the world of contact centers, and therefore it is important to remember that first impressions are everything.

Your top prospects begin evaluating what type of work environment they can expect from their first touch in the recruitment process, so focus on making it positive, simple, and concise.

Another way to ensure your top prospects choose and stay with you is to make the entire recruitment experience a pleasant one.

Identify the Ideal Agent

Don’t focus on interviewing more candidates; focus on interviewing the correct candidates. While revamping the way you recruit, it is time to define what type of agent you are looking for. Take the opportunity to create a profile of the attributes and skills you see in an ideal candidate.

Along with creating this list, create a pre-employment assessment that can be used to quickly weed out employees who don’t meet those attributes. These should align with the company’s future goals, objectives, and culture.

After identifying key attributes and skills, it is also important to identify what work-from-anywhere
requirements you expect from the candidate. These can be basic things like internet speed, equipment, and geographical restrictions. For example, do your candidates need to live in the country of your brick-and-mortar operation?

Adopt Consistent and Efficient Recruitment Processes

The key to hiring in the work-from-anywhere environment is consistency in process. This means regardless of whether candidates will be working remotely or working in a physical office, they will follow the same recruitment/application and interview process.

It is also key to reduce friction in the recruitment process.

Create Recruitment Materials with the Ideal Candidate in Mind

Create an application hub where candidates can easily upload their resumes, and employers can quickly evaluate if they have the basic experience needed to meet the contact center’s current needs.

Create a certification hub where potential candidates will go through a pre-employment assessment that offers them hands-on training with the technology tools box they will be using regularly if hired.

After passing through the application process and on to the interviews, pay attention to key indicators of ideal candidates.

  • Do they respond to calls and emails in a timely fashion?
  • Do they communicate clearly and effectively in writing and over the phone?
  • Do they struggle with the virtual interview technology used to conduct the interview?

It’s no secret the world has seen a massive shift in what the traditional work environment looks like, and therefore recruiting processes have shifted with it. A great benefit of the work-from-anywhere model is the ability to hire from an expanded labor force without geographical limitations, but this also means top talent has more employment opportunities.

To effectively recruit in this new environment, it is crucial to have efficient, consistent, and effective recruiting methods. Having a clear vision of the ideal agent, removing friction in the recruitment process, and keeping the interview process consistent regardless of where your agents will be working is key to finding, hiring, and keeping great agents.

This article first appeared as a blogpost on Visitio.

Photo courtesy of GoodFaces on Unsplash.