Striking a balance in any business can be tremendously difficult!

During a recruitment drive, there are numerous variables which need to be considered to make sure you hit the required headcount to deliver operational objectives.

The success and/or failure of an operation can fall squarely on the shoulders of a few key individuals and under the ever-changing landscape of political uncertainties and challenging market conditions, it proves pivotal to make the right decision when hiring.

There is no exact science of recruitment and it is something every business does differently. As the market shifts, it is essential that businesses have considered their route to market to ensure they attract and retain top talent.

At CCA we represent the contact centre functions of industry leading organisations across multiple areas and whilst the key drivers to successful candidate intakes vary, the fundamental challenges are very similar.

In a recent article the labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that unemployment remained at 4.6 percent in the three months to April, the joint-lowest level since 1975.

Speaking online the Recruitment & Employment Confederation Chief Executive Kevin Green says; “The jobs market continues to perform above expectations.”

“There are 372,000 more people in work compared to a year ago, and the proportion of the population participating in the labour market is at a record high.”

“This is good news, but there are pressing challenges for employers.”

“Our data shows that employers are struggling to fill jobs because of labour, skill and talent shortages.”

“A few years ago it was the case that businesses in particular specialist sectors such as IT and engineering had to contend a lack of people to fill vacancies, but now that problem is rife across the economy.”

We put the key variable of ‘Staff Retention Vs Talent Shortage Vs Staff Engagement’ to a number of our clients and it was interesting what came back…

One client – a household name in the telecommunications industry – said; “Certainly from our world – we pay upper quartile with a good overall package, excellent working conditions and an interesting/challenging role.”

“When we do people surveys we always see Package/Colleagues/Environment as the top three positives.”

“Conversely shifts and level of change can prove the biggest challenges but that’s standard in other companies I’ve worked for.”

The traditional ‘Cradle to Grave’ process is a phrase synonymous to recruitment. However, in an ever-changing business environment, do we monitor the shifts during the process? From the point of engaging with internal stakeholders over planned recruitment to successfully appointing a new starter – is the journey consistent from what you are trying to achieve? Do your recruitment partners understanding the needs of the business? Does the hiring manager understand the market challenges? Does each person involved have the same values and drivers? 

Expectations Vs Reality can be a difficult process to master so we encourage our clients to be consistent in terms of their unique selling points…

Head of site at a Financial Services Business, said: “We are committing to being a living wage employer – actual living wage, not old minimum wage.”

“We also find that having visible career progression is a major driver for our retention.”

“Over 16% of my department secured an internal promotion within last 12 months.”

“The core benefits that matter to our people include private health care, income protection and strong pension contributions so it is clear these candidates are looking longer term as opposed to the traditional stereotype of seasonal/ramp resource common to contact centres.”

“Above all be fair, consistent, and provide honest answers, whilst being upfront with operational information to the workforce whether it’s positive or negative – even if that makes you, for short time unpopular.”

These similarities in staff offering and company transparency don’t just apply to a direct market, but also in the complex BPO world.

CEO of a major BPO of, commented: “At Parseq we recognise that our employees are at the heart of what we do and that employee engagement is fundamental to retention and our success.”

“One of our key people strategies has been to create and maintain an environment that provides a truly great place to work.

“This encompasses the entire employee life cycle, from how we attract and select top talent to nurturing internal growth and encouraging feedback across the business to support continuous improvement.”

“This year has also seen further investment in our people strategy including Entertain the Q activities, an updated on boarding Experience and the creation of a new Employee Development program that focuses on helping employees achieve their objectives and identify clear Career Paths for progression.”

“Through our commitment to our people, we have seen a month on month improvement in employee retention at the Glasgow site and this was further evidenced in the results provided by the April 2017 Employee Engagement Survey, which indicated an employee commitment level of 8.62 out of 10.”

Innovation is one area in which many employers are investing in and not just in terms of technology.

Workplace innovation is centred on giving people space, time and tools to drive a business forward and also rewarding people appropriately for their role and delivery within the business.

Companies are driving their people more than profits and having core values and sense of purpose beyond just making money.

At CCA we encourage our clients to be brave and base their management decisions on a long-term company philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.

We find that in the current market it is evident Candidates/employees need a reason to be with you and work with you. Do they have the same values and behaviours and are you interviewing for this? 

Skills can be taught behaviours can’t….