Hiring a customer service rep should not be a fast process. It should be carefully planned with specific guidelines in place that need to be met. The company should consider many factors such as experience; would it be a better investment to hire someone with customer service experience, or someone who is new to the field but willing to be trained? Both types of candidates should be considered. Just because a potential candidate has not worked specifically in customer service does not mean that they don?t have transferable skills. Working as a customer service rep is not simply pleasing the customer; it requires patience, ability to work under pressure, a good attitude, and a willingness to work with others. If a candidate meets these requirements, they may be just as good if not a little more motivated to perform the job than someone who has worked in the field before. However, sometimes it is best to hire the candidate who has worked in customer service. They understand the demands the position entails and are usually understanding about the pay rate.
Deciding which candidate to choose is entirely up to the company and their needs, but both should be subjected to a thorough background check. A company can post the position directly and advertise through local newspapers or job websites such as monster or career builder. Or, it is becoming more and more popular for companies to seek out their candidates by utilizing the services of an employment placement agency. For a fee, the company describes to the placement agency what they are specifically looking for in a candidate. The placement agency then scouts out the internet for resumes of potential candidates, conducts the initial interview and background check, and sends the candidate on to an interview with the company. This allows the company to focus more time on business logistics and other issues while still obtaining quality candidates. The fee is usually negotiated between the company and placement agency, and results in the company paying a certain amount per hour for each candidate while the employment agency retains a certain percentage of that amount. For example, a company could offer to pay the placement agency $18 per hour for a candidate. The candidate receives a take-home pay of $12 per hour, while the remaining $6 is paid to the placement agency. Although this sounds pricey, sometimes it works in the best interest of the company and releases them of the responsibility of providing insurance, workman?s compensation, and accrued time off or personal leave.
Be sure to be specific in the terms and conditions of your advertisement for a customer service representative. If you aren?t looking for someone with no experience, then clearly state that in the job description. If you are willing to train an individual, state that as well. Explain that while experience is preferred, you are willing to train the right candidate. If you require the candidate to have some college education, then spell it out in your posting. This will only help you eliminate those who do not qualify for the job, as candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements are not likely to apply for the position.
Finally, perhaps your company could consider hiring the customer service candidate on a telecommuting basis. Although many positions that work from the home tend to be scams or commission based, if the position does not require meeting face-to-face with customers, then working from the home could be ideal for both the candidate and the company. This could save the company a lot of money in benefits such as insurance or workman?s compensation, and also could allow the company to keep the pay rate for the candidate at bay. For example, if the candidate does not have to commute to an office or call center, it saves them money in gas and food. That?s also money back in the company?s pocket, as the pay rate offered could be less to balance out the difference. The candidate should have their own business telephone line and fax machine, but the company should offer to pay for part or all of the expenses. However, this type of work environment should only be offered to those with experience as a customer service rep.
A company seeking a customer service rep should look for specific factors on the resume of a potential candidate. Job history is the primary key for finding quality candidates. Take a look into the types of companies the candidate has worked for and how long they were employed with each company. Stability in employment history shows dedication and willingness to work hard. If the candidate reflects ?job hopping? on their resume or any breaks in employment, don?t immediately go to the next resume. Ask questions about why they have not maintained a job for a long period of time. Perhaps they have moved, have served in the military, or were involved in a medical reason for the break in employment. However, be sure to contact the candidate?s prior companies to verify the reasoning. If they were a bad employee, you will know by speaking with someone in human resources. Be sure to ask questions regarding the candidate?s job performance. For example, were they on time? Did they volunteer to work late? Did they complete all assigned tasks? Did they get along with their co-workers?