Increased confidence has led to more permanent vacancy activity. This started last quarter and is expected to continue this quarter and throughout the remainder of the calendar year. Consequently, expect demand for strong and suitable candidates to remain high.
As noted last quarter, employers are becoming more rigorous when screening candidates and will only consider those with particular experience. These employers want a quick return on their investment and candidates who can progress within their business. Given high expectations, there are few suitable candidates in the market and the recruitment process is lengthy.
However, other employers are focusing more on soft skills than industry experience, which allows them to attract retail and hospitality candidates and train them into the role.
The use of assessment centres continues to rise, with a particular focus on role plays, behavioural questions and skills testing. Soft skills such as teamwork, communication, drive and energy also feature highly.
We have also seen an increased use of various web based interviewing tools. For these, employers provide us with specific questions and each candidate is videoed giving their response.
Some larger corporate companies are reducing costs by offering work from home options rather than outsourcing. This saves substantial office space costs.
Hotspots of demand
The skills in demand remain similar quarter-on-quarter and include an ongoing need for customer service call centre professionals. Employers want candidates with strong systems and technology skills.
Experienced Telesales professionals, both inbound and outbound, are also in high demand still. Candidates need to be motivated to work to targets and meet sales expectations in order to capture new business. Systems and technology skills are also required. Strong employees typically progress into a business development role, further adding to vacancy activity.
Telemarketers and Appointment Setters are sought for database cleansing, project and campaign work.
Strong graduates are needed for Client Service/Customer Relations roles within financial services, particularly wealth management, retail banking and investments. This is in response to increased activity and a shortage of quality graduates with the capability and potential to grow within the organisation.
Workforce Planners are another area of demand. The salaries on offer fail to attract Workforce Planners from their existing role. In addition, this role does not differ greatly from one organisation to the next, which makes the environment and nature of the business the motivating factors that encourage candidate movement.
Team Leaders, Customer Service Managers and senior contact centre staff in general are also sought. Turnover has become high. With candidates finding career progression limited they are looking elsewhere for their next role.
Call centre professionals with claims experience are sought by the insurance sector. Storms, floods and fires all lead to an unexpected and immediate need for temporary candidates.
Finally, we are seeing some demand for bilingual and multilingual call centre professionals to work for organisations with an offshore client base.
Jobseekers now have more choice and most interview with several organisations. They prefer roles in organisations that offer career progression, training, a good culture and strong company values. For some, the speed of progression and the calibre of their mentors is also important.
We advise candidates to become familiar with, and develop, your behavioural interview techniques. Along with good personal presentation this will help you stand out.
In a final trend, we are receiving applications from a diverse range of candidates, including age and ethnicity. This is positive news for the diversity of the contact centre workforce.
How to get a job in 2017
If a new job is on your radar this year, you need a strong story, consistent brand and proof that you can add value. Watch expert tips from hiring managers. For all our videos, click here