As one of the UK’s leading recruiters supporting at all levels within Contact Centres and Customer Experience, CCA Recruitment Group are well placed to observe how the recruitment and contact centre employment marketplace is changing.

2023 was a challenging year owing macroeconomic issues such as interest rates and international conflicts and the continuing hangover from Covid-19 which has materially impacted how people work within the Contact Centre Industry. Saying that there has certainly been movement and we have placed many candidates across our specialist teams at all levels from front line to Executive & Board.

So, what have been the main observations from last year?

The contact centre sector in the UK remains huge – with general observations of around 6,000 locations (plus homeworkers) and one million employees in the sectors – many of these centres are increasingly complex and although sites close, new ones open – particularly in sectors such a those supporting the health, public sector, housing, and fin-tech businesses.

Although the market has turned cyclically into more of a ‘client-driven’ market, outstanding candidates are very much in demand across our three key divisions:  

Senior, Executive & Board – Resource Planning, Solutions, AI, Insight & Analytics, Business Development and Transformational roles have all been in demand whilst General Management roles have been less prevalent. Our observations and feedback from clients on this are that owing to the fluid nature of hybrid working, and the transformational nature of the industry at present clients are cautious over the skills of external senior operational management talent they are bringing in. As working models are further embedded, we believe that confidence will return to recruiting those individuals that operationally excel.

If you require further information around how the senior market appears please contact Rob Dermott

Operations – The key movement here has been around those individuals who can ensure day-to-day operational delivery and team wellbeing.  These are operational team management, Contact Centre Managers and those roles that support this delivery such as Real Time, MI and Resource Planning.  There has been upward pressure on salaries in this area.

BPO – 2023 was a year of change with key points being consolidation of leading BPO companies and rebranding to meet the demands of a fast-moving global market.  Some of the Trends we saw and supported our clients with were:

  • Automation and AI
  • Value Added Services
  • Off Shoring / Near Shoring
  • Hybrid Working Models

Whilst the BPO market had its challenges it is without doubt that the sector helped many organisations improve their performance and overall efficiency, giving companies the opportunities to grow and expand their services and increase job opportunities.

Supporting the BPO sector with talent attraction saw some real shifts in role types such as Account management and sales roles merging in this key revenue generating role.  Many organisations recruited niche hires supporting all parts of the business.

CCA are working with clients in this sector to help with the “Focus on Talent” helping organisations to harness talent, developing technical skills, and providing business value from candidates.

2024 will see CCA helping the sector evolve and remain competitive, bringing talent to support these focus areas.

Jo Griffiths is our BPO Expert please contact Jo for more insight  –

Frontline – For front line roles there have again been many hires across our offices in Glasgow, Newcastle, and Manchester.  The challenge here has been around retention of staff – especially those hired during or soon after the pandemic – this turnover is often down to low levels of engagement and higher levels of homeworking which coupled with often poor remote management has meant that this is a challenge for some employers.  Other challenges in this space are particularly for organisations who pay at the lower salary end for agents as the minimum wage increases – impacting these organisations marginally more than other organisations.  We also continue to see that UK based frontline customer service, collections, helpdesk, and sales roles are more complex and more ‘simplistic’ roles continue to move offshore either by their organisation or BPO partner to cut costs.

For further information please contact Pamela Stokes, or if you are looking for more specific information around the Scottish or North East marketplace please contact Debbie Wilson

What else is going on?

The homeworking/office/hybrid model is still up for discussion. This keeps on coming up as every organisation has a different view on how this best fit their business. Employees may have a different view and HR Directors want to build organisational culture whilst work patterns remain ‘fluid’.  Many clients continue to review every 6 months, which adds to uncertainty.

For those organisations where people are back in the office – whether it is for one day or five per week – the key observations are getting the most out of those employees on the days they are in.

Key themes on this include:

  • ‘All hands on deck days’, where specific teams or the management teams are all in on the same day.
  • Reconfiguring contact centre environments to allow for more collaboration and opportunities to ‘break-out’,
  • Minimising teams calls whilst maximising face to face communication & coaching time.
  • Incentives to get people back into the office – including improving facilities – and not to mention the number of contact centres that we have visited this year who have improved the quality of their coffee machines. Feedback we have had from managers who have done this is that it has made a real difference to how people ‘feel’ they are being treated. Sometimes it is the little changes that can have big impact!

A.I. – 2023 is the year that this has really started to impact the industry in general and it’s now about harnessing and embedding it correctly.  This is a wide area which has been reported hugely but a good report to review is

 Recruitment & Retention

The observations above have an impact on recruitment & retention. Being a recruitment business, we are always happy to provide insight and observations personalised to your requirements, so if you have questions, please do contact us. 

