Work-from-home opportunities are in great demand, especially among the recently unemployed, underemployed, and those juggling multiple responsibilities such as young children, elderly parents, and school. Remote call center work attracts a number of applicants, but the job has unique demands and challenges that aren’t suitable for everyone.
If you’re recruiting for your remote call center, here are some tips on how to find the best agents out of what will probably be hundreds, if not thousands of applicants:
- Don’t assume that stellar agents on-premise will also be star performers working from home. Working from home requires an agent who can work without supervision for much of the time, manage her own time effectively, understand how to use cloud-based software and programs (and know how to seek help when necessary), and be able to maintain their own equipment.
- Since time management and self-discipline are keys to successful remote work positions, develop assessment tools to determine if your candidates possess these critical traits. These may mean simulation programs, personality tests, in-depth interviews, and problem-solving tests. Given the large number of candidates you’ll likely be fielding, make sure you have good screening programs in place so that you can select only the top candidates for the assessments and interviews.
- Customer service skills are key, regardless of the type of job. Even if you’re hiring for Help Desk or Technical Support positions, it’s essential that you hire agents with superb customer service skills. For many companies, support calls are the first point of contact with their customers after the sale. Agents who are customer-focused and eager to assist can thus be powerful brand ambassadors who can create numerous upsell and cross-sell opportunities for the company.
- Often, the best recruiters are your own agents. If you already have remote call center agents currently working at your company, ask the best of them for referrals. They know possibly better than anyone what the job entails and what skills are needed to succeed and may be able to refer you to others who fit the candidate profile you’re seeking. Develop referral programs to reward the best recruiters among your staff.
- Look for potential agents who see the position as a professional career, not just something to do in between “real” jobs. Successful remote agents view their job as an end in itself and seek to improve their performance in it by continuous study and self-assessments. A resume that reveals a checkered job history – many jobs within a short period of time and/or multiple jobs in unrelated fields – may indicate a candidate who’ll view the job as a mere paycheck rather than a career.