According to a report conducted by CFA Business Skills @ Work the average annual attrition rate in contact centres is 24%. This varies somewhat across the different contact centres and the rate has been known to reach as high as 43%.
It is not just the amount of staff leaving their positions which concerns employers but the timeframe in which they leave is extremely short. ContactBabel carried out research which demonstrates 50-60% of agent attrition is within 90 days of being recruited.
In regards to why agent attrition takes place the fundamental reason is merely employing the wrong candidate. This means that careless decisions are being made during recruitment operations which ultimately means people who are not suitable for the role are being employed. Yes, it is possible to grow into a role but in such a fast paced environment sometimes this isn’t convenient.
According to research conducted among recruiters in UK contact centres 37% actually confessed they consciously hire the wrong person simply to fill the role quickly.
Another contributing factor to attrition is expectations vs reality. The candidate will form their opinion based on how you convey the organisation and the role itself, therefore, if the expectations you conjure up do not correlate with the role you are likely to face high rates of attrition. This is not only an issue for the organisation to face but can also have lasting effects on the candidate, as losing a job in a short-time frame can be damaging to their self esteem.
So now you’re asking what you can do to reduce agent attrition right
- Build a crystal clear solution of how the role should be filled: Shortlist your best performing agents’ behaviours and work ethics. This is your recipe for success. If your candidate is proficient with all of these competencies you’re likely to not suffer at the hands of agent attrition. You even have the option to use assessments to sort through the pool of applicants. These can include verbal reasoning tests and a judging situations test.
- Clearly express the role to the candidates: Ensure that you are totally truthful about what the job entails to avoid any confusion. If you leave specific aspects of the role out and the candidate then feels strong enough about not doing them you will be left with an unmotivated employee and you’re likely to have to start the whole recruitment process all over again.
High attrition rates seem to be widely accepted as normal within the contact centre sector however if you ensure you follow the two steps above you will reduce this rate and save yourself money as well as ensuring your time is dedicated to the right people for the role.