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Call Center Generates 500% ROI

This major hotel management firm operates a reservations call center with a primary mission of customer service, and a secondary sales function. This call center experiences wide seasonal workload fluctuations. Both performance and turnover have presented challenges.

In 2003, reservations agents hired in the winter campaign had only a 27% chance of remaining on the job beyond June 30, requiring additional and continued hiring efforts through the spring and summer seasons. The challenge: Design and implement a strategic hiring system, with the goal of increasing retention, reducing the necessity of additional hiring through the spring and summer. The chosen system was a two-stage strategic system, beginning with a low-cost honesty-integrity measure (the Step One Survey, or SOS). Once a candidate was screened into the finalist pool, a targeted job-fit measure was used to predict the probability of success (the Customer Service Perspective, or CSP).

Roughly 10% of all applicants made it to the screening stage. Only the top 35% of this group were included in the finalist pool. For the job fit analysis of the finalists, call center managers chose 5 Top Performers, and a success pattern was constructed, using the Customer Service Perspective assessment. Finalists took the CSP, and were matched to the “Top Performer” pattern. Candidates who matched at less than the 70% were not considered high potential for the position.

Overall, retention beyond June 30 increased from 27% to 58% with use of the HiringSmart System. Results were even more striking in the area of involuntary terminations: A reduction from 31% to only 17% in the study period.

 

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A New Lesson in Resilience

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