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28thJan2016

How Our Phone Answering Service Hires Talented Virtual Receptionists

How Our Phone Answering Service Hires Talented Virtual Receptionists

Did you know that the cost to train one virtual receptionist to the basic start level at our phone answering service is over $1,000! This figure doesn’t even include the continuous quality control training throughout our employees’ careers at A Courteous Communications. Step behind the scenes with us and learn more about our dedicated hiring process to see how we hire the best of the best. 

What it takes to be part of our Phone Answering Service Team:

• Round One: Filling Out an Application

Our call center has provided quality answering services for thirty years and to become a member of our family, one must begin by filling out an application. This employment application is quite similar to other applications and lists out the candidate’s contact information, employment history, employment references and detailed sets of skills.  

At A Courteous Communications we receive countless applications at our home office in Orlando, Florida each year.

• Round Two: Review of Applicants by Hiring Manager

Our hiring coordinator and operations manager has been with A Courteous Communications for over 20 years. She reviews each employment application thoroughly and vets all information the candidates provide. We pay close attention to the length of the applicant’s stay at each job listed, and their reason for leaving each job.

In some offices, employment references are just noted. Here at Courteous Communications, we reach out via telephone to the references provided to have direct conversations relating to the candidate’s employment history and capabilities. Before inviting the candidate in for aptitude and comprehension testing, we want to make • certain that they would be a right fit for our phone answering service team. 

• Round Three: Assessment and Comprehension Tests

After due diligence has been performed on the résumés our hiring manager hand-selects, qualified candidates are invited to perform a series of tests. These tests allow us to gauge whether the potential employee has the basic skills to perform duties in the telecommunications industry.     

The typing assessment is a frontrunner in our series of tests. A virtual receptionist must type a minimum of 35 CWPM (correct words per minute) in order to move forward within our hiring process. Being a good typist is incredibly important; as we handle millions of phone messages per year. An ideal virtual receptionist will be able to type quickly and accurately.

The candidate must then pass our aptitude test. The aptitude test focuses on the candidate’s level of memory, comprehension and general spelling. Since our virtual receptionists are responsible for handling a variety of business call communications, we must test a candidate’s ability to properly comprehend information passed.

Our customers expect professional, accurate and legible messages to be delivered to them in real-time. As such, it is vital that all of our virtual receptionists are able to exceed our memory and spelling expectations.          

• Round Four: Interview with Hiring Manager

At this point of the hiring process, the candidate has shown that on paper, they have the ability to join our 30-year-old team of employees. However, since our phone answering service relies on quality customer service and courteous professionalism, a face-to-face interview is needed next.

Our hiring manager will sit down with the candidate to gain an understanding of their attitude, work ethic and availability. All of our virtual receptionists must possess a friendly, can-do attitude to be considered for the position. Our employees help guide callers through their first impressions of our clients’ companies. We understand the extreme responsibility our call center has in providing quality and friendly answering services.

Another portion of the interview relies on having the applicant understand the inner workings and requirements of working in a 24 hour call center. We offer plenty of flextime options and regular shift schedules, but all employees must understand the nature of a 24/7 business. Initially, all employees are asked if they are able to work nights and weekends. We are looking for candidates that have the ability to be flexible with their work schedule.     

After each interview, the hiring manager sits down with the President and Vice-President of A Courteous Communications to discuss their assessment and recommendation for each candidate.

• Round Five: Employee Manual Review and Tour

Any candidates that pass the first four rounds are given an employment offer. The employee then is brought in to go over our detailed employee manual. The manual lists all of the rules, obligations, regulations and expectations of our staff.

Each of our virtual receptionists are also required to sign confidential and non-disclosure agreements. This is to protect our clients’ confidential processes, policies and any information the virtual receptionist may become privy to while working on their accounts. The virtual receptionists must also understand and agree that all of their calls can and will be monitored for quality assurance.

After taking a tour of our Orlando-based digital call center, the employee will become familiar with our office surroundings, equipment and setup.

• Round Six: One-On-One Account Training

This stage of the new employee process varies from telephone agent to telephone agent. Some agents are able to learn a new procedure very quickly, while others may need a few tries to get it right. Each new virtual receptionist is shadowed and trained by a highly-seasoned telephone agent. This hands-on training process can take anywhere from one day to one week.

The new virtual receptionist will work with the trainer until they feel 100% comfortable with taking calls on their own. When a new employee feels confident that they have gained the skills needed to work without direct, one-on-one supervision, they will let the manager on duty know. The manager will then monitor the new virtual receptionist from afar and give the final approval that the initial training is completed.     

Even though the training is marked as completed, our call center managers monitor all agent calls on a daily basis to ensure elite customer service. If a virtual receptionist does not follow procedure or does not perform to customer service expectations, that virtual receptionist is given a refresher training course in the areas they are falling behind on.  

Think You Have What It Takes To Be a Part of Our Phone Answering Service team?

You now know our phone answering service has a tough and precise hiring process. Do you think you have what it takes to shine as a virtual receptionist in our 3-decade old answering service? Click here to review current employment opportunities and to shoot us a message to introduce yourself. 

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