Ah, we live in a world of emails and the Internet, and isn't it easier than having real-time conversations with people?
It may seem easier, but when it comes to recruiting, especially for call center positions, it's absolutely essential to screen candidates by phone.
We need to hear their voices, because what we hear is what we get. We're not hiring resumes; we're hiring communicators.
Specifically, telephone screening accomplishes these crucial things:
(1) We can scope out the basic pleasantness or unpleasantness of their voices. If you can't stand hearing that candidate's voice, your customers will probably have the same reaction.
(2) We can challenge them by asking questions about their capabilities, experience, and other job related factors. If they hesitate or freeze up, guess what they're going to do when customers are on the line.
(3) If they have sold before, by phone, we can ask them to role-play their last script with us. This will enable us to hear if that sort of selling style is compatible with ours, and whether they were scripted, at all. If they say they just improvised, you have a chance to tell them they'll be using a script at your company. Can they handle that?
(4) You can discuss the pay plan, and you should do so. Whether it's good, bad, or indifferent, it is a crucial factor. If they won't or can't work for the dollars you're providing, or under a commission plan, screen them out, now.
(5) Any anomalies in their resumes can be covered and clarified right away, without wasting time with an interview.
The ONLY factor is whether they're good on the phone, if it is a phone job.
Therefore, can you believe how stupid it is for recruiters to staff call centers by insisting there be "No phone calls, please!"
Well, that's what you get when you delegate a phone task to a non-phone person!
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.