Call centres unharmed by offshoring

Recruitment levels remain stable in UK call centres, despite the trend
towards offshoring.

Watson Wyatt’s latest Contact Centre Survey found 21 per cent of call
centres reported increased recruitment in the past year, 21 per cent cited
lower recruitment levels, and the remainder found they had stayed the same.

The survey found that 79 per cent of contact centres are currently
recruiting. The main demand is for staff to fill customer service agent/adviser
roles and sales positions. Altogether, 50 per cent of the call centres reported
recruitment difficulties.

"The majority of contact centres regard local competition as the
principal cause of recruitment problems," said Philip Hough, a senior
consultant at Watson Wyatt. "The tendency for contact centres to cluster
in particular regions means that recruitment difficulties are often greater for

Seventy-one per cent of contact centres in the survey found staff retention
a problem – up from 50 per cent in the previous year’s survey – with an average
annual staff turnover of 22.5 per cent.

Sixty-four per cent of contact centres said the main reason that workers
left was to earn more money, while 21 per cent suggested they leave because of
a lack of career progression.

Sickness absence is seen as a significant problem, with all survey
participants reporting higher absence levels in their contact centres than in
other parts of their business.

The survey analysed the compensation and pay of more than 50,000 contact
centre workers from more than 120 companies.

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