Ireland, customer contact sector, talent research


Ireland’s Customer Contact Sector Talent Research

Engaging Talent In A Changing Environment  

Ireland’s Customer Contact Management Association (CCMA) has partnered with Deloitte Consulting to develop a point of view on talent management in Ireland’s customer contact sector. We are pleased to share with you the key findings from our survey, external research and executive discussions.

Irish business leaders are facing changes and unique challenges in the talent landscape. Talent is a key strategic and competitive pillar for most customer contact and shared services organisations, and therefore the processes and infrastructure that enable the attraction, development, and retention of talent are critical to long-term success. The objective of this report is to provide a benchmark of leading talent management practices and develop an understanding of some of the key factors that are shaping the sector.

From our research, it’s clear that Ireland’s customer contact sector is important in terms of employment, regional development and providing a platform for participation in multiple industries. There is a strong focus on improving talent management practices, in the context of business change and the competitive market for talent. A number of challenges are apparent, relevant to operators and policy makers, including a need for better retention, career development and workplace engagement. There are constraints in staff availability, particularly for certain language coverage as well as over concentration of activity in certain urban locations. The report details a number of key findings:

  • Ireland is an important global hub for customer service talent: the research highlights that Ireland is a growing global hub for customer service activity with 55% of respondents expecting to grow employee numbers in the next two years
  • Reward is a ‘pull factor’ impacting retention: base salary has recently increased in line with the market. However, respondents highlighted that lack of career advancement is the main reason for attrition and a focus on career planning and development is the primary means to retain top talent
  • The role of customer contact centre is changing: 50% of respondents plan to introduce web chat in the next 12 months and this is indicative of a shift in customer preference from traditional voice interactions – this will change the profile of organisations talent and capability requirements
  • Emphasis on cultivating talent and a distinctive culture:  in order to attract and retain top talent, respondents have indicated that they need to develop a holistic employee proposition – the report highlights key benchmarks and practices with regard to learning and development, recognition and performance management
  • Business Process Outsourcers (BPOs) supporting flexibility and cost reduction in the sector: BPOs taking part in the research reported a positive story insofar as 70% of respondents plan to increase employee numbers by over 20% in the next two years. Non-BPO respondents highlighted that the main drivers for use of outsourcers were an ability to rapidly ‘scale up’ and also to reduce costs

The way in which organisations engage with customers is evolving and new technology is rapidly coming on stream which will change the way organisations organise themselves and the skills required to deliver for their customers – these changes are happening now and organisations must engage the right talent to deal with this new reality.

Download the report here
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