I’m in leadership at a customer care call center for a major Fortune 100 company. We are hiring like mad (aren’t call centers always hiring like mad?), but in our case it’s not just to cover attrition – my company is developing an entirely new line of business and my center is the one who will be handling all calls for this brand new product. At the same time, they are spending millions to update our facilities. At the end of the renovation, we will have a legit state of the art workplace with all kinds of kick ass perks – game room, relaxation room, expanded cafeteria, the whole works. It’s a really exciting time for the company, and truthfully it’s a really great opportunity for those in the customer care profession.
My question is this – what questions can we ask in the interview process to weed out the “seat warmers” of the world? Currently we have a pretty decent process, candidates are screened by HR and Ops, we ask all the standard questions and look for all the typical behavioral clues that might tell us the person might not be a fit. We screen out lots of folks, we only make offers to maybe 50-60% of the people who apply. But we still have a good portion of people who make it through the process who shouldn’t have. Ones who just don’t give a shit, won’t listen in training, won’t respond to coaching, etc. These people are taking up a spot in place of someone else who would appreciate the amazing benefits and opportunities for advancement we offer. And you guys know as well as I do, shitty agents with crappy work ethics drag down the ones who want to be there, and can tank the morale of the entire center.
So you guys are the ones who know best. You sit next to these seat warmers every day, and probably ask yourselves “how in the world did this one make it through the process?” Believe it or not, we in leadership want you to be happy, we want you to like your jobs, we want you to work with quality coworkers. So if you had the chance, what would you tell your leadership to look out for in the interview process so that you don’t have to suffer these a-holes on the floor?