If you’ve ever worked in a call center, you know that one bad apple can affect the whole bunch. This is a good reason to invest a little more time on the front end to make sure you hire positive candidates. If you take the time to evaluate candidates thoroughly for a positive attitude, your team will thank you for it. In fact, many surveys show teams are more productive and happier when surrounded by other co-workers who are smiling and have friendly, positive attitudes. It’s not only good for your team but also good for your customers.
Here are some ways to staff your Tampa call center with positive candidates:
Identify key traits in the interview. Along with asking the right questions, make sure you give them some wiggle room to talk about themselves. Do they come across as positive? Do they describe themselves or others in a positive manner? Do they give positive examples? You should be able to pick up on the positive energy of the person you are meeting and whether or not they would be a good fit to your team.
Go with your gut. Trust your judgment. If it looks like a bad apple and smells like a bad apple, it probably is a bad apple, no matter how shiny it may be on the outside. Make sure you dig into any concerns up front to ensure that you feel confident bringing the person you’re interviewing into your call center…or not. Do your homework. What are some specific questions that you can ask to ensure you have the information you need to make the right decision? "How do you react to unexpected situations?" is a good question to ask. Do they describe a calm approach handling the situation with optimism or are they pessimistic looking for someone to blame?
Referrals are righteous. Statistics indicate that referrals from existing positive call center employees make the best hires. They also tend to stay longer and are less likely to contribute to your call center attrition. Plus, how cool is it for your employees to be able to pick their own co-workers? Remember, your team wants to work with other positive people they like so they’ll likely recommend others like them. If you don’t have a referral program in place, what are you waiting for? A little investment can go a long way when it comes to referrals and chances are your existing great employees will refer your future great employees.
Picking up the positive vibe. Don’t rely on just job boards and employees to refer great employees. Keep your own eyes open for great examples of exemplary customer service while you are just out enjoying life on a day-to-day basis. Maybe it’s a super awesome waiter or waitress at your favorite restaurant, or that clerk or cashier who gave you a little extra with their smile or kind gesture when you were going through the checkout lane. If you meet someone that you think would make a great, positive employee, tell them about the opportunity and give them one of your business cards.
Work with what you’ve got. Remember that creating a positive call center work environment doesn’t have to start with just the new people you are bringing on board. You can also help build a more positive environment starting with your existing call center reps. You could create focus groups to gather their input and to help identify key traits of their perspective in what it takes to be a successful call center representatives and utilize this information when interviewing new hires. Asking for input from existing members will give them a nice little break from the phones and help them feel more valued as you gain their perspective.
Also, it could really help you see things from a different angle to help you better interview candidates for certain traits in the future. It's a “win-win” for everyone involved - - you, your team, and the new, positive, call center staffing candidates you bring on board.
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