A talkative person isn't necessarily the best person to hire for a job in an outsourcing company. If you're thinking of hiring outsourced staff from another country, look beyond fluency in English as a second language. Look for these 10 most desirable traits in an IT-BPO worker when hiring offshore.
1. A Good Conversationalist
Don't just hire a Chatty Cathy. Hire someone who knows how to converse with different kinds of people. This goes beyond fluency in English. This is where soft skills like listening, empathizing, and communicating intuitively make a difference.
Furstperson has good advice on hiring for good communication skills:
Effective communication is so important in any call center experience because it encompasses so much. From a clear, proficient use of language, to proper etiquette, and finally making sure that any directions, advice or support is being conveyed in a way that the customer is able to understand it the first time is imperative to the success of a call center agent. This cannot be stressed enough: good communication skills touch every single aspect of the job.
2. A Multi-Tasking Time Management Genius
Look for someone who knows how to talk and listen to customers while doing other tasks, such as searching for or updating their information in a database. If someone you're considering for the job proved that he or she could do this without missing a beat, then hire that person immediately. The ability to multi-task and manage one's time at work are valuable traits to consider in outsourced staff.
3. A Creative Problem Solver
The best people who work in call centers are capable of finding solutions to customers' problems without escalating it to a team leader or manager. The more creative that person is in soothing an anxious or angry customer even if there's no solution, the more valuable he or she becomes to the employer. Look for someone like that and you won't have to worry about your customers.
4. Adapts Quickly to Change
Employees in outsourcing companies don't work in regular shifts. The best ones are able to adjust quickly to the changes in schedule and work environment. Sometimes, employees in an outsourcing company are re-assigned to different accounts, so they're more well-rounded and flexible in their abilities.
5. Reliable and Trustworthy
According to Ameyo, employees who are prompt and follow the rules are most desired than others.
Call center managers want reliable workers who show up before the shift starts and stays back after it ends if the need arises. Stable agents have high levels of shift adherence and low rates of absenteeism.
They can be relied upon to handle the more important tasks and manage bigger accounts. These employees are most trusted and they're likely to be promoted as team leaders or supervisors.
Employees who are also self-motivated to succeed are most valuable. Employers don't need to push them towards success.
That sense of self-determination must come from the personality of the potential agent. These types of workers are always open to feedback, learning, and trying to push themselves to be better at their position.
As long as they know that the management supports them, their drive to achieve greatness will pull your company to the top.
7. Open to learning and sharing knowledge
Not all employees in the BPO/KPO industry are experts in their field. You'll need to train your outsourced staff first. Look for trainees who are willing to learn what they don't know yet, and who are ready to share what they do know with their colleagues. These are the cream of the crop; they will continue to learn and improve until they're considered the best of them.
8. Detail-oriented and Organized
While customer service needs empathetic employees to handle calls from customers, they're also expected to gather information and make sure it's accurate and updated. Putting wrong information in the database can be detrimental to delivering good service.
If you're hiring offshore, then look for individuals who are conscientious and organized.
To make sure your call center agents are organized, hire people who met all application process deadlines (i.e., arriving to the meeting on time, submitting requested materials, etc.) and have a track record of being organized.
Also, check out their resumes whether they have errors or grammar mistakes. When they come for an interview, see whether they're on time or not, and that they're dressed neatly and clad in appropriate clothing.
9. Good Memory
Agents are expected to retain as much information as possible to handle different types of calls. It's essential when they need to follow a script. Sometimes, outsourced workers need to go off-script to meet a customer's demands and this requires a good memory.
Avoxi has good advice on hiring for knowledge retention:
Screening candidates for the ability to absorb and assimilate information quickly can be difficult. But, there are still some questions that you can use to gain a better understanding of the potential hire’s capabilities:
- Ask the candidate to describe a time when he or she had to learn a new product or service in a short period of time.
- Ask the candidate how they learn, and what techniques they use to absorb new information quickly.
10. Positive Attitude
Being optimistic is most important. It keeps outsourced staff in good spirits while doing stressful work. Though customers don't see the smile on their faces, the cheerfulness of their voices can be heard. Having a positive outlook in life keeps outsourced staff sane in this mad, mad world of outsourcing.