The recession has had a huge impact on the quantity and calibre of candidates willing to work in the call centre sector.
The impact of the recession has had a marked impact on the quantity and educational calibre of people willing to be employed by the call centre industry.
While contact centre agents have traditionally been considered undereducated with few other options, a huge 25% are now graduates, with 14% having a post-graduate degree under their belt.
Moreover, according to a report undertaken by recruitment specialist Hays Contact Centres together with members of the Top 50 Call Centres initiative, as many as two-fifths of the more than 600 contact centre agents and managers questioned have ‘A’ levels and nearly a quarter BTEC or HND qualifications.
Some 37% of managers also said that they were now finding it much easier to recruit staff than prior to the economic crisis, while 29% confirmed that higher calibre candidates were now being attracted to the industry.
These statements were backed up by the fact that 40% of respondents said that they would not have considered working in the industry prior to the recession.
But a third now see such work as a potentially long-term career rather than simply a stop-gap. Some 40% indicated that their place of employment offered them a clear career path, while 53% of personnel said that they would recommend this kind of work to a friend.
Simon Thorpe, programme director at the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service initiative, said: "With over a million call centre ‘seats’ in the UK alone, representing 3% of the UK workforce, and call centres offering great training and a clear career path, it’s not surprising that more people will start to consider a career in customer service.”
Almost a third of the personnel questioned said that interacting with customers was the most enjoyable part of their role, while another 27% liked the fact that they had a good work-life balance and flexible working options.