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Overcoming the Talent Shortage in Africa’s Contact Center Industry

The talent shortage is a global concern and it has been here for many years. We often read the news that so and so multinational companies fired thousands of employees. Thousands of job seekers are jobless for years and seeking good opportunities. Amid these types of news buzzing your TV screens and mobile screens, it might be difficult to believe that there is any sort of talent shortage. But, this is a real problem. Many countries like Africa have thousands of openings, which stay unfilled because it gets difficult for them to find the right and suitable talent to fill that vacancy. There are several other factors that are rising talent shortage in the African contact center industry along with multiple other industry verticals.

Call center staffing challenges are endless and it keeps HR pulling their hair regardless of the industry they work in. As in the past few years, the contact center industry is growing in Africa and that is why talent shortage in Africa in the contact center industry is becoming a major challenge for businesses investing in products and ideas in Africa.

When there is a problem, there is a viable solution as well. The talent shortage in the contact center industry is real and there are some solutions and options available to overcome these challenges.

1. Hire international talent

The easiest and the most resource saving option is to hire international agents and supervisors. It is a pricey solution, but this is a viable option to deal with the talent shortage in the African contact center industry. This option also has added benefits such as the call center industry in Africa can run customer care centers around the clock. They can deliver native like experience if they are offering international services. They can also save time in handling agents as a majority of these agents that work remotely are well versed in working without any need for leadership. They may need some guidance at the initial stages, but once they understand your protocols, tools, etc., they can work with higher efficiency and productivity.

2. Retain existing staff

When there is a huge talent gap causing major call center staffing challenges, it becomes vital to focus on reducing the staff attrition rate. It becomes not only difficult to find the right agents or team, but it also becomes quite tedious and time consuming to find the right agents or supervisors due to the major talent shortage in Africa. If your call center already has an experienced and high performing agent team, it is necessary to retain it. There are some simple tricks to do so.

Pay well:

Paying good wages can be a great strategy to retain your call center staff. Anyways, the recruitment process is quite expensive due to the talent shortage in the contact center industry in Africa. Saving that money and investing in keeping your agents happy by paying them high wages can help in retaining them. This would be also cheaper than hiring international talent as you can have your team on your premises or within African countries that understand your working culture and standards to support your business possibly in a better way.

Keep them motivated:

Everyone knows that the job of agents is thankless and quite frustrating. Angry customers blame and bombard agents all the time and it often makes them lose control. However, skilled agents take everything professionally. Thus, to avoid facing challenges related to a talent shortage in the African contact center industry, you can take some steps to keep your agents motivated in this stressful work schedule. For example, you can offer some incentives or bonuses to the best performing agents. You can listen to their genuine suggestions and recommendations and try to implement them. There can be several other solutions that can help you keep your team motivated and reduce the effect of talent shortage in Africa.

Provide the required infrastructure:

A majority of agents cannot perform due to a lack of right and effective tools. For example, it is not possible to work more productively with an outdated call center solution. Call center automation can help them perform better and work more efficiently. There are several other challenges faced by agents in terms of infrastructure, which make them stagnant in their performance. Upgrade in technology and infrastructure can help in boosting the performance of agents.

3. Hire a team of fresher and train them

This might be time consuming and resource intensive, but worth trying to deal with the talent shortage in Africa in the contact industry. In fact, you can bridge all professional gaps that you might find in your existing team by hiring freshers and training them to become the most talented team leading your contact center business to the next milestones of success. Freshers expect nothing more than support and a basic salary to support their survival. They will put more effort into learning as they are getting started with their career. This is one of the most effective options to deal with the talent shortage in the African contact center industry without much investment.

4. Create an employee referral program

No matter how hard you try, at a certain point, you will have to deal with call center staffing challenges in Africa. Either your existing team will shuffle or your business will grow and you would need a bigger team. You will need to put resources for recruitment. If you don’t want to use the international hiring option to deal with the talent shortage in the contact center industry, then you will need to hire local team members. You can create tempting employee referral programs. These programs can help you add to the efforts of your existing agents. This can be a great way to deal with the talent shortage in the African contact center industry because agents will have a network of multiple other agents. This will make the recruitment process smoother as you would get better options with the least effort.

5. Take advantage of a talented recruitment agency or expert

Agent attrition is quite common in African countries and this is a real problem. All the money invested in recruiting a team of agents goes in vain if you cannot retain those agents until the payback period. This is one of the major challenges related to a talent shortage in the contact center industry in Africa. This often happens because you hire just to fill vacancies. To effectively deal with call center staffing challenges, you must follow a strategic approach to finding and recruiting the right talent. This would help in retaining teams and reducing the effect of talent shortage in the African contact center industry. There is always an option of hiring a recruitment expert or agency that can help you find the best agent team that would stay.

Conclusion

The talent shortage in Africa is real and needs to be tackled on time with the right strategy. The contact center industry is growing fast. Thus, it becomes necessary to focus on all challenges caused by the talent shortage in the African contact center industry. You can follow the tips shared in this article to effectively overcome these shortages and related issues.

You can also run a recruitment campaign to deal with the talent shortage in the African contact center industry. We have a feature rich software, called DialShree: Omnichannel contact center solution. It can help in running effective recruitment programs to fill the talent gap in your contact center. For more details, Contact Us now.

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