Workforce attrition is a concern of every organization, especially among customer service organizations where voluntary turnover frequently averages 30 percent or more annually and can sometimes exceed 100 percent, according to Saddletree Research in its 2011 End User Survey. Maintaining a pipeline of qualified candidates can be daunting.
Many of these positions require that the new hires successfully complete several weeks of training before they are put before a customer for the first time. Overall productivity, quality of service and customer satisfaction for the entire organization often suffer as a result. It is therefore critical to predict when new employees are needed and find ways to streamline the hiring process to keep this unproductive window to a minimum.
Implementing technology to reduce time to hire is one tactic many companies are using to help minimize the impact of voluntary turnover in their organizations. Here are some steps to get started.
Forecast the need before you need it. Many companies are accustomed to forecasting anticipated workload to schedule the right number of the right kind of employees to achieve the desired results. This practice is essentially the economic equation of balancing supply and demand. Too few employees scheduled means customers are left waiting and service suffers, but labor costs are minimized. Conversely, too many employees means that while customer service is excellent, it comes at the price of higher than necessary labor costs. Many organizations have been performing this balancing act with varying degrees of success for many years.
One common and relatively effective way to forecast attrition is to look to the past to plan for the future. By collecting and analyzing turnover data as far back in history as possible, attrition patterns will emerge that help identify future labor needs. This works better for positions that span many employees; executive and mid-level management positions would probably not benefit from this approach given the relatively small number of new employees who need to be hired on a regular basis. But positions with relatively large numbers of employees, especially those with lengthy training or ramp-up programs, would.