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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.”

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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

Finding Talent in Unexpected Places

Rapidly advancing technologies, changing job roles and a shift in the talent market have forced HR leaders to expand their search for new and prospective candidates. What does this mean in practice?

finding talent

At a roundtable event held with some of our clients, one of the topics of conversation focused on the need to look outside of the traditional talent pool to attract candidates to meet the demands of the new workplace. Market commentators and researchers echo this sentiment and Deloitte highlighted this in its Global Human Capital Trends 2019 Report. We think there is nothing to suggest that this is no longer the case as we head into 2020. 

In its report, Deloitte proposed that organizations need to look at additional talent pools because of a number of factors. 
Firstly, there is a general shortage of talent because of record low unemployment rates in some countries as well as general demographic changes we are witnessing. Organizations are also faced with the scarcity of some specific skills for the newer digital roles. Couple these issues with the impact of automation on roles and the shift in flexible and more agile working patterns/contracts and, as the Deloitte report highlights, recruiting has become more difficult. It has led to a war of employer brands, stronger recruitment campaigns, a surge in the application of hiring technologies, and the recognition that organizations must now consider how best to continuously access talent. 
It means that recruiters need to relook at the talent pools in which they are ‘fishing’, such as:
  • Previously untapped talent groups such as women returners and those studying at less traditional campuses.
  • The ‘alternative workforce’ such as gig workers and contractors; rethinking how people are ‘employed’.
  • Developing the current employee base by supporting the acquisition of the new competencies needed in a transforming organization. 
Non-traditional Talent Pools
Organizations have long recognized the benefits of having their workforce reflect the diversity of their customer base and this has prompted businesses to look beyond their traditional pools. 
We see this in the work with our clients. For example, a UK public services company recruiting graduates for its graduate programmes regardless of subject or institution studied at, and a Norwegian accountancy firm re-thinking and re-articulating its values to attract talent who would not have considered it as an employer previously.
We have clients who have invested heavily in campaigns to attract more diverse applicants, to get a great proportion of female and BAME* candidates, and to level the playing field when it comes to assessment. 
The Alternative Workforce
The alternative workforce is growing – and organizations are seeking out the talent they need in this workforce. 
These are the people working with ‘gig’ arrangements such as contractors, contingent workers and freelancers. It means that organizations have the ability to flex their workforce as needed, bring in specific skills and capabilities as required, without the on-payroll costs and restrictions. But, the integration of such a workforce brings its own challenges; that of engagement, loyalty and management. For the gig worker, such contracts bring greater flexibility and variety in work.  
Our clients tell us how this previously untapped talent pool is changing how they map out and plan for the future.
Current Employees
45% of respondents in the Deloitte report reported that their employees lack information about the availability of roles within their organization for career progression. It is little wonder that 56% of the survey respondents said it is easier for their employees to find a new role outside of the company than within. This may be building up problems for the future, as talent and knowledge leaves the business and it is harder to replace them. 
We believe that organizations must look internally at their current talent. They need to understand the skills and competencies they have now, and what is needed to take the organization forward. New competencies will inevitably be needed in the new digital world; our validated digital competency framework shows this. 
The challenge to organization is how to best support current employees to develop and grow into new roles. One of our clients has met this challenge head on. It has assessed its current talent, shared plans for future job roles, supported its people to develop new competencies and skills and to move into new roles. It learned that much of the talent needed to take the business forward, unexpectedly was already within the business. 
If you recognize the need to look beyond your traditional talent pool or develop your current employee competency and capability range and want to have an initial exploratory conversation with us, then get in touch. 
*Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (used to refer to members of non-white communities in the UK).

Key Talent Assessment Topics That Need Addressing in 2020

As we continue into the new year, the two talent themes that prompted interest in talent assessment more so than any other theme last year, look set to keep talent leaders busy in 2020. 

Last year, we witnessed a surge in interest in two key themes. We expect this interest to continue throughout this year.

  • How AI can augment hiring
  • The impact of digital transformation on talent strategy

Get up to speed in these areas by taking a look at some of our most popular resources in these areas, and work out a plan to take action this year. 

How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Augment Hiring

  • How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of AI - Learn how to get the best from applying AI in talent management by reading this article.
  • Unlocking The True Power Of Talent Assessments For Better Hiring - Read how AI-based talent assessment can help classify candidates, make predictions and lead to better hiring decisions.
  • The Times Special Report: Future of Talent Management - Learn how assessments driven by artificial intelligence (AI) can remove the bias from hiring.
  • Proctor & Gamble: Leveraging AI and gamification to improve candidate assessment - Read how P&G looked to find new ways to improve the candidate experience while maintaining the validity of their established candidate testing. 


The Impact of Digital Transformation on Talent Strategy

If you'd like to take action and move your talent assessment agenda on, then do get in touch with us.


How to Measure Flexibility

For most employers, flexibility is an important characteristic for employees to have.  But how can we measure it?  Find out in this article.

flexibility working

For most employers, flexibility is an important characteristic for employees to have. It is about their willingness and ability to modify or adapt their approach based on the current situation. Typically, we see that those who have a more flexible mindset are more likely to try out new approaches, be less tied by tradition and flex to accommodate new demands. 

But what about those who are not so flexible? Can they too be valued employees? Most certainly. Think of the situations in which we need people to be unwavering in their approach and those who adhere to the rules and policies and not always looking to develop something new. We need those people. 

Different roles and teams require flexibility to a greater or lesser extent. How can we measure the flexibility of a person, and how does this personality characteristic interact with other characteristics?

The ADEPT-15® personality model covers 15 aspects of personality which are arranged into 6 broad workstyles. The Flexibility aspect or dimension together with the Conceptual and Mastery scales, forms part of the Adaptation workstyle. The Adaptation workstyle measures how individuals expend their effort.

How is Flexibility Seen in Behavior?

The Flexibility dimension of ADEPT-15 measures the extent to which a person is adaptable in their approach to work and comfortable with doing something new, as opposed to preferring to stick to an established way. As with scores on all personality dimensions, a score in either direction on the Flexibility dimension has both potential positives – and potential watch-outs.

Take a look at some of the points to leverage, as well as some of the areas to watch out for.

The Leverage Points

Those with a high score on the Flexibility scale are likely to:

  • Want variety and change and to try new things
  • Be very flexible and adaptable;
  • Continually evolve their opinions and approaches.

Those scoring low on this scale tend to:

  • Be unwavering in their opinions and beliefs;
  • Prefer to take the trusted approach than develop something new;
  • Support using established procedures and processes.

The Watch-Outs

Watch out for the following with high-scorers on the Flexibility dimension:

  • May advocate for, or pursue, unnecessary change;
  • More easily bored and inconsistent in their approach and opinions.

For the low-scorers on Flexibility, watch out for:

  • Less interest in new ideas and experiences;
  • May be perceived as rigid and unyielding;
  • Resistant to change.

The Role of Flexibility in the Workplace

Organizations are arguably under greater pressure now to shift, change and adapt than they have been previously. As such, it is important to understand how comfortable a person is likely to feel with change and developing new ways of working.

Adapt to Individual Differences

Individuals with high Flexibility scores will be more likely than others to adapt their behaviors to address the situation they find themselves in. This indicates that they will be more willing to adapt to individual differences and modify their behavior when interacting with others.

Champion Change

Because those with high Flexibility are open to new ideas and experiences, willing to evolve their opinion and approaches, and tend to prefer variety, they are likely to display enthusiasm for change.

Resolve Conflicts

Those with high Flexibility scores are much more open to exploring innovative, win-win solutions rather than adopting conventional approaches or settling for fair compromises.

Seek Challenge and Novelty

Individuals that score highly on Flexibility are comfortable being uncomfortable, constantly pushing outside of their comfort zone to gain new experiences and are eager to take on projects or assignments where new knowledge or skills are required. As such, they will be more likely to seek challenges and new experiences at work.

Compensating for an Individual’s Flexibility Score

We have looked at how Flexibility as a single construct is portrayed in behavior at work, and how there are both positives and negatives to this trait.

Let us now consider how scores on other ADEPT-15 dimensions can mitigate for a person’s Flexibility score and shape how it is behaviorally displayed.

When Flexibility scores are low, we need to look at other scales:

  • Higher Cooperativeness and Mastery can help ensure low scorers are willing to accommodate others and interested in learning new things, which can mitigate inflexibility issues.

When an individual has a high score on the Flexibility dimension, you may like to look elsewhere in the profile for:

  • Higher Awareness can help mitigate the risk of constantly changing opinions.


For more about assessing the preference for power in your candidates and employees, 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

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