Cardiff, Wales, Feb, 2022 -- The leaders of Wales’ contact centre industry have branded the current recruitment battle between sectors to simply fill vacancies as "shortsighted" and are instead encouraging job seekers to realise that they have the power to choose careers over jobs.
Speaking ahead of a major industry recruitment event at Cardiff City Hall on the 17th February, the Welsh Contact Centre Forum (WCCF) says those looking to find their next should expect more than a wage.
Sandra Busby, managing director of the WCCF, said: "The fact that almost every sector in the UK has launched major recruitment drives is all the evidence you need to realise that we are in a job seekers’ market. Anyone who is looking to find their next, or even their first role, should understand that they are in a position to expect more from employers.
"For many years the Welsh contact centre industry has understood that limiting recruitment tactics to simply filling seats is shortsighted and unsustainable. It only serves to lock employers into a continual cycle of recruitment. For this reason, our sector is focused on recruiting those who are looking for a career in the contact centre industry and expect continual training that leads to real progression."
Substantial investments into new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the ability to embrace hybrid working has seen the sector praised for its ability to rapidly adapt to aid businesses, consumers, and the public sector during the pandemic.
This October will also see the WCCF launch the latest integration of its Data/AI Graduate Programme, which provides new talents to kick-start their careers with ten-month programme developed in partnership with some of the sector’s leading employers.
According to the WCCF, it’s one of the only industries that that truly offers routes into corporate business for both qualified individuals and those without any qualifications whatsoever. While primarily acting as the customer facing department of public service providers and multination corporations alike, the expansive nature of industry sees contact centre roles span operations management, HR, marketing, statistical analysis, finance, IT, and training.
Often, those entering the contact centre industry are attracted by the sector’s inherent flexibility and opportunities for on-the-job training. Indeed, the ability to provide ongoing training and career progression are qualities most employers in the industry are proud to promote to prospective candidates. That includes Kath Chivers, Director of Client Development at Newport and Cardiff-based Target Group.
Though her career in the industry has seen Kath lead teams exceeding 5,000 people, in addition to establishing, merging and transitioning entire divisions for national banking groups, her first venture into the sector began in 1995, when the mother of three started on the phone for Lloyds Bank as a customer service advisor.
As Kath explains: "Like many people, my career started with an entry level role. Prior to starting my own family I’d worked in our family’s pub and some retail roles. At the time, a 16-hour contract requiring no direct experience and the opportunity to gain paid training, it just seemed like a chance to try something new.
"Crucially, I was hired because someone took the time to recognize that I’d be a good fit for the role. Since then, my career has afforded me many opportunities to train, retrain, and grasp the opportunity to try something totally new to me. That includes VP roles for multinationals, high street banks, and technology companies. As fortunate as I have been, the fact is that I’m not alone in this experience. That’s genuinely what it’s like for many in this sector. In the past year, my company alone made over 150 internal promotions. Those working in the contact centre industry may change roles regularly, but that’s because as a sector we retrain to retain our talent. When we recruit, it’s to grow our teams, not replace them."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Welsh Contact Centre Forum:
A networking, support and best practice forum for the growing contact centre industry in Wales.
Published: Monday, February 14, 2022
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