I read a statistic the other day that surprised me. In English speaking countries, about 54% of companies in the customer service industry outsource their call centers, and India is the number one location those companies choose.
India has a significant well-educated, English-speaking population. Due to a lower cost of living, qualified employees are willing to earn a fraction of what a US worker would demand, making India a hotspot for mass recruiting. Conducting a mass scale hiring event in a foreign country is no easy task, however, especially in a country with a population as large and diverse as India’s.
If you’re thinking about hiring in India, you might be wondering about the best way to manage the process. Time is often of the essence and you may need to get operations off the ground as fast as possible. Finding, interviewing, and vetting these candidates is a gargantuan task that can take months. But with a few relatively simple tweaks to your standard hiring procedures, it’s entirely possible to get this done quickly and streamline the process.
Where to Look and How to Recruit Candidates
When you’re looking for call center workers in India, you’re likely going to have to do most of your recruiting through online job portals and professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Those sites are going to direct applicants to your own resume filtering system and that is where you’re probably going to run into your first issues.
The job application process is different in India. Instead of using the typical keyword-rich resumes that US workers typically use, Indian workers often include biodata like their parents’ names or their marital status on their resumes. Qualified candidates might get filtered out because their resumes don’t include keywords, but instead may have statements of purpose and other data that the system will overlook. At the same time, mass recruiting is when you need those filtering systems the most.
Filtering systems can still be used, but to manage this, you’re going to want to make a few changes to the process. Rather than collecting resumes, use a standard application that specifically tells the applicants what information to place in what box. This creates a uniform data collection service which can help you filter in more qualified candidates by specifically asking for the information you need to know.
On top of this basic application process, you also want to have them complete a short qualification test based on the skills needed for the job. If you’re testing for customer service or call center representatives, give sample scenarios from customer cases and ask how they would resolve them. If you are hiring for more technical positions, a short technical test is your best bet.
The key to using the job portal is to let the system do the work for you. A few simple changes to your application process can ensure you only get the information of strong candidates who you can then invite for virtual interviews.
How You Vet Them When You Get Them
Once you have a decent pool of candidates, you’re going to need to interview them. If you don’t yet have an established call center in India, this is going to have to be done from a remote location. You need to be able to balance efficiency with effectiveness and the key to this is creating a standardized process that you use for every single candidate.
First, the best option for such interviews isn’t just a telephone but instead something that allows you to see the candidate and possibly share documents with them. Video conferencing can be an important resource as you can tell a lot about an individual by their body language. Also, the video interview shows the individual you’re serious about the application process. Finally, it will require they have enough computer knowledge to attend and participate in the interview, allowing you to gauge their technical skills.
The ideal way to streamline this is to create a fixed, standard process. Have candidates answer the same questions and take the same tests when they’re applying for similar positions. This allows anyone to conduct the interview, so you can delegate the process to several individuals. Create a numerical grading system and have the candidate graded on their answers and results. This allows you to easily compare the results of each candidate and hire the top half of the pool.
When you have candidates that you want to hire, then you’re going to move into the vetting process. How sensitive the employee’s position is will determine how deeply you’ll need to look into their backgrounds. If the position allows significant access to sensitive customer data, then you’ll want to do a more thorough background check than one you’d do for a position that requires simply answering customer questions.
When vetting, one way to speed up the process is to put the onus on the candidate. If you need school transcripts, have them contact the university to forward them to your office. You can check the accreditation of a college by checking the University Grants Commission (UGC), which is India’s office responsible for accrediting colleges. Letters of reference from prior employers can also be requested as a means to verify prior employment. The Registrar of Companies (RoC) in India can be used to ensure employer information is valid.
If you need a deeper check, then you’ll likely want to hire a third-party screening company, as India’s records system is extremely fragmented. There’s no national crime database, so ensuring that the individual you hire has no criminal record can be difficult without working with a screening company. That screening company should be one that specializes in vetting India based candidates.
AC Global Risk offers some additional resources that can help you screen candidates in India when time is of the essence. We offer Remote Risk Assessment (RRA) technology that can be implemented by automated phone interviews and which uses proprietary signals analysis to measure the risk of a certain applicant. This is a process we can implement quickly and on a mass scale, allowing our clients to vet hundreds of candidates at once. This can be a useful tool when you’re hiring in a region where prior employment information and criminal records might be difficult to obtain. For more information on using this technology, contact us today.