Paul Noone, CEO
Working as a contact center agent can be quite demanding at times because satisfying demanding customers is no easy feat. Thus, it comes as no surprise this sector experiences a very high attrition rate of 30-50 percent. While there are numerous reasons behind this employee turnover, the lack of a competent candidate vetting process during the recruitment of contact center agents is considered to be one of the most crucial reasons. Contact centers need a more creative approach that goes beyond just assessing a candidate’s aptitude to look into their behavioral tendencies and engagement levels, which are equally important for customer service jobs.
Enter HireIQ, a leading contact center recruitment service provider. Founded in 2009, HireIQ was driven by an understanding that the voice of a candidate can provide valuable insights into skills necessary to succeed in customer contact roles.
Today, HireIQ provides virtual interviewing and predictive analytics solutions that accelerate hiring qualified candidates, and offer insights that address performance outcomes and retention in the call center. “The traditional assessments, developed in the 1950s, won’t give a clear or even a basic understanding of a candidate’s communication skills. And, it was clear from the onset that great recruiters recognized patterns of energy, emotion, and engagement that led to great hires,” says Paul Noone, the CEO of HireIQ. This led the company to the application of advanced technologies including AI and machine learning to break down and analyze what was communicated through a candidate’s voice—collected in interview question responses—and observed in the data. Here, HireIQ learned that they could recognize attentive, engaged, and energetic candidates. Adding hard skills assessments to ensure a candidate could do the essential work of the role, it became obvious they could identify engaged, enthusiastic, and skilled applicants and rank them for recruiters’ priority.
To give a better understanding of how HireIQ is revolutionizing the contact center recruitment process, Noone cites a case study of a large business process outsourcer (BPO) customer. “This customer approached us with several large underperforming call centers with high rates of attrition,” mentions Noone. The customer’s performance metrics were unflattering including low first call resolution (FCR) scores, which indicates agent effectiveness in addressing a customer issue. Customer transfer rates were high, indicating a lack of confidence and clarity that comes from effective communications. From the overall picture provided, poor hiring practices appeared to be at the root of the issues.
A HireIQ service was implemented to provide a structured interview process for the customer. The process included HireIQ voice-based, language proficiency, and competency as well as hard agent skills assessments. The recruiting team quickly learned how to prioritize the candidates demonstrating proficiency throughout the interview process. The new interview was made available at any time of day from any device accessible to a candidate. The entire interview was designed to be completed in less than 20 minutes, after which the scores of each candidate were immediately displayed in a recruiter dashboard. “Our client was able to use HireIQ scores and quickly identify candidates that met or exceeded threshold scores, prioritize the capable candidates, and prioritize them for hiring activities,” informs Noone. The on-line interview elicited responses around the clock and ensured that only highly qualified candidates received the attention of the hiring team.
Within six months, the customer’s overall attrition was reduced by 57 percent. And, with this improvement better KPI performance followed: service levels went up by 13 percent, transfers were reduced by 34 percent, and first call resolution rates increased by 12 percent. Change happened fast but continued to affect performance as better agents replaced failing agents.
To this day, HireIQ has conducted over four million virtual interviews in the world’s largest call centers and with the world’s most recognizable brands. The platform currently supports a multitude of languages for a global customer base. The company will expand its global reach in 2020 through partners that include: NICE Solutions, Maintrax, and Talkpush.
Winning the war for talent today is about making timely, data informed hiring decisions and selecting candidates that are likely to stay long-term and achieve company goals. Indeed, with its innovative solution, HireIQ is making this whole process streamlined, informed and easier!