Updates from across the region

Recruiting and Retaining Contact Centre Staff

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New workshop series exploring recruitment & retention issues    

Previous Meeting: July 2022

The current recruitment market is unprecedented. 75% of companies world-wide are facing a shortage of talent and in the UK, there are more job vacancies than there are people to fill them, a first on record.


These major staffing issues have been compounded by Brexit and the aftermath of the pandemic and while there’s no straightforward solution, we’ve partnered with specialist contact centre recruiters, Tyson Wilson to give our members access to industry insights.


We recently hosted the first of multiple workshops dedicated to recruitment and retention in the contact centre industry.


CEO and founder of Tyson Wilson, Michelle Tyson spoke to our members and reinforced that in the current, candidate driven market time really is of the essence. Candidates are no longer prepared to wait to hear back from multiple recruiters or company hiring teams, many are taking the first opportunity that comes their way.


In order to be ahead of competitors, companies should focus on speeding up their recruitment process, ensuring an auto response within 24hrs (if not immediately) and ideally delivering the entire process in a maximum of 7 days from the point of engaging with an applicant to either offering or declining them a role.


Whilst this is likely to put additional pressure on hiring teams, there are some quick wins.


For example, sending an auto response as soon as a candidate has applied which explains the next phase of the process and a rough time frame in which they should expect to hear from someone.


Data shows that 80% of candidates are looking at job sites on a Sunday evening, so by posting jobs over the weekend, particularly on a Sunday can result in a 20% increase in applications.


Another major factor to recruitment success is the efficacy of job adverts and job descriptions.


Michelle told us that including a salary or salary range on a job advert is an absolute must. Jobs with salaries have a 50% higher response rate than those without. Including other benefits of working with a company such as healthcare, bonus payments, holiday allowance, career pathways and working models (whether employees can work from home, hybrid or flexibly) also helps to gain traction as candidates have a full understanding of what they’re applying for.


There is also evidence that candidates are put off by long job descriptions. Keeping adverts short and concise, ideally around 300 characters is the recommended length. Job adverts that contained images and videos also get higher engagement compared to long, text heavy adverts.


The job title is also an important factor in terms of gaining visibility on job boards. Using between 1-3 words is best for AI recognition and search optimisation on the majority of platforms.


Another major factor that is impacting the recruitment market is the cost of living crisis. There has been an average £250 income fall per year in real terms and this is set to increase.


Employers must go beyond the basic compensation level and pay the real living wage as a minimum salary. Talent shortages have already led to average starting salaries rising to around £21,000 in many contact centres but it is likely this will have to increase in order for businesses to attract and retain staff in the long term.


It’s also vital that contact centres have processes in place to identify employees who are experiencing financial difficulties and offering advice and support where necessary.


There are a number of ways that businesses can help their staff with the cost of living crisis. Some of the key initiatives our members have been implementing include:


  • Offering a one-off hardship payment ranging between £250, £500 - £1,000. This varies by company, some are offering this company wide, others are limiting the payment to people under a certain salary threshold.

  • Utilising salary sacrifice schemes to offer interest free loans and other benefits.

  • The majority of our members are implementing specific support for employees who are experiencing financial and mental health difficulties. This includes signposting what financial support is available, where help and advice can be found and education around the tax benefits of working from home.


When it comes to attracting and retaining staff, company benefits are more important than ever. Many organisations are currently reviewing their existing packages and seeking feedback from their employees to determine what is most valued in the current climate.


Helping employees to save money in other aspects of their lives such as gym, childcare, fuel, school uniform etc. are becoming more favourable benefits than the traditional experience day incentives that we’ve seen in the past.


Michelle Wilson, CEO and Founder of Tyson Wilson said:


No employees want to feel like they are just a number which is why providing tailored incentives and rewards is so important in today’s market. Making employees feel valued translates into dedicated, loyal and engaged team members. 


As a key partner to the contact centre industry we are pleased to be working closely with CCNNI to help inform members on the best ways for attracting and retaining staff in the current market, as well as keeping them up to date with the latest market insights. We’re also thrilled to be presenting the People Development Award at the CCNNI Awards and look forward to connecting with members there.


Tyson Wilson will continue to share their latest industry insights as the official partner of our Recruitment and Retention Workshop series. The next event will be held on Thursday 20th October, 11am.


To book a place email


Membership is open to any contact centre, shared service centre or IT helpdesk based in Northern Ireland. Membership also available to associates and suppliers to the contact centre industry.

For more details view our membership page.