Dick Bucci, Founder and Chief Analyst, Pelorus Associates
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics there were 10.1 million vacant jobs as of the end of June 2021—far exceeding the number of job seekers. Any doubts about a labour shortage can be erased simply by looking at all the help wanted signs.
Contact centres are feeling the brunt when it comes to finding qualified people in an era of plentiful good paying jobs. The challenge is that the hiring process has not adapted to the current environment. A major chokepoint is interviewing. Too often we hire the wrong people and as a consequence, Pelorus Associates estimates that 60% of new hires quit their contact centre job in the first 90 days of employment.
Automation has made major contributions to virtually every activity in the contact centre—except for the way we hire people. With its June 2021 acquisition of HireIQ, Verint Systems has now extended automation to the interviewing process. Verint Intelligent Interviewing uses artificial intelligence to analyse answers to interview questions and quickly sift through the recorded voice and video interactions to funnel down to a small manageable number of highly qualified and highly motivated candidates. Verint Intelligent Interviewing is now part of the Verint Cloud Platform, which makes it readily accessible to contact centres of any size, at any location, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
An important advantage for jobseekers is that automated interviewing can be done at any convenient time or place. This vastly expands the pool of potential employees. Examples include people who live in remote communities, senior citizens, handicapped individuals, and currently employed candidates that find it difficult to take time off for personal interviews during 9-5 workdays.
The interactive automated interviews are conducted over the candidate’s computer using a secure connection. The process begins with basic assessments that are aligned with the customer service business. Screening questions determine that individuals have the basic requirements for consideration. Open-ended questions probe deeper to provide insights about the individual’s ability to think on their feet and communicate effectively.
Two examples include, “Tell me about your experience” and “Respond to this scenario which we are about to play for you.” There are 14 separate assessments with each receiving a quantitative rating. The analytics engine, bolstered by artificial intelligence, analyses all of these ratings, considers the qualifications most important to the individual company, and develops a quantitative score that ranks candidates in terms of their qualifications and interest in contact centre work.
As a result, hiring managers conduct in person or virtual interviews with prequalified candidates. In today’s red-hot employment market, hiring companies cannot afford to vacillate about extending offers. The best candidates will be quickly swept up by someone else if you don’t get there first and make an attractive offer.
Research by Hire IQ shows that the results of automated interviewing are very impressive.
- 84% reduction in the number of candidates who fail to show up for training or provide an advance notification
- 100% increase in recruiter productivity—effectively doubling the number of candidates an interviewer can process in the same period of time
- 106% reduction in 90-day attrition, which represents a big savings in onboarding expenses and potentially frayed customer relations.
- First contact resolution after the new hire is up and running increases by 56%.
Verint believes that the pre-hiring experience is critical to building long-standing, effective relationships with employees—in turn driving superior customer engagement, as well as to selecting candidates who are best fit for the organisation, both technically and culturally.
Verint Intelligent Interviewing is part of the Verint Workforce Management solution suite that also includes performance management. Pelorus Associates has reported on workforce management since 2007, and Verint has consistently scored at or near the top in terms of WFM market share. The addition of Verint Intelligent Interviewing rounds out what was already one of the most robust WFM suites in the industry.