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Contact centres: how to recruit and retain high performing agents

Five steps to help contact centres to identify, select and retain talented agents are available in a new insight guide from cut-e.

Called ‘Recruiting special agents’, the guide provides best practice advice to help contact centre recruiters to hire the right people, differentiate their employer brand, engage candidates and improve the efficiency of their selection process.

“Many people who apply for agent positions in contact centres are unsuited to the job,” said Andreas Lohff of cut-e. “This guide explains how to attract, recruit and retain ‘right fit’ agents and how you can save time and resources in recruitment.”

The guide outlines how technology can optimise the selection process and cut the time-to-hire. “Integrating systems such as your Applicant Tracking System and HR Information System can create efficiencies,” said Andreas Lohff. “It also enables you to mine and utilise employee data in ways that weren’t possible before. This opens the door to a wealth of new talent analytics that can further improve your recruitment, increase sales and help you to avoid the disruption of hiring the wrong people.”

cut-e in the media

Be aware of "black box" problems when using AI for recruiting

The Student Employer - 31st October 2018,

Using artificial Intelligence (AI) for recruiting can enhance your candidate selection process, but beware of ‘black box’ algorithms that can lead to recruitment decisions that you can’t defend. Richard Justenhoven explains the two types of AI system and how it can be used effectively in assessment.

A Guide to AI

Global Recruiter - 22nd October 2018,

Richard Justenhoven gives four key guidelines to using AI in recruitment.

The goal of any recruitment process is to identify the right person for the job. The closer you match the individual to the requirements of the role, the more effective that person will be. You don’t need Artificial Intelligence to achieve this. But AI will help you do it quicker and more efficiently.

Recruiting safe commercial drivers

HRHQ - 22nd October 2018, Ireland

Commercial drivers - whether they drive a train, lorry, bus, ferry, delivery van or a forklift - are responsible for the safety of their passengers or cargo, and their vehicles. If you recruit drivers, you’ll undoubtedly check whether job candidates have the necessary driving skills and the required licences or certificates. You may even conduct medical and eyesight checks. But, can you be confident those individuals will drive safely?

Suzanne Courtney: How to attract and select great graduates

HR review - 5th October 2018, UK

In the face of fierce competition to find the right talent, today’s graduate recruiters are striving to make their assessment and selection processes shorter, more focused and more engaging. Here are five essential tips to help you to stand out from the crowd:

The essential competencies for digital transformation

HRHQ - 10th September 2018, Ireland

To survive in the digital future, organisations need a fluid structure, an agile culture and employees who are ‘digitally-ready’ to cope with rapidly changing circumstances. Digital readiness is not about being proficient with technology - it’s not about whether you can use Excel or mobile devices - and it is not related to age. Every employee now needs the ability to perform tasks, manage information, share knowledge and work with others in a digital context.

cut-e scienceBlog

How to Measure Drive


The language of driven-related behavior at work is all around us. We drive for results. We drive team performance. We identify growth drivers. Typically, having ‘drive’ is considered positively – and a person with low drive may be perceived as lacking stamina or having low energy for what is needed. But that isn’t always the case and, as with all behaviors, there are pros and cons to this trait regardless of where it falls on the continuum.

The question is, how can drive be assessed reliably?

Drive is one of the areas measured in our ADEPT-15® personality questionnaire and forms part of the Task Style (and goes hand in hand with Structure). The Task Style is one of three broad workstyles which forms the Performance Style. The Performance Style workstyles examine an individual’s internal motivations and individual efforts as well as his or her preferences, attitudes, and approaches to work and ideas.

How is Drive Seen in Behavior?

The Drive aspect of ADEPT-15® measures reliability and task focus. It means that a person’s score will be seen in how he or she approaches deadlines and deals with changing priorities. As with all personality characteristics there is not a single ideal score. We list below the behaviors we may need to watch out for – or leverage – depending on where on the scale we fall.

The Leverage Points

Those scoring high on this aspect are likely to be:

  • Deadline-oriented.
  • Highly focused on accomplishing tasks.
  • Reliable and to follow through and deliver on commitments.
  • Persistent in accomplishing difficult tasks requiring perseverance.

Those scoring low tend to be:

  • Easy going and relaxed.
  • Able to shift from task-to-task.
  • Capable of handling changing priorities.

The Watch-Outs

Watch out for the following with high-scorers on Drive. They may be:

  • Overly focused on getting things done.
  • Liking to focus on one task without interruptions.
  • Setting lofty goals and working with a laser-like focus toward achieving them – and this may mean that they miss opportunities to work on other important tasks, or to reflect on alternate strategies to reach goals.

Also, watch out for the following with low-scorers on Drive. They may be:

  • Less concerned with meeting deadlines and view them as flexible.
  • Less likely to focus on a single task for extended periods and may get distracted.
  • Likely to procrastinate.
  • Less interested in difficult tasks that require sustained attention or perseverance.

The Role of Drive in the Workplace

We’ve seen that an understanding of an individual’s level of drive, suggests how he or she might approach and focus on tasks. But drive also plays a part in other aspects of work behavior.

Resilience / Grit

Individuals with high Drive are consistently determined to achieve goals and drive results, even when faced with setbacks or failures. As such, they are relentless and will use whatever means necessary to overcome challenges and obstacles.

Taking Initiative

Those high on Drive are more proactive than others as they actively and preemptively take on responsibility and make progress at work without direction from others.

Holding Self and Others Accountable

Because individuals that score highly on Drive are more focused on meeting deadlines and completing tasks, they are more included to set clear expectations and time limits to hold themselves and others accountable for completing assignments and achieving goals.

Compensating for the Drive Score

Depending on one’s Drive score, we find it useful to check out scores on other ADEPT-15 aspects to see how these may temper or compensate for Watch-Outs.

For example, when Drive scores are low, we like to look for:

  • Higher Ambition scores or a successful track record of accomplishments. The Ambition score reflects the extent to which someone is career-oriented and focused on achieving bold goals. Such internal motivation to ensure career success may compensate for a low Drive score.

Generally, high Drive scores are not an issue. However:

  • Lower Ambition scores might help achieve work-life balance.

For more about assessing drive, take a look at our personality questionnaire ADEPT-15® 


About ADEPT-15®

ADEPT-15® is the most advanced, secure, and award-winning* personality test available. With over 50 years of personality, leadership, and psychometric research combined with an adaptive approach to assessment design, ADEPT-15® measures 15 personality traits critical to successful workplace performance. It looks at our preferences, work styles and tendencies as well as what gives us energy and our possible blind spots. It indicates our strengths and areas for development as well as the leadership style we may use, and how others may see us.

*M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research & International Personnel Assessment Council Innovations in Assessment Award

Building AI into Recruitment Processes: Concerns and Opportunities

AI in hiring

We know from our daily conversations with clients that the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the work of HR and Recruiters generates both excitement and reservation. And we see both emotions expressed in the questions we are asked during the webinars we host.

To capture and quantify the concerns of, and the potential as seen by, the participants, we asked a number of questions of those joining us on a recent series of webinars we hosted across time zones. 95 joined us on our US webinar and 266 on our European webinar.

We took a straw poll regarding the biggest concerns felt about using AI in hiring.

  • Over half of participants on our US webinar reported their biggest concern was the ability of AI to ensure a fair and unbiased process.
  • It was also the biggest concern for those joining our European webinar with just over one third flagging this.
  • However, those in Europe were more concerned than the US participants about the difficulties of implementing AI tools, resistance in the organisation and of creating a negative candidate experience.  

But, whilst there are some very real concerns about the implementation of AI, there are very clear perceived opportunities.

  • Over half of the US participants report the greatest potential for using AI in the hiring process is its potential to supply better information for decision making. The European webinar participants also rated this as the biggest area of opportunity.
  • A quarter of both the US and European participants reported that for them, the biggest opportunity for AI is the speeding up of the hiring process.
  • Nearly one fifth see its objectivity to mitigate human bias as the number one opportunity.
  • Cost is seen as the biggest advantage more so in Europe than the US (12% and 5% respectively). 

It is clear that there are some opportunities for using AI within hiring but there are also some concerns.

We have been exploring the use of AI to support talent assessment and video interviewing not just to speed up the process but to include additional, robust information to hiring decision making.

Join us at our webinar on June 5th as we’re sharing how to manage the potential pitfalls and how to maximize the benefits of using AI in assessment.

Sign up now.  


Gamified Assessment, Video Interviewing and Digital Readiness. Meet us at EAWOP.

EAWOP Congress 2019

Advances in psychometrics and technology are powering significant enhancements to how we assess candidates and employees.

We are delighted to be sharing some of these developments at the European Association for Work & Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) 2019 Congress in Turin as we take part in a number of symposia.

The (R)evolution of Video Interviews: Are They Just Hype?
Thursday May 30 - 8.00-9.00 – PARIGI – 1089 SYMPOSIUM

Globalization and increased digitization have forced the traditional recruitment process to change with increasing geographical distances to overcome. Application processes are rarely taking place exclusively on a local level. Video Interviews can help but, while not new, advances in technology, they have potential of changing the interviewing landscape dramatically.

In this symposium we shall discuss video Interviews and video Assessments and aim to evaluate the future relevance of this promising technology and to outline potential benefits and challenges for the field of recruitment. We shall include a review of current research and findings as well as highlight the challenges for research and practice going forward.

This symposium includes the following presentations by Aon colleagues and others:

  • Asynchronous Video Interviews: What we know and want to know (but we’re afraid to ask) - Davide Cannata
  • The Future of Video Assessment: Death of Traditional Online Assessment? - Nico Tschöpe
  • Language Analysis in Psychometric Assessment - Katharina Lochner
  • Rage Against the Machine: Reactions to Artificial Intelligence in Selection Systems - Richard Justenhoven


Competencies for the Digital Age
Thursday 30 May - 10.45-11.45 – VIP - 1678 SYMPOSIUM

Bureaucratic processes and micro-management need to be replaced by employees with an agile mindset; those who are ‘digitally-ready’ to cope with consistently changing circumstances. But what are these competencies?

