In a recent bonus episode of Talking Talent, Julie Mordue was joined by two prominent figures from the contact centre industry: Sarah Hunt, and Chris Rainsforth. The focus of the conversation revolved around the innovative ‘Get Ready for Opportunities at Work’ (GROW) programme, a partnership between greenbean and industry membership organisation, The Forum.For those who were unable to join us for the live session, we are pleased to present an overview of the key highlights and insights shared during the discussion.
The GROW programme, developed in partnership with The Forum, is set to revolutionise the way talent is acquired in the contact centre industry. This accredited recruitment and training initiative has emerged as a response to challenges faced by organisations in recruiting and retaining talent. Focus group discussions revealed a common issue: new recruits often struggle with understanding the role and culture of contact centres, leading to early attrition. The GROW programme addresses these challenges head-on by not only attracting potential candidates but also equipping them with a solid foundation before joining an organisation.
"We've heard countless discussions about the need to change perceptions of the industry, and now, with the GROW programme, we're not just talking – we're taking action to truly transform how we attract talent into the contact centre industry." Julie Mordue.
The programme focuses on maintaining candidate engagement during the pre-boarding and onboarding period. Recognising the need to prevent potential candidates from falling out of the recruitment process. GROW aims to bridge the gap between recruitment and the first day on the job. This approach enhances the likelihood of candidates' success within the industry.
Another industry-wide challenge is where a significant number of recruited candidates fail to show up on day one or leave within the first week, sparking the need for a solution that provides candidates with a better understanding of their role before fully committing.
Mitigating ‘Job Shock’
One of the key aims of the GROW programme is to mitigate the phenomenon known as "job shock." Many candidates experience a mismatch between their expectations and the reality of working in a contact centre. GROW's pre-boarding approach allows candidates to gain insights into the role's expectations, culture, performance standards, coaching, and feedback dynamics. This proactive approach would significantly reduce attrition rates and change the perception of contact centre roles from being mere stopgaps to fulfilling and promising careers.
The GROW program is an e-learning platform that offers flexibility for participants to engage with the content on various devices and settings with both pre-boarding and post-boarding modules.
The bite-sized modules are designed to be concise yet informative, with each module ten minutes or less. The programme's versatility enables candidates to complete modules at their own pace over a span of time that suits them, whether it's spread out over a week or in a more concentrated timeframe. The programme's accessibility on mobile devices makes it convenient for candidates to listen and learn while on the go. Additionally, the program's browser-based platform allows progress to be tracked across different devices, so candidates can switch between devices without losing their progress.
The pre-boarding modules offer insight into the contact centre industry and its expectations, helping candidates acclimate before day one. The post-boarding modules delve deeper into technical aspects and dynamics, such as feedback, communication, and support systems. There will be questions that prompt candidates to reflect on what they've learned and how they might apply the information in their roles. This interactive aspect aims to engage candidates and help them recognise the value of their learning. The program's accreditation distinguishes it as a unique offering in the industry,
Addressing Early Attrition
The GROW programme also addresses a significant concern in the industry—early attrition. A substantial percentage of attrition is attributed to individuals who are ‘not the right fit for their roles’. Some of those individuals could indeed by the ‘right fit’ for the role, but they may not have had the opportunity to grasp what the role entails during the early stages of their recruitment journey.
By providing candidates with a clear understanding of what the role entails, the expectations, and the metrics by which their performance will be measured, the GROW program seeks to bridge the gap between recruitment and day one on the job. The comprehensive modules cover various aspects of the role, allowing candidates to make informed decisions about whether the role aligns with their aspirations and skills.
“The programme is designed with scalability in mind, and the goal is for GROW to become the ‘Gold Standard’ for recruitment ensuring businesses hire the right people from the start, thereby saving costs associated with attrition and the need for constant rehiring and retraining.” Chris Rainsforth
Accreditation is a cornerstone of the GROW programme. Candidates who complete the programme receive foundation-level accreditation, certifying their commitment to self-improvement and readiness to contribute effectively from day one. This accreditation bolsters candidates' profiles, setting them apart within the competitive recruitment landscape. As candidates progress and consolidate their learning while applying their skills, the potential for higher levels of accreditation emerges, reflecting their ongoing growth and meaningful input.
Moreover, insights from Sabio’s behavioural and psychology research suggest the significance of instilling a sense of accomplishment in individuals' work experiences. The GROW programme's emphasis on acknowledging and nurturing continuous learning resonates with this psychological principle, thus amplifying retention rates and motivating employees.
As candidates continue to develop and document their learning and skill application, they can achieve higher levels of accreditation, which would reflect their ongoing development and contribution.
“In a competitive recruitment landscape, offering foundation-level accreditation could serve as a differentiator for businesses in attracting talent from other industries.” Sarah Hunt
Enhancing Internal Training
The GROW program is intended to enhance and enrich internal training teams within organisations, rather than replace them. This additional layer of training is designed to be an extra resource in the internal training teams' toolkit.
Acknowledging the challenges organisations sometimes face, where training time might be reduced or streamlined to cut costs or improve efficiency. GROW aims to alleviate this pressure by offering training that prepares individuals for their roles before they even start, allowing internal training teams to focus on more nuanced aspects of training, such as technical skills and organisational culture.
The program's adaptability and customizability are central attributes. While there are standard off-the-shelf modules, there's also the option for a bespoke approach. This means that the GROW program can be tailored to align perfectly with an organisation's specific needs and culture. The collaboration between the GROW program and internal training teams ensures that employees receive a holistic and well-rounded training experience that incorporates both industry-specific knowledge and organisation-specific requirements.
Inclusive Recruitment Strategy
The GROW programme allows for an inclusive attraction and recruitment strategy that appeals to and benefits individuals from different backgrounds and demographics. The programme’s relevance extends beyond a specific industry or age group. It can apply to candidates coming from various sectors such as retail, hospitality, and leisure, as well as individuals over 50 and minority groups. The program is designed to be universally applicable and accommodating to a diverse range of candidates.
Raising standards in contact centre recruitment
The groundbreaking nature of the GROW programme has the potential to bring about revolutionary changes in the industry, which is sometimes resistant to change—whether it pertains to technology or innovative approaches like the GROW initiative.
For organisations grappling with recruitment and attrition challenges, the GROW programme offers tailored solutions to address these concerns head-on. It not only helps candidates better understand the role they are entering but also allows organisations to prepare candidates for the journey ahead.
Both greenbean and The Forum express unwavering confidence that these organisations will swiftly recognise the program's positive impact and reap its benefits. In this way, the program aligns with the goals of recruitment while enhancing the overall quality of hires and the potential to establish new industry standards for recruitment practices, fostering not only innovation but also cost-effective solutions.
Find out more
Learn more about GROW in our digital flipbook below:
About Julie Mordue
Julie is a well-respected figure in the UK contact centre industry, having judged for various awards programmes over the years. Julie leads a team of experts to create and deliver highly effective recruitment marketing campaigns for our contact centre clients. She also leads our business engagement activities, including Talking Talent virtual and round-table events to support the continued professional development of those working in the sector and promote the industry as a career of choice.
About Chris Rainsforth
Having taken his first call in 1996 and realising the potential for a fulfilling career, Chris progressed through various roles, from team leader to operations manager, working across different industries. In 2012-2013, Chris joined what was then known as the Professional Planning Forum to play a significant part in professionalising and raising standards in the industry. He helped shape the organisation, which is today known as The Forum, to support all areas of the contact centre operation. Chris expressed his passion for bringing in the next generation and his belief in the importance of preparing the industry for the future.
About Sarah Hunt
Like many others, Sarah started on the phones and has worked in the contact centre industry for over 25 years. She has progressed through various roles, managed large teams through change and transformation, and was involved in judging best practices across the UK and Europe as a Lead Judge for the Call Centre Management Association, (CCMA). Sarah is passionate about the contact centre industry and is excited to join the greenbean team to launch the new GROW program.