An Attrition Study Reveals Opportunities in a Competitive Job Market
With fierce competition from big-brand companies in a historically tight labor market, the contact center at a major utility company needed to understand the root cause of turnover during the hiring cycle and develop a go-forward plan to attract and retain top talent.
While competing for qualified talent in a tight labor market, the contact center noticed an uptick of new hires leaving the organization either just before or shortly after onboarding. With the contact center expecting a 70% increase of new hires within the next year, they needed to quickly uncover opportunities to improve requisition to hire, onboarding, and employee retention practices.
Optia was asked to conduct a 10-week attrition study and evaluate the candidate, new hire, and employee experience for the contact center – starting with recruiting activities for candidates, evaluating onboarding activities for new hires, and including day-to-day activities for employees. Our approach included:
- In-depth interviews—Conducted in-depth interviews with over 40 employees across 12 functional areas to gain different perspectives and suggestions for improvement
- Trend analysis—Analyzed trends over a four-year period to see who was leaving, understand why they were leaving, and measure the impact to the organization
- Solution development—Paired employee feedback with data analysis to identify opportunities where the company could improve the hiring process
- Market comparison—Compared employment offerings among top employers in the region with offerings from the utility company to help align compensation packages with market conditions
With the help of contact center leadership, Optia was able to identify 12 actionable recommendations that could reduce hiring cycles up to 50% and increase retention rates up to 30%. Some of the key findings and recommendations were:
- Shorten the time to hire—With the average hire time almost tripling the industry average, the recommendation was to leverage additional resources to process candidates in a timely manner.
- Expand the candidate pool—With such tough competition for talent, the recommendation was to tap into a remote workforce.
- Restructure the training experience—With an outdated training curriculum and classes doubling in size over a two-year period, the recommendation was to invest in additional training staff, offer classes more frequently, and re-design the curriculum for remote learning.
- Provide specialized training more effectively—With employees reporting that they felt overwhelmed during onboarding, the recommendation was to ramp new hires in under six weeks by aligning their training with contact center queues.
- Establish a customer abuse protection policy—With employees reporting unhappy, verbally abusive customers, the recommendation was to design and implement a language limits protection program.
- Establish practices that support work-life balance—With employees complaining about mandatory and last-minute overtime, the recommendation was to increase workforce scheduling flexibility and consider third-party services to cover peak hours.