When it comes to selecting candidates to fill your customer-facing roles, conducting the talent selection process through interviews and intuitive guesswork is about as savvy as choosing your investments according to your mood.

For businesses that want to keep their position at the front of the pack, data-driven talent assessment is the only sensible route to find, hire, and keep the right talent.

Learn how multimedia simulations enhance contact centers’ hiring experience.

Many organizations use personality tests as a means to help narrow down their pools of candidates. But is using a personality test alone the best way to improve your retention and quality of hire?

The Big Five Model and Contact Center Hiring

The Five-Factor Model, also known as the “Big Five” model, is a type of personality test that measures candidates’ openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

The Big Five is a well established model of personality profiling that has been shown to predict turnover in contact centers. However, personality tests alone only reveal so much about a candidate, and often lead to a tremendous amount of handwringing for HR managers.

After all, those who are in charge of ensuring their contact center hiring systems are producing quality results are expected to bring in talent that:

  • Combines low status and high skill sets
  • Pays competitively within a slim budget
  • Has excellent communication skills to survive under a diverse working model
  • Can cope with high turnover rates native to call centers

This is difficult to achieve with only one type of assessment. Personality on its own does not determine whether or not the candidate has the skills or motivations to provide the level of service today’s customers both want and have come to expect.

Assessing the Whole Person

The Big Five may predict high churn rates in call center staff. However, in terms of measuring skill, companies need to assess more than personality to determine if candidates can multitask, navigate software, and input customer information at a speedy rate.  

FurstPerson, on the other hand, has developed a Four-Quadrant Model that takes a multi-dimensional approach to call center assessments of work habits and motivations. It measures not only what an individual can do, but what an individual will do. Many widely-used personality tests fail to give structure to personality as it relates to work habits, skills, ability, and attitude. But the Four-Quadrant Model of call center assessments measures all four through proven processes tailored to ensure the applicant possess the requisite level of competence in each quadrant.


This model draws on extensive experience and research to highlight the multi-dimensional nature of employee performance within the contact center.

Hiring Top Talent: Let Your Candidates Tell and Show

Twenty-seven percent of U.S. employers claim that one hire has cost their company over $50,000, so measuring competency through call center assessments is a core skill that’s better measured through demonstration than ego.

HR managers are prone to falling into the trap of hiring the person they feel most comfortable with instead of identifying the traits that yield the best candidate. There’s a reason talent acquisition superstars like Google ask such odd questions: to give candidates the chance to demonstrate their competency.  The Four-Quadrant model uses a mix of assessment strategies to extract the same results, only to a far more accurate degree.

For instance, in a contact center, there are an array of critical qualities a contact center agent must possess for long-term success on the job. These core work skills, habits, abilities, and attitudes required for an agent to thrive in a position can be measured using the different tests in different quadrants:


Selecting contact center representatives who will remain on the job and perform well requires an assessment solution that pinpoints all of the key issues, not just personality-job fit. Simulations, cognitive ability tests, personality assessments, and structured interviews are all critical in finding, hiring, and keeping top talent in your contact center. 

Identifying Contact Center Superstars

Human capital is far from static. It’s a robust foundation that requires further building. Like any asset, human capital will depreciate if you don’t invest in it. 

The Harvard Business Review estimates that eighty percent of staff turnover is due to poor hiring decisions. It costs two and a half months’ salary to replace one employee. Add another 10% to that loss if your call center agent has a negative impact on your corporate reputation.

While other personality assessments do play a role in developing the story about how a job candidate may potentially perform in your contact center role, it is critical to understand that assessing personality-job fit is only part of the tool set needed for hiring top talent.  If a job candidate does not have the skills and abilities that are importnat for success in the position, then he or she will fail. Conversely, if a candidate has the right skills, but does not have a personality that aligns with the position and culture, he or she will most likely fail to do well in the position.

Ultimately, the key to improving your contact center hiring system is to use a multi-faceted solution that addresses both skills and personality-job fit. 

Curious about how assessments can help you improve your quality of hire? Download your free copy of the whitepaper below to learn more.