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Annie Hayes

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How to: Find great staff and … keep them

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Recruitment is a two way street: your new employee needs to buy in to your organisation as much as they fulfil your requirements. Forget the old ways of recruiting bums on seats and make considered selections that will provide you with the right people for your openings.


By effectively working to the following six point plan you can radically reduce your staff turnover and gain long term return on investment in your people.

1. Attraction
Plan your recruitment strategy carefully and clearly identify and communicate your unique selling point. Why should people join your organisation? What makes you stand out from the crowd?

2. Selection
Once you’ve attracted people it’s important you make the right selections.

  • Test for the core skills required in the role – usually numeracy, literacy and communication skills but also try testing for visual skills i.e. reading screens.

  • Introduce the candidate to the working environment.

  • Introduce them to the teams they will be working with – people buy people.

3. Pre-start date
It is crucial to use the time period between interview and start date. Keep up communication, send information about the company, or your newsletter and answer in person any queries. Help them get excited about joining you, not just as a company but as a community.

4. Day one
Think about how your new team member will be greeted upon arrival. Remember they will be nervous and excited about starting their new job and probably also a little fearful. They will be seeking reassurance that they have made the right decision so look after them. Details like what they will be doing at lunch time and how they will finish the day are just as important as the content of the day, help them to go home feeling welcomed, enthused, and confident they’ve made the right choice.

5. Induction
Retention of contact centre staff is historically problematic so it is crucial to get your new recruit through this period. However long your induction period takes, be it a few weeks or several months, assign a buddy or a mentor to each new member of staff for at least six months to assist in learning and settling into the role as well as offering guidance and support in the wider aspects of embarking on the early stages of their career. In turn, it is important that the mentor receives training in how to carry out this role.

6. Career development
Continuous professional development, accreditation and qualifications are powerful employee recruitment and retention tools that demonstrate investment by the employer in developing and valuing their people. It is absolutely critical to have a career development structure in place so from day one your new recruit can see their future clearly communicated. They will want to know what is expected from them in order to develop and move up in your organisation so structure, time-scales and accessibility are a must.

This is where a fully accredited career programme can have the greatest impact. Although you cater for ambitious, career minded individuals it is just as important to realise that not all your staff will want to move up, many will want to simply enjoy coming to work and feel valued so an additional skills development programme can keep them energised and engaged in their role.

Further information:
* Still looking for further help? Post a question to HRZone’s Any Answers and connect your latest recruitment and retention questions with expert advice.
* See HR Zone’s Expert Guide How to: Win the war for talent by Marcia Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive of the Recruitment Employment Confederation to find out how to lure staff in a tight labour market.

Angela Hunter is Chief Operating Officer of the Calcom Group, a people solutions partner for customer management.


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Annie Hayes

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