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13 Call Center Recruiting Strategies to Implement in 2024

Call center employee in a gray suit sitting at a desk in front of a desktop computer talking into a headset

The call center industry is one of the most challenging to hire for, known for its high-stress environment and equally high turnover. At the same time, call center employees are some of the most important to a business’s success, helping win new customers, retain existing ones, and acting as the first line of defense when problems arise. So, it’s crucial to focus intently on perfecting your hiring for this key group of staff. We’ll explain what to look for when recruiting call center employees and explore 13 strategies to make 2024 your strongest year of hiring yet. 

The Importance of Strong Call Center Recruiting

Call center employees are on the front lines of your business. They’re often the first human interaction (and sometimes the last) a customer has with your brand. Because of this, it’s a wise business move to invest the time and resources in finding people who will represent your company in a positive light. 

Call center recruiting is tough. Turnover is some of the highest of any field, with the average employee lasting just a little over a year. This means companies have to churn through resources just to keep all the seats filled, which is a costly endeavor. Improving your call center recruiting can reduce the expense associated with high attrition. 

Finally, call center work comes with a unique set of challenges. It’s unusual in that the people employees are trying to help are the same people who cause so much grief and contribute to burnout. Recruits need to know what to prepare for if they want employees to stay on the job. A stronger call center recruiting strategy can deliver more candidates who are up for the challenge and poised to succeed. 

What to Look for in a Good Call Center Employee

It takes a dynamic blend of hard and soft skills to be a great call center employee. Here are the top characteristics to look for when recruiting.

  • Communication. Communicating information over various mediums effectively is necessary for a call center agent to complete the basic functions of their job.  
  • Customer service. A good call center representative has a customer-first mindset and is able to deliver helpful service. 
  • Active listening. Call center communication isn’t one-sided. It requires listening carefully to the customer to understand the issue they’re experiencing fully.
  • Empathy. The best call center agents can empathize with frustrated callers, which can help alleviate some of the stress of high-emotion calls. 
  • Adaptability. Call center agents have to jump from one ticket to the next, often requiring adapting between completely different situations. 
  • Problem solving. Anyone can read off a script. An effective agent can process the unique details of each call and determine the best course of action to arrive at a swift resolution.
  • Decision making. Call center agents must be able to decide at the moment whether they can independently resolve a challenging case or whether it requires escalation.
  • Attention to detail. Call center representatives must be able to complete all of the required steps to close out a ticket while following all protocols regarding compliance. 
  • Resilience. It’s not easy to deal with upset people all day. Emotionally resilient candidates will be able to navigate tough days better. 

Related: What You Need to Look for When Hiring Customer Service Staff

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Call Center Recruiting Strategies to Implement in 2024

1. Ask for referrals

It should come as no surprise that employee referrals top our list of the best call center recruiting strategies. Great agents know what it takes to succeed in the call center environment, so they can accurately recommend other people in their network with the required skills. Motivate your employees to make referrals by implementing a referral incentive program that offers cash or another compelling reward in exchange for successful referrals. 

2. Use your data

Call centers typically do a large volume of hiring. That means you also have many recruiting data at your fingertips. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to collect and analyze this data to identify trends within your recruiting process. Identify dropoff points during the hiring funnel, pinpoint your most effective sourcing channels, and optimize candidate touchpoints.

3. Host an open house

Misconceptions about the call center industry can prevent candidates from applying. Overcome those barriers by holding an open house to let potential applicants see the environment where they’d be working firsthand. Give them a chance to ask questions and interact with current employees to dispel myths and alleviate doubt. 

4. Leverage pre-employment assessments

Pre-employment tests are a crucial tool for screening call center candidates. Use skills assessments to identify technical requirements and personality tests to uncover desirable traits like emotional intelligence. 

5. Offer competitive pay

One surefire way to overcome the recruiting and retention challenges inherent in the call center field is to pay more. The stress of dealing with demanding customers is more bearable when candidates feel their efforts are valued, and paying a fair wage is the best way to demonstrate that.

6. Meet modern demands

In addition to paying more than the competition, you’ll have a better chance of attracting and retaining strong candidates if you can keep up with evolving trends in the workplace. The ability to work from home is in high demand, and one that the call center industry is uniquely positioned to respond to. Offering remote positions will give you a significant recruiting advantage. 

7. Tap alternative talent pools

Call center work can be very conducive to nontraditional hours. This can make the job appealing to alternative candidates who are eager to contribute without committing to a traditional 9-to-5 job. Consider creating recruiting campaigns targeting audiences like stay-at-home parents who want to earn extra money at night and on the weekends and military spouses seeking temporary employment during their partner’s deployment. 

8. Conduct exit interviews

While departing employees may not always speak highly of the company, their feedback can be filled with useful insights to improve your recruitment process and retention initiatives. In addition to asking workers why they’re leaving, ask them to describe your company culture. Their answers may flag issues you weren’t aware of, like gaps in training or problems with leadership.

Related: How to Conduct an Exit Interview

9. Set up search alerts

LinkedIn Recruiter can be a great channel to comb for qualified candidates. You can also use the platform to set up automatic alerts when candidates who meet your requirements show signs of job searching. Set up targeted search alerts based on skills, location, experience, and any other criteria you want to use to filter candidates, then receive daily alerts about new candidates within your parameters.  

10. Incorporate the human touch

Candidates want warm, personalized interactions during the recruiting process, but this “human element” is often lost during high-volume call center hiring. While it may not be practical or possible to establish a one-on-one relationship with every single prospect, you can still benefit from building more meaningful connections with specific candidates. Personalizing your recruiting touchpoints for tier-2 agents who provide a higher level of support or for managers who are responsible for meeting business goals can result in higher-quality hires. 

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11. Take advantage of AI

AI has a host of use cases that can help call center recruiters to hire with greater speed and accuracy. Incorporate artificial intelligence into your screening process to quickly identify best-fitting candidates. Use machine learning models to forecast candidates’ likely success and longevity. Leverage predictive analytics to make hiring predictions based on your historical data. 

12. Be brutally honest

Don’t recruit employees for a fictitious version of the job and expect them to stick around when the reality is something totally different. Being upfront about the hours, compensation, job duties, and potential downsides of call center employment can weed out candidates who aren’t the right fit and prevent you from wasting resources.

13. Highlight company wins

Candidates want to feel like they’re joining a winning team. Highlight why your company is a great one to be a part of, specifically focusing on efforts the call center contributes to, such as growing sales or best-in-class customer satisfaction ratings. 

By employing these diverse call center recruiting strategies, organizations can enhance their ability to attract, assess, and hire the right talent to build strong and effective teams.

Need Help Hiring a Call Center Team?

At 4 Corner Resources, we pride ourselves on helping clients recruit and hire exceptional call center teams. Our deep understanding of the industry and extensive network enable us to identify candidates who possess the necessary skills and align with our clients’ company cultures. This focused approach allows us to streamline the hiring process, ensuring our clients quickly secure top-tier talent.

Learn more about the services we offer by contacting us today!

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn