The pandemic rapidly ushered in an era of work-from-home (WFH) and, in so doing, changed the way the world will work well beyond the COVID era. While vaccines bring the promise of a return to the office, employees in many industries want to continue working from home, at least some of the time. And, contrary to the fears of some organizations, WFH will actually lift productivity in the U.S. economy by 5%.
Given the early results from this unplanned global experiment, workforce experts predict a new model of work for many industries. Some will embrace a hybrid model – in which employees primarily work remotely but come into the office to collaborate on projects or meet with clients. Others will make remote work permanent. In the contact center, for example, the remote work model has taken hold and is likely here to stay. Why? Many of our clients are seeing that they can secure higher quality talent at the speed of business when they aren’t tethered to a specific recruiting radius and can offer more flexible working situations to their employees. This flexibility fosters a more engaged workforce that will deliver a better customer experience.
From a recruiting standpoint, the quick move to WFH meant introducing new candidate assessments around home technology and computer literacy capabilities; changing screening processes; and rethinking recruitment processes with candidates not as constrained by geographic locations. Contact centers that embraced digitization and automation of recruiting processes were able to pivot quickly and thrived during this time. Those that continue to come out ahead, whether they leverage an exclusively remote or a hybrid model, will do so by optimizing two key areas: recruitment marketing and digitized recruiting and hiring.
Recruitment marketing to fill the funnel
Recruitment marketing is rapidly becoming a cornerstone of contact center recruiting programs. Why? Transactional recruiting isn’t enough in today’s digital world. Candidates research employers online the same way they might research restaurants, hotels and products. What they learn about an organization online directly influences their decision to apply for and accept a job.
Contact centers can leverage strategic recruitment marketing strategies to attract, engage, recruit and retain talent. Done right, recruitment marketing creates a sustained increase in the number of qualified applicants in the funnel.
Specialists such as PSG help their clients stay abreast of the rapidly evolving recruitment marketing landscape. From adopting the latest programmatic technologies to A/B testing different job postings, companies will need to figure out what works best for them, depending on the specific role, location and point in time.
Recruiting and hiring the remote workforce
AI, chat, phone and email can be leveraged throughout the recruiting and hiring process, from assessing candidates to scheduling interviews to answering standard questions. AI-enabled bots can automatically create search strings to parse resumes off job boards, engage candidates electronically, and convert them into applicants. Once they’ve applied, email and chat are key interaction mechanisms to manage the candidate experience. All communications channels should be interchangeable so candidates can switch channels without disrupting their experience. In designing a digitized flow, recruiters should ensure as much of the process as possible is accessible via mobile device regardless of whether a browser, email or chat are being used.
In the days of in-person interviews and assessments, a candidate could complete a large set of tasks, including drug tests, operations assessments, I-9 paperwork and typing speed tests, while they were at the contact center facility. Now, they must complete each of these activities at home in addition to ensuring that their workstation and internet can support the role’s requirements. In other words, there are more steps than before and they all must be completed before the candidate can start. Candidates can leverage digital tools at home to measure everything from typing and skills to internet and hardware speed. Recruiters should ask candidates about the location of their workstation and noise levels to ensure a good customer experience.
Integrating automated reminders with phone calls, when necessary, can help shorten time-to-hire and increase the throughput of the recruiting funnel. And, video interviews are important for face-to-face activities such as operations assessments. Finally, by integrating all of these steps into an automated workflow, contact center recruiters can ensure that candidates move quickly and efficiently through the recruiting funnel.
The new world of work is here. Thankfully, contact center recruiters can leverage tech, automation and outsourced recruiting expertise to make sure they’re ready to harness all of the opportunity that comes with it.
To learn more about how you can optimize remote recruiting and hiring in your contact center, reach out to us here.