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Recruitment of Philippine Call Center Agents: An Inside Look

Jan 30, 2008
To facilitate the needs of the corporations that secure the services of Philippine call centers, they need a large number of employees. Yet, call centers cannot simply hire anyone with good English skills. Decidedly, English skills are important but this should also be coupled with a lot of other things such as ICT skills, and good customer service. In this regard, Philippine call centers have dynamic human resource management personnel to facilitate the recruitment, training, and even retention of Philippine call center agents.

There is a significant time difference between the Philippines and the home countries of the companies and corporations that they are serving. There is a three to four-hour difference between the Philippines and Australia. On the other hand, the time difference between the United States and the Philippines is between 11-13 hours. As such, call center agents in the Philippines should be willing to work on the graveyard shifts. Because of this work hazard, call center agents receive night shift differentials on top of their basic salary.

The willingness to work on a night shift is only a part of the requirements of being a call center in the Philippines. There are several qualifications being looked for in a call center agent. For one, a college education is necessary for full time call center agents. College level students have the option to apply as part-time agents to help them with their education costs. Since the medium of instruction in the Philippines is English and Filipino, these young professionals applying at call centers do have good English communication skills although there may be some exceptions.

Another criteria for recruitment is problem-solving skills. Since customer service is basically a problem-solving process, prospective agents should be able to demonstrate this important skill. Good thing, most University and College graduates do have excellent English skills as well as the skills needed in solving problems. Moreover, the naturally-hospitable culture of Filipinos enables them to provide excellent customer service. Philippine call center agents therefore have a natural advantage in providing customer service to people of different nationalities.

Applicants to call centers undergo an examination that seeks to gauge the level of their English communication, problem-solving, and customer service skills. If they pass this examination, they are scheduled for an oral examination or interview. The applicant should be able to articulate himself clearly in terms of accent and the meaning that he wants to communicate. He should also be confident in expressing himself. Phone skills are also evaluated through simulated phone calls, together with a typing test since this is also an important part of the job.

The final interview will be the ultimate assessment of the applicant. More often than not, the final interview is where the candidate gets assigned to the account most suitable to his capabilities. He may be put to a sales, customer care, or technical support accounts. These types of accounts are usually present in different departments of a large call center.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. He employs a team of 50 in a high quality call center facility based in the Philippines. For more info on outsourcing your project visit: http://www.global-sky.com
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