Leaders in Wales’ contact center industry have branded the current recruitment battle between sectors to simply fill vacancies as ‘short-sighted’ and instead encourage job seekers to realize that they have the power to choose careers over jobs.
Speaking ahead of a major industry recruitment event at Cardiff City Hall on the 17thand In February, the Welsh Contact Center Forum (WCCF) said those looking to find their next should expect more than just a salary.
Sandra Busby, Chief Executive of WCCF, said: “The fact that almost every sector in the UK has launched major recruitment campaigns is the only evidence you need to realize we are in a job seekers market. ‘use. Anyone looking to find their next, or even their first role, needs to understand that they can expect more from employers.
“For many years, the Welsh contact center industry has understood that limiting recruitment tactics to simply filling seats is short-sighted and unsustainable. It only serves to lock employers into a continuous cycle of Recruitment For this reason, our sector focuses on recruiting those who seek a career in the contact center industry and expect ongoing training that leads to real progression.
Employing over 350,000 people, Contact Centers in Wales are credited with contributing over £650 directly to the Welsh economy as they underpin and cut across virtually every sector.
Substantial investments in new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the ability to embrace hybrid working have seen the sector hailed for its ability to adapt quickly to help businesses, consumers and the public sector during the pandemic.
In October, WCCF will also launch the latest integration of its award-winning Data/AI Graduate Program, which offers new talent the opportunity to kick-start their careers with a ten-month program developed in partnership with some of the industry’s leading employers.
The extent of industry remit will be clear to anyone visiting Cardiff City Hall on the 17thand February, where the Welsh Contact Center will be joined by at least 12 employer partners including: Dwr Cymru, NHS, New Law, Starling Bank, Citizens Advice, Connect Assist, Jomo Recruitment, SSCL, BUUK, Sedgewick and Traveline Cymru.
According to the WCCF, it is one of the only industries that truly offers business pathways for skilled and unskilled people. While primarily acting as the customer service department of utility providers and multinational corporations, the expansive nature of the industry sees contact center roles span operations management, HR, marketing, statistical analysis, finance, IT and training.
Often, those entering the contact center industry are drawn to the industry’s inherent flexibility and on-the-job training opportunities. Indeed, the ability to provide ongoing training and career progression are qualities that most employers in the industry are proud to promote to potential candidates. This includes Kath Chivers, Director of Client Development at Newport and Cardiff-based Target Group.
Although her career in the industry has seen Kath lead teams of over 5,000 people, in addition to establishing, merging and transferring entire divisions for national banking groups, her first venture into the industry began in 1995 when the mother of three started phoning for Lloyds Bank as a customer service adviser.
As Kath explains, “Like many people, my career started with an entry-level position. Before starting my own family, I had worked in our family’s pub and a few retail roles. At the time, a 16-hour contract requiring no direct experience and the option of paid training, it just seemed like a chance to try something new.
“Basically, I was hired because someone took the time to recognize that I would be a good fit for the job. Since then, my career has given me many opportunities to train, retrain and seize the opportunity to try something totally new to me. This includes VP roles for multinationals, large banks, and technology companies. As lucky as I have been, the fact is that I am not alone in this experience. That’s really what it is for many in this industry. In the past year, my company alone has had over 150 internal promotions. Those working in the contact center industry may change roles on a regular basis, but that’s because as an industry, we retrain to retain our talent. When we recruit, it is to grow our teams, not to replace them.