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HireIQ announces its support for WFO 2.0


Presented By: HireIQ

1. HireIQ recently announced its support for “WFO 2.0”. In a nutshell, what is this and why is it important? 

Workforce Optimization 2.0 (WFO 2.0) embodies an “agent lifecycle” view to the old-school workforce optimization paradigm – WFO 1.0, if you will. WFO 1.0 traditionally was focused on optimizing the incumbent workforce – those who have already been hired – through the use of various integrated operational tools and processes such as workforce management, quality management, and performance management. But little attention was paid to how to attract and select the right agents to deliver the best return on the investment in these tools and who are capable of helping the organization meet its customer engagement goals.

WFO 2.0 incorporates interview and assessment activities that occur BEFORE an agent is hired to help ensure the right people are hired to begin with. It emphasizes the importance in attracting and selecting agents that possess the same attributes of those who are already successful. These characteristics typically include critical thinking skills, language proficiency and competency, and technical aptitude. It challenges the talent acquisition organization to improve their selection practices in order to deliver a better quality of hire as measured by its stakeholders – in this case contact center operations. 

Industry analysts have also taken an interest in WFO 2.0. For example, Gartner, in its latest WFO Magic Quadrant, have included the recruitment step as an important functional area to include when considering robust WFO solutions.

2. Without getting too technical, how does it work?

WFO 2.0 incorporates a structured, analytical approach to the agent pre-hire selection process to identify those candidates who are likely to excel based on those who are already excellent performers. It uses advanced machine learning techniques and predictive analytics that programmatically identify correlations between an agent’s demonstrated performance on the contact center floor and the characteristics he or she displayed during the pre-hire phase of employment. 

These correlations are formalized into analytical models that are applied to each subsequent job applicant and a determination made as to the likelihood that candidate will achieve the organization’s key goals. Those candidates who exhibit similar pre-hire characteristics to high achievers are deemed to be likely to perform similarly and are recommended for hire – or at least further consideration in the hiring process.

3. Is it difficult for a center to use?

No, and that’s really the beauty of WFO 2.0. The data generated by the company’s existing screening and hiring process can be used to develop the pre-hire models and, as we all know, the modern contact center generates a rich set of agent-level data to measure post-hire performance. These data are used in the WFO 2.0 engine to create and refine the recommendation models.

The models are also extremely flexible depending on the key performance indicators of each company. We typically see clients using tenure, CSAT, sales conversion rate, and FCR as common factors, but essentially anything that can be measured at the agent level can be used in the WFO 2.0 predictive performance models.

4. Where can this go from here?

By incorporating more and more performance factors in the predictive models, WFO 2.0 can begin to predict not only tenure and achievement to goal, but also engagement potential and employee flight risk once on the job.

It can also help a company identify, at a very granular level, training and coaching needs for an individual new hire or veteran agent. For example, coaching an engaged employee is very different than coaching one who isn’t. Engaged employees tend to be motivated by a sense of being and they want to know where they fit in the organization, how they can be successful, and how they contribute to the overall success of the company. Disengaged employees often just want security. Knowing that ahead of time can significantly improve the coaching process and yield improved retention.

5. Are companies using WFO 2.0 today and what have the results been?

Yes; there are several companies that have adopted the programmatic view of WFO 2.0 and have applied it to their recruiting and hiring process. It has yielded benefits for both the recruiting team and their contact center operations business partners.

For example, for recruiting teams, clients report a 40% or better improvement in overall time-to-fill open positions, and up to 60% reduction in overall recruiting costs. Recruiters don’t waste time on sub-standard candidates and can act faster on those who are highly qualified.

From the contact center perspective, better selection means improved overall performance. Companies report an improvement in critical 90-day retention of 60% or more. In addition, significant improvements in key performance indicators such as FCR attainment and CSAT attainment have been reported.

6. Does this mean that customers should scrap their investment in WFO 1.0 technologies and processes?

NO! Absolutely not. WFO 2.0 is intended to extend and enhance the value of those investments by identifying high-potential employees early in the hiring process. By making a better hiring decision, companies are able to increase the benefits they already receive from their WFO 1.0 technology and process investment.