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Call Center Testing

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Screening potential call center employees requires finesse and psychological insight. You want to hire people who will build an instant rapport with customers, but who won't get overly drawn into the drama of day-to-day telemarketing. So what are some tips for evaluating applicants who seek employment at your call center?

One smart move is to administer personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs inventory, which will give you insight into your applicant's strengths and weaknesses. Myers-Briggs tests four axes of personality: introversion/extroversion, intuitive/sensing, feeling/thinking, and perceptive/judging. The most important of these axes, at least as far as evaluating an applicant for telemarketing, is the extroversion/introversion axis.

The Attributes of a Call Center Star

Clearly, you want to hire people who are extroverted and who enjoy talking to customers on the phone. However, just because someone shows an introverted tendency on a personality or aptitude test doesn't mean you should exclude him or her from consideration. Indeed, you don't want to lean too heavily on personality evaluations. You might want to work with a psychologist to interpret results.

Another matter to consider when hiring for a call center is the applicant's malleability. Call center telephony is a skilled art. Even if your applicant doesn't have much experience in telemarketing, if she demonstrates a capacity for flexibility, emotional resiliency, and people savvy, she will likely make a good worker. Bearing this in mind, you might want to incorporate some training assessments in the application process.

Savvy Call Center Hiring Practices

The goal of call center hiring is to lower your attrition rate. After all, if you're constantly having to hire and fire people, you will rack up tremendous expenses, not just because you're going to have to overwork your human resource department, but also because you're going to disrupt the organic social environment of your workplace. So how can you determine whether an applicant will last with your organization?

One way is to ask directly. However, no job applicant worth her salt will admit that she's applying to work at your firm as a stopgap. A more accurate way to judge an applicant's intent is to review her resume. A more subtle method might be to inquire as the applicant's future plans and then to extrapolate whether or not she might leave in the near future to pursue those plans.

Sustaining Employee Loyalty

Another way to keep the workers in your call center satisfied is to let them share in the glory of successful sales. For instance, if your working group succeeds in beating your monthly quota, you should reward all of your employees with a bonus or with other perks. By creating an equitable, functioning workplace, you'll foster employee loyalty.

Finally, it behooves you to deal with troublemakers or lackadaisical employees. Social psychology studies demonstrate conclusively that employee behavior is contagious. Thus, if someone is acting out in your group, chances are that others will be influenced to act out similarly. Fight back against this social pressure by managing trouble employees.

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