The Business Challenge
Providor Ltd works across the UK installing domestic smart meters on behalf of large energy providers. With their head office based in Cambridge they have locations all over the UK, their Elland site is their main call centre employing 70 staff. The call centre team are the first point of contact for customers and first impressions and good customer service counts. Making sure that they recruit the right people is essential.
"Since June 2016 when we started our contact centre here in Elland, we have seen constant growth for the company. Recently winning the Midlands contract with Scottish Power meaning further expansion of the call centre team."
Providor have learnt from previous experiences that taking on people with ‘the perfect CV’ haven’t actually worked out, they have come with bad habits or fixed ways or preconceptions and often that don’t meet the essential criteria.
The call centre team are the first impression for the company. Providor wants staff who genuinely want to work and are dedicated.
With this in mind they have changed their recruitment processes to focus on enthusiasm and willingness to learn the job; come to work and enjoy it. Hiring based on personality and providing training for technical skills has paid dividends.
And it seems that the evidence also underpins their decision:
• By the year 2020, customer service will beat out price and product as the key brand differentiator. ( Source Walker, Customers 2020)
• If customers have a “very good” or “excellent” service experience, 97% of them are “very” or “extremely” likely to tell friends and family about it. ( Source Good customer service tips for growing a loyal customer base, Survey Monkey )
Providor still continued to use CVs however they focussed on different elements such as the transferable skills and personal qualities. The experience wasn’t an essential factor in the shortlisting.
In the interview, again the focus was changed to get an understanding their values, and motivation towards the role. Successful candidates were then offered a ‘day in the job’ to meet the team, assess their skills, capabilities, personality and enthusiasm. This then ensures that both parties were happy with their decision.
Some larger companies take this approach to the next level.
Software development company IGN recruited workers by inviting them to the summer camp Code Foo to show off their coding skills and learn more about gaming programming. In the end, 28 candidates were invited on the project including a full-time dad and a telesales marketer who both had only programmed as a hobby. Both candidates, admitted the CEO, would probably never have been hired based on their CVs alone, but by seeing candidates performing real tasks and interacting with each other they could more accurately judge their skills, personality and how they would integrate into the company.
What are the Outcomes?
Providor Ltd estimate that 60% of staff have never worked in a call centre environment before, and included in that figure are some top performers. They offer training for each new team member and provide a buddy system to make sure that they understand company values and ways of working which really helps new starters settle into their teams. With a real focus on staff retention, they also host engagement sessions to make sure that staff are happy and still enjoying the job.
Some thoughts on CVs …
Organisations looking to recruit need to decide on whether applications should be by CV or by answering an application form you have specifically created.
There are pros and cons for each method which need to be considered before deciding which is right for your recruitment campaign.
Using an Application form takes time for both you and the candidate; asking applicants to send in their CVs cuts through a potential barrier to candidates applying for your job. However many applicants will have had help preparing CV and may simply not be as good as their document suggests, or do not tailor their CV to your role. With a CV it’s easier for candidates to leaving out key issues or gaps in their employment history or by exaggerating and embellishing upon their career record.
Formats for CVs are looser and more informal than applications forms giving the candidate the opportunity to inject a bit of their own personality into their document. However, that can make them harder to judge objectively if you're swayed by a good layout over good content.
Comparing CVs can be quite difficult recruiters will need to be able to pick out important information. If you do recruit using CVs the easiest way to do this is to have a list of the key criteria for the role next to you and scan through each CV circling every point where your criteria are met. Those with more circles are more likely to match your requirements.
Some Links to inclusive recruitment support
Need some help considering your approach? Our Job Connectors can offer free impartial help and support to businesses based in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield