US call centres lure staff with benefits deals

UK call centres could learn from their US counterparts who say recruitment
and retention can be helped by offering excellent staff benefits.

The 2002 Call Centre Compensation Survey, shows that concierge services,
recognition programmes, a favourable work environment, and high-quality
supervision and leadership are the most important benefits.

Conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, 329 organisations were

The report shows that US call centres are still fine-tuning their approaches
to finding, keeping, and rewarding their employees.

The recruitment techniques US firms find most effective are employee referrals,
local newspaper ads, and job fairs.

Dana Kraml, a Mercer reward consultant said US call centre operators are
budgeting for base pay increases of 3.5-3.7 per cent in 2003, compared to
3.5-3.6 per cent in 2002.

Kraml said call centre reward programmes must reflect the fact that most
centres are now open seven days a week and, in many cases, for 24 hours a day,
with 70 per cent paying more for unpopular shifts.

According to the survey, 41 per cent of call centres also pay a premium for
multilingual employees. Language skills, especially Spanish, are needed to
serve the increasingly diverse customer base in the US.

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