Tag Archive: Work at Home

  1. Must Have Critical Competencies: Work from Home vs Brick & Mortar Service Representatives

    Critical Competencies needed for work at home vs brick & Mortar Stores

    A widespread and ever-increasing trend within the contact center industry is to allow service representatives to handle customer contacts from the comfort of a home office.  The growth of this virtual contact center workforce begs at least two questions: 

    1. what are the key competencies people need in order to succeed in a home-based service representative role, and
    2. are those key competencies any different than those required of service representatives in a brick-and-mortar contact center? 

    The answers to these questions may seem obvious–or at least easy to find–but the reality is that very little information is publicly available on this topic. Below, I highlight key evidence and insights from FurstPerson’s extensive job analysis research that paints a very clear picture of the most typical and unique demands of a home-based role. 



  2. Remote Agent Talent Assessment: Advantages of Virtual Recruiting

    What Are the Advantages of the Virtual Recruiting Model

    In part 2 of our blog series on remote talent assessment strategies, we highlight the advantages of the virtual recruiting model and the key role it plays in remote agent hiring.



  3. Remote Agent Talent Assessment: The Virtual Model and Candidate Volume

    What are the Recruiting Models for Remote Agent Hiring

    FurstPerson Types Recruitment Models - hub and spoke and virtualIn part 2 of our blog series on remote talent assessment strategies, we took a look at the advantages of the virtual recruiting model and the key role it plays in hiring remote agents. Now, in part 3, we examine ways to prepare for an increase in candidate volume when moving to a virtual recruiting model.


  4. Work at Home Agents ” Do You Give Them a Computer or Is It BYOD?

    Blog_Post_8_-_Graphic_1You will need to determine your company policy on providing a computer to the new hire or requiring them to purchase or use their existing computer.  This has a number of technical and financial implications including compensation and tax benefits.  When the home agent model was just beginning to gain traction in the contact center market, most employers required their employees to provide their own computer.  Recruiters used computer diagnostic tools to evaluate the “production readiness” of a job candidate’s personal computer.  Now, more companies are providing computers in order to create standardization and reduce compliance risk and costs.


  5. What Results Can be Achieved Using Talent Selection Tools?

    Talent Selection Can Help Reduce Attrition, Improve Call Metrics, Customer Engagement and Sales Production in Remote Programs

    As we all know, hiring can be frustrating especially when dealing with high applicant volume or resume shortcomings and vague requirements. But, if done properly, talent selection can help you overcome some of these challenges. In last week’s post I discussed how talent selection can help you hire the right home agents. Today I wanted to dig a little deeper and delve into the specific results that talent selection can help you achieve. Specifically I want to show you how talent selection can help reduce attrition in work at home programs, as well as improve call metrics, customer engagement metrics and sales production.Picture5


  6. How Talent Selection Can Help You Hire the Right Home Agents

    In my previous post, I provided information on behavioral interviews and psychometric testing. In it I also touched on talent selection.  Having a strong talent selection process (one based on defining and measuring the necessary abilities, skills, and behaviors for a given role) is important because hiring the right people helps reduce turnover and increase revenue. Conversely, hiring the wrong people can cost the business money and harm its reputation with customers, employees and the business community. This week I wanted to focus on talent selection, specifically how it can help you find and hire the right home agents.shutterstock 81385114


  7. Home Agent Programs Boost Recruiting Efforts

    For many, contact center work becomes a whole lot more enticing when it doesn’t involve working in a contact center.

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    If you’re looking for a way to vastly expand your center’s recruiting reach and hang on to top talent for years rather than merely months, you should seriously consider implementing a home agent initiative. 

    Many customer care organizations today have a home agent program in place, and nearly all of them report how the program has enabled their contact center to cut attrition. However, what often gets lost in the shuffle with all this talk about retention is just how effective a recruiting tool a home agent initiative can be. Don’t get me wrong, extending talented agents’ tenure by sending them home is great ” a huge boon ” but it shouldn’t totally overshadow a home agent program’s potential for attracting and retaining new talent, as well.

    Even if your center doesn’t allow new-hires to work from home until after they’ve served six months or more onsite, you’d be amazed by how many people would apply for an agent position if they knew that a work-at-home opportunity existed down the road with the company. It’s not just that promoting such opportunities in job ads attracts a ton of candidates ” it attracts a ton of talented candidates. Top agents from other organizations that don’t offer remote work opportunities would love the chance to interview with one that does. And no, you shouldn’t feel bad about stealing talent ” unless your spouse, mother or best friend manage a contact center down the street. Even then you shouldn’t feel too badly about it.

    It’s not all about nabbing neighboring agent stars. Many very talented and well-educated folks who’ve never even considered working in customer care might very well consider it if it meant being able to avoid traffic gridlock and working in their pajamas. Granted, it’s always nice to attract applicants who already have contact center experience, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with attracting smart, driven people ” many of whom may very well possess a customer service soul despite having never donned a headset. (You can test this during the interview/assessment portion of the hiring process.)

    The real recruiting power of a home agent initiative, however, is tapped when the organization abandons the typical “you have to work in our center first” policy. Once a contact center decides to let at least some new-hires start out working from home immediately ” and clearly advertises this fact ” the number and quality of job applicants often increases exponentially, thus allowing recruiters to be highly selective and discerning during the hiring process. And once a center goes truly virtual with its home agent program ” that is, stops restricting its candidate search to the immediate geographic area ” the entire nation opens up to recruiters. Organizations that go this route are able to attract extremely talented and experienced applicants, and those applicants typically end up sticking around for a very long time. 

    So what do you stand to gain by implementing a home agent initiative and treating it like a recruiting tool? Higher caliber agents, for one. Lower turnover and associated costs, for another. And let’s not forget the increase in customer satisfaction that occurs when agents not only know what they’re doing, but also love how they get to do it.


    About Greg Levin

    Greg Levin, Founder of Off Center, is one of the most unique and refreshing voices in the customer care industry. He has been researching, reporting on and satirizing contact center management and customer care since 1994 ” first with ICMI, a leading consulting and training firm, and now as an independent writer, speaker and rabble rouser.

    Greg offers a wide range of valuable and compelling resources ” all aimed at educating, empowering and entertaining contact center professionals worldwide. Most notable is his popular weekly Off Center blog and his critically acclaimed ebook, Full Contact: Contact Center Practices and Strategies that Make an Impact.

    To learn more about Greg and what he brings to the table, go to:


  8. Remote Agent Talent Assessment Strategies: Odds and Ends

    What to Consider When Moving to a Remote Agent Model

    In part 4 of our blog series on remote talent assessment strategies, we look at various issues to consider when moving to a remote agent model. For a more detailed discussion on talent assessment strategies in the home agent model, view our white paper.