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Seven Keys To Hiring And Managing Millennials In Your Call Center

by Jeff Canter, Senior Vice President of Services, inContact - January 16, 2017

7 Keys to Hiring and Managing Millennials in Your Call Center
 
Young adults are popular recruits for contact centers given their energy, enthusiasm, and empathy. In 2015, Millennials surpassed GenX as the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce and cemented their foothold as the main demographic for customer service representatives. But, Millennials have a few unique traits and characteristics that previous generations did not, which means that you'll need to leverage different techniques for hiring and managing them. In this blog, we walk through the keys to attracting Millennial talent and managing them once they have joined your customer service team.
 
An Active Social Media Presence
 
Like it or not, your social media presence says a lot about your organization. A company Twitter account with only 18 followers that hasn’t been updated for months is a red flag for potential Millennial employees who want to work for cutting-edge companies. A recent study found that 67 percent of first-time job seekers use social media to look for jobs, which makes it extremely important to keep your primary social media accounts— Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook— active and engaging.
 
More Than a Punch-In, Punch-Out Experience
 
The financial consulting firm Deloitte recently conducted a study on Millennials and found that 44 percent are looking to leave their employer within the next year and 66 percent would like to do so by 2020. But, that doesn't mean Millennials prefer to job-hop, since the same survey also reported that Millennials have strong values about business, and prefer companies that focus more on people, products, and purpose, rather than profits. In years past, the combination of a fair paycheck and pleasant working atmosphere was enough to attract top employees, but today, young professionals also want their work to feel purposeful and emotionally engaging.
 
Flexible Schedule & Remote Work
 
A typical 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday seems outdated compared to flexible schedules many jobs offer today. Millennials value a strong work-life balance which for contact centers means the ability to influence their schedule and work remotely when possible. According to PwC's "NextGen: A Global Generational Study," many Millennials don’t think productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office, but instead by the quality of work performed. This isn’t to say that shifts need to be shortened, but giving someone the option to come in at 10:00 a.m. and work until 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. can really make a difference. Using cloud-based programs can help employers offer this type of flexible work environment, especially with remote teams. Adding flex-scheduling into call center job descriptions, can help differentiate your company in tough recruiting markets.
 
Effective and Meaningful Coaching
 
One of the biggest keys to managing Millennials in the workplace is giving consistent, quality feedback. Millennials want to perform at optimum levels and grow their skill sets within their positions, and good guidance can help them reach those goals. A study conducted by SuccessFactors, for instance, found that Millennials prefer some form of coaching by their managers at least once a month. If your contact center isn’t already using one, a coaching & training tool can also help establish and facilitate this type of process.
 
The Latest Tools
 
study by Microsoft found that Millennials want to work at a company that provides the latest technology, with 93 percent saying it’s a big factor when choosing an employer. Any call center using outdated software or technology, then, will be at a disadvantage when trying to attract Millennials. Features like quicker information searches and no pause dialing will not only give your contact center an edge in recruitment, but also help agents provide a better overall customer experience.
 
Great Co-Workers
 
Everyone wants to work with great people, and Millennials are no exception. In a recent SuccessFactors study, young people consistently said they wanted to work with accomplished peers they could learn from. Also important is a great manager with an authentic demeanor. That means managers should aim to be approachable, good listeners, and empathize when needed.
 
Transparency and Mutual Understanding
 
One way to guarantee a high-turnover rate is to pretend your company is something it’s not. When in doubt, just be honest. According to research from PwC, hiring and managing Millennials effectively should involve clear explanations about what you’re offering and what’s expected in return. If you have a high attrition rate within the first week of employment, it could be a sign that your recruiters aren't representing your contact center accurately to prospective employees.
 
Contact center jobs are not always the most glamorous, but by offering a flexible work environment, leveraging the latest technology, and creating a culture that helps employees build skills and experience, you can attract the top professionals that the Millennial generation has to offer.

    

 
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