Hire Seasonal Agents Without The Stress

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If you’re reading this blog post, odds are you looking for ways to hire seasonal agents for your contact center as stress-free as possible. In the US, planning for the holiday season can feel like a dreadful countdown as you prep for non-stop customer interactions. 

As talent shortages increase, modern contact centers are rethinking how to hire seasonal agents. Seasonal staffing can present challenges like maintaining critical service levels, limiting agent burnout, and ensuring great customer experience when customer expectations are high.

For most contact centers, common staffing solutions include overstaffing to anticipate peak volume and offering voluntary time off (VTO) for excessive staff. The other options include staffing your minimum FTE and offering overtime (OT) at peak times or staff to the midpoint and offering a mix of VTO and OT. These solutions can be costly, especially when overstaffing. On the other hand, if staffing to only meet your minimum service levels, you’ll likely have to mandate OT, which can push agents to leave or, worse, fast-track burnout, which contact centers need to monitor closely.

Hire Seasonal Agents

For contact centers to win this busy season (and every busy season) they’ll need to adopt a flexible model that enables them to hire proficient seasonal agents quickly. 

Step 1: Adopt a Flexible Model

The model we’re talking about specifically is GigCX. Gig Customer Experience (GigCX) is an operating model that supplements your existing contact center with independent 1099 agents who work remotely and with flexible schedule arrangements. At ShyftOff, 100% of our agents are based in the US, must complete a thorough background check, and have experience working in a contact center and relative industry experience.

The key to leveraging a gig-based team is to ensure you integrate these FTEs into your existing team so they can provide a seamless experience. Contact centers that successfully adopt this model allocate a set amount of hours to gig-based FTEs each week so that when peak season hits, your contact center can scale with it. 

Step 2: Incentivize Top Performance with Flexible Schedules

Agents, like most consumers, want to spend time with their families during the holiday season. It’s important to create a culture where agents come first. Happy agents inevitably lead to happy customers. The best way to do this is to incentivize agents by providing them with their ideal schedule if they perform strongly.

By adopting a GigCX model, this incentivization is already baked into the process. For agents to “earn” flexible schedules and work when they want, they must provide exceptional customer service. The better gig-based agents perform on the brands they work with, the more opportunities they have to select and work the schedules they want to work.

As a result, contact centers win because they can essentially eliminate absenteeism because agents pick their own schedules–and are incentivized to work those schedules to maintain this flexibility. On the other side of the coin, agents can work the schedule that specifically works for them and their families.

Step 3: Make Your Training and Onboarding Process Seamless

This is probably the most crucial step. Contact centers experience the most drop-off during the training and onboarding process due to complicated or time-consuming criteria. Agents, especially during the holiday seasons, want to get to work fast and start earning money. The best way to do this is to ensure your training is tightened up and clear so agents can get to work serving your customers.

You’ll want to simplify their role as much as you can and carefully define their role. Your seasonal agents should handle quick tasks while you leverage your veteran agents to focus on more complex inquiries.

Contact centers should also consider adopting blended learning experiences, using a mix of e-learning, videos, and hands-on practice tasks to maximize new hire performance. As the generation gap widens in the workforce, it’s important to adopt adult learning practices that are effective for more than one learning style. 

Your busy season can truly be your easy season with the right plan and model in place. GigCX is the modern solution to solve your seasonal hiring and save money while doing it. 

If you’re ready to get started with a GigCX pilot to ramp up for your busy season, schedule time to chat with our team today.

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