On a high-level, in November Rob Dermott, Associate Director presented at part of a session for the UKCCF where he discussed Recruitment & Retention and shared some key industry statistics which give food for thought. 

  • Contact Centre attrition rates are between 21-26% and can reach 44% plus depending on industry and sector. Across the wider economy attrition is 15%
  • Average length of an employee in a contact centre role is 11-14 months – this is often due to moving agents into new roles for engagement purposes.
  • 50% of employees are considering or actively looing for a new role at present.
  • A recent Gallup poll concludes only 10% of UK Workers felt actively engaged with their employer/workplace

Although these statistics at surface level are alarming, if organisations review their workforce and act in several key areas, they can make impacts to reduce these statistics and reduce attrition.  From the Gallup poll and what candidates at all levels are telling our consultants the key challenges to overcome are that:

  • 41% say culture and engagement are the reason they are considering a change or are disengaged.
  • 28% feel better pay & benefits would be a reason to move on
  • 70% of employee engagement is directly attributed to their manager or the senior leadership team – so it is important to ensure your managers are motivated and not quiet quitting themselves!

There’s some work to do, but those organisations that delve into and act on such statistics can can improve their recruitment & retention. If you would like to know more about the UKCCF and this session please feel free to Rob Dermott and he’d be happy to share additional insight

In conjunction with the Customer Experience Foundation I also contributed alongside Pamela Stokes, MD CCA Recruitmentment to their ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s Workforce’ report where we talked about Choosing Contact Centre Careers – A Future Perspective. To download a copy of this report please follow this link – – you’ll find us on page 66. Again should you be looking for more insight around this or the CXFO please contact Rob.

So, what does 2024 hold?

The market for 2024 will still have challenges but there have been a number of positive signals within the UK, not least with interest rates looking like they have peaked which mean that it is much easier for both businesses to plan and invest. Globally there are international conflicts and supply chain issues which will still impact and obviously although Covid-19 is under control its impacts are still felt in how we work and live.

Within Contact Centres

Clients are indicating confidence is returning to hiring plans but are often unaware of how the market has moved in terms of salaries and candidate availability – we are able to assist with insights in this area.  Most observations for 2024 talk about AI & Technology, forgetting about the people – which is the most important asset a business has and as people focussed organisation we’ve included those observations:

Ways of Working – Its almost 4 years since the pandemic started so for those that have not already done this some real decisions need to be made by business on future ways of working. There are no further excuses on this whether it be poor customer service / support (as a few organisations still blame long call waiting times for) or how the workforce works (home/hybrid/office). It is time to move forward with certainty.

Continued focus on D, E&I – clients are continuing to focus on this to ensure that leadership more closely reflects diversity, equality and inclusion and provides opportunity for all within.

AI, Insight & Technology – AI powered customer service is set to really take hold. Introducing and embedding this technology effectively will be the challenge.  This will be coupled with hyper-personalisation of customer engagement and provision of real-time analytics for continuous improvement.

Data & Security – further scrutiny and tightening in this area as ‘scams’ get more prolific and data breaches are a continual threat.

Wellbeing & Engagement – all changes and operational delivery need a motivated and engaged workforce and as indicated by the Recruitment & Retention section above and Gallup poll this will need to improve in 2024.

Social Responsibility & Sustainability – data across the industry shows that business that integrate ethical principle into their contact centres report around 15% improvement in brand image and around a 20% increase in candidate attraction and similar for employee engagement.

These are just some of the key trends we envisage for 2024.  All clients are different, but the main thing that that they all share is the need for a motivated and engaged workforce to deliver customer excellence and outcomes.  This also helps attract and retain the best talent in the Contact Centre Industry.  CCA Recruitment Group are placed to assist with any insight or assistance you require.

We wish you all the best for 2024.

About CCA Recruitment Group

CCA Recruitment Group is a specialist recruitment company that pairs top talent with ideal employers. Whether you’re an employer seeking to attract the perfect candidate for your specific role, or a candidate in search of your next opportunity to shine in your chosen field, we are here to guide you. With our extensive experience and dedication, we ensure a seamless process that aligns your aspirations and abilities with the right opportunities. Trust in CCA Recruitment Group – where your career and business success is our priority.

We operate nationally and internationally and provide contact centre recruitment solutions across all levels Executive, Senior, Operational and Frontline 

For more information please contact:

Contact us – CCA Recruitment