Contact centres ramping up recruitment – study

18th Nov 2013

Life in the contact centre is remaining positive with employment figures set to continue growing next year, according to a new report.

ContactBabel’s study of 210 UK contact centre operations showed that 58% of respondents said that they expect headcount to grow in 2014 compared to just 18% forecasting a gloomy outlook for staffing figures. And it’s not just numbers that are expected to increase; the average contact centre manager’s salary is forecast to rise by 18% by 2016.

And it’s the smaller centers that appearing to keep their agents most happy. Agent attrition rates in large (200+ seat) contact centres are 2.6 times higher than in sub-50 seat operations, the figures showed.

The study, which examined salaries, attrition, absence, recruitment, training, operational performance benchmarks, budgets and growth, also found a change in attitude towards contact centre metrics. The figures showed a shift away from traditional metrics with calls taking 21% longer than 10 years ago, and sales calls lengthening by 56% since 2006.

The finance sector was shown to have the highest levels of talk-time, with agents being on calls over 40 minutes in the hour.  

The report's author, Steve Morrell, commented: "The nature of the contact centre industry has changed considerably: many simple queries now get handled via self-service, and call durations have increased year-on-year. The average agent-customer conversation is now longer and more complex, requiring different skills and capabilities from agents, which existing salary and bonus structures are only just starting to address.

“The strong growth in agent headcount last year, coupled with the generally positive changes in investment and headcount planned for 2014 shows that the UK contact centre industry has emerged from the recession in good shape. The improvement in KPIs along with other financial indicators show that the contact centre has a more clearly-defined role within a business - no longer does it have to balance precariously between providing acceptable service while paring call length to the bone – it is now the provider of premium quality, personalised customer support, regardless of channel.”'s recent series into contact centre operations examined the move away from traditional contact centre metrics, the debate surrounding outsourcing and lessons in tackling contact centre staff attrition.  

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.