Something can be done about call centre turnover

Many call centres struggle to find staff — it doesn't have to be that way
By Nancy Larin
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/05/2003

Companies are relying more and more on professional call centres as their first line of contact with current and potential customers. While the representatives at these centres are usually customer-focused or technologically proficient, many centre managers are struggling to find and retain qualified staff.

A survey of 424 call centres across North America, sponsored by the Olsten Forum on Human Resources, found the average annual turnover to be one in three within the first year of employment. That compares with 18 per cent in other business units.

“There are instances where the turnover is as high as 100 per cent a year,” said Jo’Ann Alderson, president of Progressive Communications, Inc., a firm consulting in the hiring and training of call centre employees. “And some companies, like Disney, have very, very low rates of attrition.”