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Contact Center Hiring in the Era of Digitalization

Advance your contact center hiring strategy, avoiding high attrition rates while creating an impactful customer experience.

Digitalization has touched businesses in many aspects. The most evident proof is what has happened since the pandemic started: many businesses have moved their operations remotely on a massive scale and digital and e-commerce sectors are skyrocketing like never before. Along with this surge is the increasing need for a customer-centric approach as customers have become savvier and more demanding during the entire purchase process. This customer service transformation represents a substantial evolution for the contact center business.  

Contact centers are meant to give customers an omnichannel experience—and this is where customers’ loyalty is also at stake. By 2027, the contact center industry is predicted to grow 46.14%. McKinsey reported that 30% of customers turn to social media platforms for customer support, and this number keeps increasing. Furthermore, the view on the contact center is also shifted from a mere cost center to a customer experience hub. So, the message is clear: devising a strategic contact center hiring is essential if we want to create a lasting impact on customer experience.  

An impactful contact center experience

To create a great customer experience that lasts, we need to understand what clients want and how we deliver it. A great contact center service is: 

  • Fastit does not matter if customers want to change their airplane ticket or to raise a complaint about their missing package, everyone wants their inquiry to be solved fast. No one wants their call to be put on hold or their message to be unanswered for a prolonged period. 
  • Personalized—customers like it if they are greeted by their names, and when the contact center agents know their purchase history at hand, so they do not need to go through the hassle of having to explain their inquiry from a to z. 
  • Organizedcustomers expect contact center agents to be knowledgeable when being asked questions and creative in solving problems and providing updates promptly.  
  • Courteousany inquiry or issue must be answered and solved with the customer’s interest at heart and in mind. Even if you face an angry customer on the phone or receive an unreasonable request, maintaining patience, composure, and understanding is imperative. 
  • Digitalized—clients’ purchase and communication history must be available online. Not only does this makes it is easier for the agents to find and trace issues quickly, but it also provides customer behavior information for customer analytics. All this information can be used to enhance the customer experience in the future. 
  • Unbiasedcontact center agents must be impartial to customers. It does not matter whether the customers are men or women, buy cheap or expensive products, they must be treated respectfully and equally. 

The same elements above are also exactly what you should provide your candidates. This is especially relevant considering the nature and realities surrounding this industry.  

The contact center industry is known to have a high employee turnover rate, about 30-45%. The primary cause is often most candidates do not fully know what they are signing up for, despite companies receiving high volumes of applicants. Screening hundreds of resumes fast and accurately is key to a successful hiring plan.  

Furthermore, contact center jobs can be stressful as agents deal with solving issues daily. Helping clients, who are not always courteous, while staying calm and respectful is not an easy task and is not for everyone. Therefore, having an organized, personalized, and digitalized hiring process where you assess candidates’ capability and demeanor when they face a difficult situation is important. Finally, it is important to create a fair and objective hiring process where candidates are selected based on what they can do instead of who they are. 

Selecting the best-fit talent to slow the attrition rate needs to be the top priority in your contact center hiring strategy. This helps reduce the cost to re-hire and re-train candidates, and will also help companies to improve the customer experience at the other end of the spectrum. So, what can you do to build a hiring strategy that will benefit you, the candidates, and the customers?

Contact centers are meant to give customers an omnichannel experience—and this is where customers’ loyalty is also at stake.

Own your contact center hiring strategy—now

Here is what you can do to strengthen your contact center hiring strategy: 

  1. Identify best-fit talent fast
    Screening through a high volume of applicants is tough. Use a data-driven tool such as Volume Hiring to help you gain objective insights that are not only easily understood through visualization and dashboards but also accessible. This, in turn, will help you reduce the hiring time and shortlist the right candidates faster.
  2. Reduce unconscious biases
    AI-based technology helps mitigate interviewers’ biases by putting the focus on the candidate’s performance instead of the identity. This helps you select and hire candidates more inclusively. 
  3. Make smarter hiring decisions
    Use a multi-method approach for a more holistic view of your contact center hiring process. For instance, combining a realistic call center simulation with a video interview and language test helps you accurately identify the best-fit talent, which will help reduce attrition.  

Conducting a fast, objective, and engaging contact center hiring process where you select the best-fit talent for the job is crucial, especially considering the high attrition rate in the industry. This helps not only to retain them but will also lead to an improved customer experience in this era of digitalization. For that reason, using the right tool to screen and hire candidates that are meant for the job is essential. Start owning your hiring strategy and make smarter and more inclusive decisions—now.

Check out our Talent Acquisition Solutions to learn how we can help you select and hire the best-fit talent for your organization. 

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Andrew Nelesen

Andy Nelesen is the global leader of SHL’s Volume Hiring practice, partnering with SHL customers on the design and optimization of data-driving hiring solutions for the past 10+ years.

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