In the call center environment, and especially considering today's economic conditions, the need to attain and retain quality hires is vital.
Not only has attrition continued to plague call centers, but finding hires that actually fit the job role, has also posed a problem in the past.
Using pre-employment screening methods and carefully planning the call center hiring process has allowed contact centers to find hope and improve their workforces.
, an expert in this field, provides call center simulations, assessment tests and other hiring systems than can be customized to fit an organization's specific needs and helps them hire and keep the right employees.
I took some time recently to ask President and CEO, Jeff Furst, about the company's success this past year and any future plans.
Looking back at 2008, how would you characterize the year for your company?
For FurstPerson, 2008 was a successful year. We advanced our business in revenue, new pre-hire assessment products, client solutions, and made some key hires this year.
What were the key trends that impacted your business?
The performance optimization trend continues to impact our business. Our expertise is providing pre-hire assessment tools exclusively for the contact center industry that helps predict how a job candidate will perform in production, if hired. Our ability to demonstrate proven results for our clients has helped us grow our business. This falls under the larger performance optimization trend that has influenced the call center industry over the last three to five years.
What was your company’s biggest achievement in the past year?
We added some very significant new clients that we are proud to be working with because they are very progressive thinking organizations. We’re building some great hiring solutions with them. We also grew our pre-hire assessment business by 40 percent.
What are your customers looking for in the coming year?
Our customers continue to focus on the return on investment that our pre-hire assessment solutions create for them. For new clients, they want to understand the model and how it creates value for them. For existing clients, they want to improve upon the realized value and, as the economy continues to erode, this is a critical focus for our customers and us.
Do you think a new administration in Washington, D.C. will be good for the communications industry? If so, how? If not, why not?
At this stage, we’re not sure but we’re leaning to the not so good side. If the new administration and Congress push for higher taxes and more regulations on businesses, that will dramatically hurt the economy and by extension, the communications industry. History has shown that higher taxes lead to reduced economic output. With the turmoil in key sectors for the communications industry like banking, financial services and insurance, any additional economic impact will be difficult to overcome. In addition, if the new administration supports and signs the “Card Check” legislation, assuming it passes Congress, that will not be good for the communications industry.
If you had to make one bold prediction for 2009, what would it be?
If Congress passes the “Card Check” legislation, we will see many contact centers move their centers from the United States to near shore, off shore, and home agent models because it will be easier for Unions to organize these contact centers here in the United States. This will reduce employment in U.S. based centers by at least 15 percent over the next 18 months.
Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi