Call Center Hiring Featured Article

Despite the Recession and the Trend Toward Customer Self-Service, Call Center Industry Growing, Not Shrinking

March 22, 2010
  By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, Call Center Hiring

Call center solutions provider Noble Systems (News - Alert) Corporation has released the results of a survey showing what many people in the industry are already aware of: Despite a sour global economy and the increasing prevalence of automated customer self-service technologies, the call center industry is growing, not shrinking.

In the survey of more than 1,200 independent contact centers throughout North America, commissioned by Noble Systems, 48 percent of respondents said they expect business to grow in 2010, while 49 percent believe it will remain flat. In other words, 97 percent of respondents said they expect businesses to grow or remain stable in 2010. Only three percent anticipated a revenue reduction for the year.

“The survey confirms something we’ve known for years: the contact center industry is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy,” said James K. Noble, President and CEO of Noble Systems, in a release. “The overwhelmingly positive response reflects the strong diversity and innovation in the field today. Contact centers are an integral part of customer relationship management in an increasingly global and virtual marketplace.”

Companies participating in the survey serve a variety of sectors including collections, travel, health care and more.

In December call center hiring solutions provider FurstPerson released the results of a survey showing that roughly 68 percent of call center managers plan to increase hiring in 2010 by more than 10 percent, compared to 2008.

FurstPerson’s second annual Contact Center Recruitment and Compensation Survey, which polled more than 100 call center managers, also shows that the recession has led to much lower voluntary attrition – meaning that more call center agents are reluctant to leave their jobs, mainly because they have much fewer job opportunities.

The reduced agent attrition has led to reduced recruiting and hiring costs. According to the survey, the average cost of attrition in North American call centers in 2009 was 22 percent lower than in 2008, when it was $4,284.73 per agent.

'As companies prepare to staff up for the coming year, they will have to weed through an even deeper pool of applicants due to the economic downturn,' said Jeff Furst, president and chief executive officer of FurstPerson, in a release. 'Hiring wisely is still of tantamount importance and this survey clearly reveals the high costs associated with turnover and attrition.”

FurstPerson has also released a new white paper, 'Five Things You Should Know About Call Center Recruitment and Compensation,' covering the most productive sourcing strategies; hiring projections; top reasons for employee turnover; the average cost and rate of attrition; and average wages for call center employees. The white paper also includes many of the important findings from the Contact Center Recruitment and Compensation Survey. To download a free copy of this informative white paper, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard