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Contact Centres

Hotspots of skills in demand

Call centre professional

As reported last year, over half (53 per cent) of New Zealand employers intend to increase permanent staff levels in their team this financial year. That’s according to a survey of more than 480 organisations in New Zealand, conducted as part of our annual Hays Salary Guide.

This is excellent news for contact centre jobseekers. An increase in team size leads to more opportunities for existing staff, with jobs such as Quality Assurance and Team Leader, as well as additional senior roles and promotions, combining to create career progression opportunities.

While 2018 saw some mergers and company restructures, the good news is that more companies have reversed their decision to offshore their call centre and are re-establishing it in New Zealand. This is keeping vacancy activity buoyant.

Temporary staff are still sought by employers to assist during busy periods and on projects such as rolling out changes to customer plans, technology support and other instances when call volumes peak for a short period of time.

In most demand are Customer Service Officers for inbound call centres. These candidates are required to provide specialist advice regarding policy, general enquiries and broad customer service functions.

This level of demand is closely followed by the need for Outbound Sales Professionals to work in newly established call centres that were previously offshored.

Inbound Salespeople are sought too. Turnover and stringent KPIs are the key factors driving continuous vacancy activity.

Insurance Sales Consultants are another area of demand. However, there is a shortage of candidates with specific phone-based sales experience for shift work.

Technical Customer Service Representatives with strong technical skills and knowledge of various systems are needed. 

Telephone Collections is a growing area of demand, required on an ongoing basis. Candidates require a high level of resilience. 

Team Leaders with experience managing teams within a contact centre environment are also sought.

Jobseeker advice

Employers look for jobseekers who can work flexible hours. With more organisations extending their hours of operation, this has become crucial. Shift work remains common in the industry too, with hours such as 7am to 7pm or 7pm to 7am customary in call centres that operate 24 hours a day.

Jobseekers with strong customer orientated backgrounds, such as hospitality, are sought for their ability to provide quality service, retain a lot of information, work quickly and stay calm in high-pressure situations.  If you have such a background, highlight these skills on your CV to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

It is also advisable to mention your typing speed in your CV. Employers often request a typing speed of at least 35 wpm.

Consider upskilling. A report claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years. Regardless of your role or level of seniority, it is therefore essential to continuously upskill in order to stay relevant in an increasingly mechanised world. Here’s 7 ways to upskill and keep yourself at the growing edge of your career without breaking the bank.

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