ICMI is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


What Agents Want: 10 Must-Haves To Attract Great Talent

Contact Center Agent at Computer From my time working, managing, and training in the contact center industry, I've been able to identify a few key things that the modern agent wants out of a contact center job:
Good pay

SHRM’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement report states that 95% of employees say that compensation/pay was important to their job satisfaction. This is one of the most important reasons why an agent joins and continues to stay with the company.


We talk about taking care of the whole person, and benefits are there for when life happens. A Glassdoor survey of 2015 states that 57% of U.S. job candidates report benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job.


Agents need to know that their work has a greater purpose if they can push through that challenging call successfully.


Agents don't want to figure everything out; they need to be taught how to do their job. A great attitude is excellent but can't do you any good if you can't help your agents know how to implement it and make your contact center successful.


Improperly working systems cause frustration for agents and can lead to frustrated callers.


Agents want to know how to improve with real-time feedback, to be challenged, and to find work interesting. Agents also want their pay raises or bonuses to be structured into their performance as well as their tenure. Appreciate their efforts at every opportunity, and have compassionate conversations when things don’t go well.

Work environment

Does your contact center offer work from home (WFH) or a hybrid system where agents retain their autonomy to decide what works best for them. As their contact centers start transitioning to the office, many agents are jumping ship to contact centers that offer WFH or a hybrid schedule. When you need them in person, your office needs to be well lit and safe.


There's that saying that employees don't leave companies; they leave bad bosses. Our agents want leaders who can teach, inspire, console, and be their friend when needed.


Agents want to be cross-trained, as it helps them learn more, reduces call transfers, and allows the agent to achieve first call resolution. Cross-training agents also helps the contact center meet their service level agreements (SLA), since callers are not waiting too long to speak to an agent. Further, agents want to be incentivized when cross-trained on a new line by higher status and pay.

Work-life balance

Agents are looking for flexible schedules where they have some autonomy on shift selection, or where they are able to switch schedules with another agent. Agents want to be able to make up time missed to conserve paid time off (PTO) reserves.


The competition for a full and capable contact center workforce is fiercer than ever before. Consider what else you can do to make your contact center workforce feel valued.