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

What is talent selection and how can talent selection help you? 

Talent selection, simply put, is the process of finding the right people for each job by understanding what constitutes success in a particular role. It is the finding of candidates with the capabilities that will enable success allow them to support the long term goals of the business.

There are three key components to talent selection:

1) Understand the job by defining what job success looks like. 

Understanding what makes jobs different from each other and understanding the metrics are important for different types of jobs. This is where a job analysis is helpful to determine what abilities, skills, and behaviors are necessary, especially if you have a number of jobs that are superficially alike, such as call center jobs, but that deal with different business functions. Some examples would include:

  • Sales representatives drive revenue and thereof might be measured on how many sales they make.  To be successful in a sales role, a job candidate should have the right level of listening and oral communications ability. Compared to other home agent roles, like technical support representatives, they don’t need the same level of technical knowledge, but should know enough to recommend the right solutions to their prospects’ business problems.
  • Tech support representatives need technical and problem-solving skills, the patience to deal with customers’ questions and problems, and the ability to explain technical concepts to non-experts.
  • Collections representatives need good organizational skills, assertiveness, and strong math and negotiation skills to calculate payment plans since their success depends on how many outstanding accounts they can collect on.

When hiring home agents you should look for people who are self-motivated and can work without in-person supervision. Home agents should demonstrate good time management skills and the ability to solve complex problems by referring to documentation. Whereas brick and mortar agents should be able to work in a busy, social environment, home agents should be comfortable working alone without much coworker interaction.

2) Understand how to measure those competencies during the talent acquisition process. 

Once you’ve defined the competences associated with success, how do you measure these to make sure you’re hiring people who have the right skills to be successful at the job? Predictive assessments can help hiring managers determine what candidates have these abilities, skills, and behaviors. The types of skills that are necessary determine what assessments are most useful. What might predictive assessments include?

  • Simulations that require candidates to perform multiple tasks at once while solving a customer’s problem are more useful than asking candidates to describe their multi-tasking skills in an in-person interview.
  • Personality assessments that can determine whether a home agent candidate has the right temperament for dealing with difficult customers and the right behaviors for working at home.
  • Problem-solving tests that that evaluates an applicant’s ability to learn new information and apply the information to solving problems.

3) Understand the key business metrics to measure and relate back to the hiring process.  

Hiring the right people means hiring people who help the business achieve its objectives. Statistical evidence of a correlation between a candidate’s assessment performance and their success at the job provides the best information. A validation study that measures performance and retention will allow you to screen for candidates that meet certain standards and revise your hiring model based on new data. Using a data-driven hiring process enables you to make continuous improvements because you can point to the steps that need refinement.   Measuring a job candidate against your successful home agent hiring profile that is based on retention and performance data will ensure that you are hiring individuals that are the right fit for a home agent role. Using a data-driven hiring process enables you to make continuous improvements because you can point to the steps that need refinement.

So remember, understand the job by defining competencies associated with success, how to measure the competencies during the process, and what the key business metrics to measure and relate back to your hiring process. Finally look at the data and refine as needed to help complete the talent selection process.

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