How to find support talent?
Managing people is difficult, but hiring them is no easier. How to attract the attention of real professionals? By what criteria do you know those who do not fit into the team? How to weed out the middle peasants, for whom work in the support service consists only in attempts to disconnect from the client? Today we’ll talk about how to create an effective vacancy announcement and conduct an effective interview.
1) Who is he, the ideal customer support employee?
The answer to this question you must give yourself. Strange: companies spend huge budgets in order to make a portrait of their customers, but few people think about creating similar portraits of their employees .
It is impossible to hire an excellent specialist, relying only on his resume. You need to know how well he will fit into the team and whether it is suitable for the role intended for him.
Understanding exactly what you are looking for will make the search more effective. We offer three of the most important aspects to help.
Personal qualities. What qualities do you think an excellent support specialist should have? For example, curiosity, sociability, or an inner need to help people. Make a list and list it in the announcement so that the applicant can immediately “recognize himself”.
Corporate culture . The company's unspoken values and relationships in the team are manifested in everything from product and marketing to customer support. Try to reflect your basic principles in the vacancy text so that a person can understand how you fit together. Do you think that the client is always right, encourage employees to read as much as possible, hold compulsory table tennis tournaments or cannot live without daily meetings? Write about it. It is far from the fact that the applicant shares your enthusiasm.
Professional skills. You can make a long and banal list - like everyone else. However, it is more efficient to highlight the basic skills that will be needed to solve 80% of the tasks . Not a single candidate meets all the requirements from an endless list. For a support service, it’s best to focus on skills that help you deal with the most difficult tasks.
2) Write an ad
A regular ad attracts mediocre employees. Our goal is talent, so we need to work hard on job descriptions. Here are some suggestions.
Be resourceful in choosing words and phrases . They do not just describe the required skills. When used correctly, they can help you find someone who can pleasantly surprise and improve your team. Think over every word: what message does it carry?
A couple of examples from the vacancies of companies that are trying to stand out: “We are looking for an expert on customer happiness”, “We need an engineer of human souls”.
Agree, someone at the sight of such a title will simply twist a finger at the temple. Another will think: “Well done guys, they thought up cool, right about me!” Most likely, this will be the talent that you were looking for.
Intimidate a little. This strategy is also bearing fruit. This is not about "a lamp in the eyes, hands on the table." Just slightly thicken the colors, highlight the most difficult tasks - this will scare away those who are looking for a warm place behind the backs of others.
For example: “You are a specialist who will provide customers with a comfortable use of our service. It is you who will solve all the technical problems that arise and keep the defense at the forefront of customer support. “You should be able to skillfully lead even an old woman through the setup process who does not know how a computer program differs from a television one.” To respond to such an announcement, you need some confidence in their own abilities.
A few words about culture. You already have an approximate list of requirements, now it must be correctly reflected in the job description. When it comes to company values, the idea can be formulated quite strictly: “You must read every post on our blog. Only in this way will you learn everything about the company and how we think. ”
If you want to focus on the culture of relationships in the team, the wording may be easier: “Charisma and humor are your siblings.”
Job attractiveness. “Cookies in the office” is wonderful. However, the abundance of "buns" may have a negative effect. You hardly need an employee who only dreams of free dinners, gym memberships, long vacations, and who is ready to “endure” any work for them. Therefore, despite the fashion, you should not get carried away by listing the bonuses and benefits - you will have time to tell about them at the interview.
3) Initial screening
Get applicants to do some work . No abuse, just make sure the serious intentions of the potential employee.
You can send an email with additional questions in response to the resume. This will kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, the need to spend time and ponder will weed out those who send out their resumes for all vacancies. Secondly, the questions themselves will work. Make them open - so that it is impossible to answer simply “yes” or “no”. For example: “Imagine that you came after a lunch break and saw 100 calls from angry customers. Apparently, something serious happened. Your actions?".
Answers to such questions will show how the applicant copes with non-standard situations, how well he solves difficult problems and whether he expresses his thoughts clearly.
Primary audit of skills . This method has been successfully used by many companies, including Omnidesk . For example, we offer the applicant to record a small screencast in which he will explain in detail one of the functionality of the service. The ability to create high-quality screencasts is important for the supportist, as it is often easier to convey all the key points to the client with their help.
Such tasks can be done optionally, but not because they are secondary. On the contrary, those who decide not to follow them should be written off without hesitation :)
The last stage in the epic of finding a talented specialist helps to make a personal impression of the applicant. Both banal and extraordinary questions can be used here. The main thing is to correctly interpret the answers. Let's look at examples.
“What is your last achievement?”
It would seem to be a standard question, but the answer to it explains a lot about the potential employee and his personal characteristics. For example, the applicant talks about what efforts had to be made to overcome obstacles and get out of the crisis. Excellent: patience and the ability to not give up are very useful qualities for a support employee.
“Explain to me how it works.”
An effective technique that unlocks the potential of the candidate. Will he convey clearly and clearly his thoughts? Will it put itself in your place? If a person explains an unknown subject “from scratch” in such a way that no initial knowledge is required, this is a victory.
You can complicate the situation a bit. Pretend to be distracted and ask again. Will the applicant talk with the same enthusiasm as the first time? Can hide the indignation caused by your carelessness? These are important qualities, and you can identify them using such a simple test.
“Tell us a little about yourself”
The most common question to which almost all applicants have a standard answer. However, after listening to the beginning of the story, you can interrupt a person with a counter question and start a casual conversation on an abstract topic. The goal is to see how pleasant he is. Customers value friendly support, often the help for them is already a friendly conversation.
In conclusion, I want to give a few figures. They give a full understanding of the need for a creative and thorough approach to finding support specialists:
- 70% of purchase decisions are made by customers depending on the quality of service;
- 81% of buyers return to the company they liked the service in;
- 95% of buyers react negatively to poor service: they stop using the services of the company, send complaints, tell their friends about their negative impression;
- 9 people - an average of just such a number of acquaintances tells a satisfied customer about your company.
A talented support specialist is not a luxury . These are long-term investments that will inevitably affect the growth and development of your business.