Talent war? What talent war? Call centres appear to be winning a better quality candidiate since the downturn.
While contact centre agents have traditionally been considered undereducated with few other options, a huge 25 per cent are now graduates, with 14 per cent having a post-graduate degree under their belt.
Moreover, according to a report undertaken by recruitment specialist Hays Contact Centres together with members of the Top 50 Call Centres initiative, as many as two fifths of the more than 600 contact centre agents and managers questioned have ‘A’ levels and nearly a quarter BTEC or HND qualifications.
Some 37 percent of managers also said that they were now finding it much easier to recruit staff than prior to the economic crisis, while 29 percent confirmed that higher calibre candidates were now being attracted to the industry.
These statements were backed up by the fact that 40 percent of respondents said that they would not have considered working in the industry prior to the recession.
But a third now see such work as a potentially long-term career rather than simply a stop-gap. Some 40 percent indicated that their place of employment offered them a clear career path, while 53 per cent of personnel said that they would recommend this kind of work to a friend.
Simon Thorpe, programme director at the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service initiative, said: "With over a million call centre ‘seats’ in the UK alone, representing three per cent of the UK workforce, and call centres offering great training and a clear career path, it’s not surprising that more people will start to consider a career in customer service."
Almost a third of the personnel questioned said that interacting with customers was the most enjoyable part of their role, while another 27 per cent liked the fact that they had a good work-life balance and flexible working options.