In the Contact Center Industry, recruitment can be demanding. Many companies end up hiring just to fill the seats with people and this results in high turnover and more hiring necessities.
This bad habit shows the importance of interrupting the cycle and start hiring only the right people. Also, if we talk about Customer Service and Customer Experience, it’s even more important to look for the right people. How do you do this? Asses the soft skills that are needed for Contact Center Agents. Hiring top talent with soft skills that align with your company culture and that can attribute a customer care mindset will obviously reduce your turnover rate and increase your customer satisfaction, as well as many other KPIs you might track. But, what are soft skills how do you assess them? It might seem a little complicated, but don’t worry. These suggestions will allow you to identify soft skills you need for your contact center agents!
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are non-technical and non-quantifiable skills. Soft skills are personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues. Soft skills are known as employability skills for a good reason. They are what lets you do your job more efficiently, what lets you work and interact with others in harmony, and what lets you thrive as a professional.
Not so sure what they are yet? Let us give you some examples: Clear communication, organization, patience, confidence, creativity. While hard skills are more technical, such as how to use a computer or software, or languages you speak, or how good you are at math.
How To Assess Soft Skills
It’s easy to identify hard skills. There are certificates than can prove the candidate’s knowledge and abilities, or you can evaluate them with a quick test. But, how do we identify soft skills of job candidates? Many can say they have them, but how can you prove it?
There are several things you can do. But first, you need to do your homework.
First of all, you need to identify what soft skills you need for each position. There are many soft skills and some people are more developed than others. Just as you would do with hard skills, think of the work they will do and what skills are needed. Also, think of your work environment, you want people that will feel comfortable in your workplace and contribute to it. When you identify the soft skills you are looking for, make sure to put them in the job description. That way, you give them the importance needed and you make sure your team does not forget about them.
Now that you know what soft skills you look for in a Contact Center Agent, it’s time to assess them.
Communication is essential to know a person. There are several ways to communicate with candidates, from an email, their resume, a pre-screening interview, a phone call, or a face-to-face interview. You can identify some soft skills from the first time they communicate with you. For example, you evaluate their communicational skills, you can hear their enthusiasm in their tone of voice, or their positivism just in a normal conversation. But, behavioral questions are what will let you evaluate more soft skills.
What are Behavioral Questions?
These are questions about how the candidate has handled any given situation in the past. For example, “tell me about a time when there was a problem at work. What did you do to fix it?” The candidate will recall a situation and explain what they did in that situation.
Think of a situation for each soft skill and ask them what they did or what they would do. To make it more accurate, ask about situations that they would actually face as a Contact Center Agent.
Don’t forget about non-verbal communication. First impressions count. Were they on time? How did they greet you? Their clothing style can say a lot about the personality of a person. The confidence they show during the interview and the way they express themselves can show their interpersonal skills.
These tests help you evaluate aptitudes (like their ability to process information), behavior (like how they cope with stress), and personality (to identify natural leaders, for instance). Therefore, these tests help us evaluate soft skills too. Some software gives you a candidate profile that matches the softs skills required for a specific job position. For example, here at CCSI, we use a psychometric test to assign the agents into a position that is a better fit for their profile: debt collection for a good negotiator, customer service for a friendlier person, or sales for self-motivated people, just to give you an idea.
These tests (and our talented interviewers, obviously) help us increase performance and reduce turnover rate.
At Call Center Services International we make sure to hire the right people for your Satellite Nearshore Contact Center. How we do it? We ask you for an agent skillset profile (don’t forget to include soft skills here). You will select a supervisor which will report directly to you and will have constant communication with you. For your contact center agents, we set up appointments and, before they are interviewed, they go through a series of tests, such as typing, writing, psychometric, and math. Then, our HR team will interview candidates, but your supervisor, the one you select, will make the final decision. That way, we ensure we hire the right agents for your center! Sounds like something that would work for you? Contact us to discuss further.