Drawing on the latest research as well as opinions of experts across multiple fields and the expertise of a team of I/O psychologists, Aon developed the “Digital Readiness Model” and we will share this during the symposium. The model represents the attitude and ability that enables a person to embrace technology, collaborate with others and work effectively in the digital world of work and includes three foundational competencies (Learnability, Agility and Curiosity) and an additional eight supporting competencies.

This symposium includes the following presentations by Aon colleagues and others:

  • Overview of Digital Competencies - Katharina Lochner
  • A Competency Model for the 21st Century Recruiter - Tim Warszta, Sarah Mahling, Jan Westensee
  • Being ready for the digital future – the Digital Readiness Model - Lena Justenhoven, Alina Siemsen
  • Thriving in “Virtual” Teams: Competencies Beyond Informatics - Lothar Bildat, Kathrin Renschler


Game-based Assessment – Facts and Fiction
Thursday 30 May - 16.00-17.00 – ISTANBUL - 990 SYMPOSIUM

Gamified Assessment continues to be of great excitement and interest to talent practitioners and researchers alike. It is understandable; there is the perception that gamified assessment delivers stronger candidate engagement and showcases the innovation of the recruiting organisation.

But do these perceptions deliver reality? At our symposium, we will explore how the different elements of gamified assessment impact candidates’ motivation and flow, and look at how responses on gamified assessment compare to those to more traditional assessment – and what this might mean for the future of assessment.

This symposium includes the following presentations by Aon colleagues and others:

  • The Impact of Game Design Elements in Game-Based Assessment - Tim Warszta, Alina Siemsen
  • Getting into the Game: Applicant Reactions to Game-Based Assessments - Sarena Bhatia
  • Traditional vs. Gamified Tests – Are They Really Different? - Alina Siemsen, Tim Warszta
  • Video Games and Intelligence – Correlations between Playing Different Video Game Genres and Cognitive Abilities - Henrik Jöhnk, Katharina Lochner, Ulrich Steingen


A closer look at Situational Judgment Tests: New Developments and Insights
Thursday 30 May - 12.45-14.00 – PARIGI - 1025 SYMPOSIUM

SJTs have been a popular addition to the assessment toolkit due to their high face and criterion-related validities. But the answer format can be quite limited, offering only a number of response options.

In this symposium, amongst other areas, we shall explore how the video-based interview could include some form of situational judgment assessment. Our research included audio data from over 4,000 video interview participants but research in this area is not without its challenges – and we shall be discussing these.

This symposium includes the following presentations by Aon colleagues and others:

  • False Consensus Effects in Situational Judgment Tests - Janneke K. Oostrom, Nils C.Köbis, Richard Ronay, Myckel Cremers
  • Taking SJTs to the Next Level: Leveraging Unstructured Video Interview Data with AI - Richard Justenhoven
  • Development of a Situational Judgment Test assessing moral judgment and moral behavior -
  • Magdalena Reineboth, Luise Franke-Bartholdt, Jürgen Wegge, Anja Strobel
  • Is it all in the Eye of the Beholder? The Importance of Situation Construal for Situational Judgment Test Performance - Jan-Philipp Schulz, Philipp Schäpers, Lena Römer, Patrick Mussel, Stefan Krumm
  • Which Kind of Situational Information is Needed to Make Situational Judgment Tests Situational? - Philipp Schäpers, Filip Lievens, Jan-Philipp Schulz, Julian Schulze, Cornelius J.König, Stefan Krumm


Recruitment and Selection in the Digital Age
Friday 31 May - 9.30-10.30 – ROMA - 1667 SYMPOSIUM

Shifts and advances in digital technologies have opened up a new range of tools to help us attract, assess and select candidates.

In this symposium, we shall explore some of these looking at what works and where we need further research. We shall explore the candidate experience of interviewing and making decision using technology.

This symposium includes the following presentations by Aon colleagues and others:

  • The impact of review sites on organizational attractiveness – an experimental design - Tim Warszta, Marie-Christin Lange, Anne Jones, Isabel Rogowski
  • Identifying success factors social media recruitment – a policy-capturing design approach - Caroline Weber, Tim Warszta, Lena Plikat
  • Interviewing using technology – how do the applicants feel about that? - Viktoria Künzel, Alina Siemsen, Jürgen Deters
  • Selected by algorithms – what do candidates think? - Katharina Lochner

If you are attending EAWOP, do join us and share your experience and thoughts. We look forward to meeting you.

For more information about the EAWOP Congress, visit their website:

Join the cut-e Talent Forum

LinkedIn is the ‘go-to’ professional network of many HR, Recruitment and Talent decision makers – and a great way to keep informed about work-related issues, ask peers for advice, post a job and take part in relevant discussion. 

But the world of work is transforming; attracting, assessing and developing the skills employees need is changing rapidly. Our LinkedIn Talent Forum is there to share relevant articles and news, and to prompt discussion and thought as we shape and adapt talent management

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