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The Talent Shortage: Is it a Contact Center or HR Challenge?

Massive skill shortages in the contact center aren’t exactly a new concept. The average call center has a turnover rate of around 26% per year. For decades, these environments have had trouble attracting and holding onto skilled professionals.  

As we move into the new age of customer service post-pandemic, the talent shortage appears to be bigger than ever. Consumers are demanding faster solutions to their problems across a range of channels. Companies are even beginning to consider outsourcing solutions to deliver results.  

Business process outsourcing is rising as the “Great resignation” age continues and contact centers suffer. To solve this talent crisis, companies must first determine where the issue’s root begins. Is the problem with HR or the contact center? 

Contact Center Talent is an HR Issue 

When companies see a problem with hiring and retention, their most common reaction is to attribute it to poor HR practices. The human resources group is responsible for figuring out how much contact center agents should be paid and investing in recruitment strategies designed to bring new people into the talent pool.  

To a certain extent, the HR team does play a role. The strategies implemented by Human Resources teams can help to overcome issues like: 

  • Attracting new talent: HR groups can invest in intelligent brand awareness strategies to get their company in front of the right talent and work with various recruitment teams. They can also work hard on writing the best possible job descriptions to attract new employees.  
  • Low wages and benefits: By conducting market research, HR leaders can ensure your company offers employees the right kind of wages and benefits. Benefits can include everything from insurance to work-from-home options 
  • Onboarding and training issues: Failure to provide contact center agents with the right level of training to help them thrive in their new roles can lead to a higher rate of turnover. HR groups can ensure they implement the right training opportunities.  

Contact Center Talent is a Contact Center Issue 

While HR teams play an essential role in attracting and retaining talent, they’re not the only responsible group in the business. Already, HR groups are dealing with significant turnover rates in the contact center and overwhelmingly negative perceptions towards working in contact centers from younger generations.  

Companies need more than just the right HR strategy to overcome these issues. They also need to invest in a complete contact center strategy that makes roles more attractive to candidates. Contact center leaders can overcome talent problems by: 

Investing in new technology:  

Nobody enjoys working with complex and clunky technology. Investing in the right innovative ecosystems, like contact center solutions with easy-to-use interfaces and collaboration built-in, can make a huge difference. Everything your contact center employees use daily should be designed to make their jobs as easy as possible.  

Contact center leaders need to explore everything from modern, cloud-based  tools which allow teams to work from any environment to in-depth integrations, including CRM and ERP solutions for a single pane of glass experience. 

Engaging and empowering teams: 

Employees in the contact center should feel as though they have all the tools they need to thrive wherever they are, particularly in the age of remote and hybrid work. Choosing a CCaaS environment can help with this, but there are other ways you can empower and engage your employees too.  

Wallboard technology, for instance, and agent dashboards, are an excellent way to keep teams in the contact center motivated when they’re working from home. These tools can also help your supervisors track your top performers, providing positive feedback and recognition when team members need it most.  

Building a vision of the future 

One of the common reasons turnover is so high among contact centers is it’s difficult for employees in this landscape to see progression opportunities. If your team members can’t see themselves growing with your company, they’re more likely to abandon ship when they see new options for growth elsewhere.  

Providing training opportunities that allow team members to expand their transferrable skills, promoting team members in-house, and working with individuals on long-term paths for progression can help to solve this problem. Team leaders can work together with staff to ensure they see a future in their organization. 

Accessing Talent: Everyone Plays a Part 

As the demand for contact center talent increases and the age of the Great Resignation rages on, it’s important to remember it’s not just the job of the HR team to boost your talent acquisition and retention strategies. The whole team needs to work together to create an environment where contact center agents thrive.  

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