The customer journey often ends with an interaction with a live contact center agent. Whether driven by employee attrition or company growth, many companies are in a near constant state of recruiting and hiring. Companies seek employees who are most likely to be long-tenured, high-performance workers, and make substantial investments in their hiring processes to achieve these goals.
Applicants seeking contact center work are often faced with a lengthy hiring process consisting of a number of sequential steps that might span a month or more. They are typically subjected to one or more interviews (phone or in-person) and a battery of personality, behavioral, skills and/or cognitive assessments that are all supposedly designed to determine the candidate’s suitability for the rigors of contact center work. Candidates are often aware of what an assessment is intended to measure and will take steps to “game the system” by providing responses that aren’t true indicators of the candidate’s being. This industry is primed for a faster, more transparent approach that is immune to candidate manipulation.
Contemporary organizational and academic research has focused in recent years on the influence of emotions, emotional disposition, and emotional intelligence on work performance, team dynamics, and business outcomes. This research has concluded that there is compelling evidence that emotions have a significant impact on critical business factors. Some of the more notable findings include:
- Members of a workgroup who exhibit similar emotional characteristics demonstrate higher customer service performance and lower absenteeism.
- A workgroup consisting of members with significantly divergent emotions tends to exhibit greater friction, more absenteeism, less cooperation and reduced business performance.
- Leaders literally set the tone for their workgroups—their positive emotions are strongly correlated to higher customer service performance.
- Positive emotions are associated with reduced absenteeism and attrition likelihood, conversely negative emotions are associated with increased absenteeism and actual turnover.
- Positive emotions are an indicator of heightened conflict-resolution abilities—often needed with difficult customers and helpful in customer support roles.
Furthermore, there is compelling evidence that a person’s emotional disposition has strong correlation with employee engagement. A study conducted by Dale Carnegie Training concluded that employees who demonstrate positive emotions are five times more likely to be engaged than employees who exhibit negative ones. Conversely, workers who feel negative emotions are almost 10 times more likely to be actively disengaged, which is highly detrimental to the overall organization.
Gallup, in its “State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide” report, concludes that employee engagement is a significant predictor of key business performance outcomes. For example, companies with highly engaged employees report a 37% decrease in absenteeism, between 25% and 65% reduction in turnover, a 10% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 22% improvement in overall profitability
Clearly these findings have particular significance for customer-facing organizations whose performance is often measured by customer satisfaction measures like CSAT or NPS. Companies should therefore integrate emotional assessments into their hiring process and employee engagement initiatives.
A person’s emotional disposition cannot be measured using traditional cognitive, behavioral or personality assessments, nor is it easily faked or “gamed.” It is easily detected by analyzing an employee’s or job applicant’s voice for these key emotional factors.
When used as part of the early stage applicant screening process, emotional assessments can discern potential job fit, tenure and engagement potential before the applicant is even hired. When used as part of the ongoing coaching and development process—derived from quality assurance recordings, for example—they are useful in identifying ongoing engagement and flight risk potential.
For a comprehensive description of emotional assessments, how they are administered, and customer reported results, please visit; http://www.hireiqinc.com/resources/whitepapers/emotional-assessment.
*About HireIQ Solutions, Inc.*
HireIQ Solutions, Inc. revolutionizes talent acquisition for frontline customer service positions such as those in call centers, retail stores, branch banking, quick-service restaurants and hospitality by automating the early stage screening process, automatically assessing for critical communication skills, and using outcomes-based data to facilitate continuous performance validation.
HireIQ’s solutions enable companies to improve their hiring decisions, reduce time-to-fill, reduce recruiting costs, and increase talent performance and retention through its on-line virtual interviewing software, novel predictive analytics solutions, and structured feedback between recruiting and its stakeholders.
HireIQ is a privately held company based in Atlanta, GA. For further information, please visit www.hireiqinc.com. Follow HireIQ on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hireiqinc.
*About the Author*
Kevin Hegebarth is VP of Marketing and Product Management for HireIQ Solutions, Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.