Hiring people for client-facing positions? Choose those with the right attitude for the job.
Hiring people for client- and customer-facing positions can be a great challenge. Since these people will serve as the face of your company, you need to be extremely careful in choosing the best candidates for the job.
The State of Hiring for Client-Facing Positions: Some Facts and Figures to Consider
According to an infographic prepared by Column Five and software company Zendesk, most companies are looking to hire more people this year but they are extremely concerned about the quality of their candidates. In fact, about 73% of companies are planning to increase their full-time hires and 52% are looking to increase their contingent hires this year.
Finding the right people to be the face of your company can be good for your business. According to recent studies, about 75% of consumers patronize businesses because of a history of positive customer service experiences while 52% of consumers claim that they are willing to spend more on a business if it provides excellent customer service.
However, most businesses (52%) are experiencing difficulty in finding, training and developing their new hires. This situation can have a detrimental effect on businesses since their inability of putting the right people on the job can seriously affect their ability to serve their customers.
Choosing the Best Candidates for Client-Facing Positions
How do you choose the best people for the job? Well, your best bet would be to hire people with the right attitude. Give personality tests to increase your chances of making the right decision. Keep in mind that it is easier to train someone to gain the needed skills rather than teach him or her to develop the right attitude for the job.
For best results, you should hire someone who demonstrates the following traits:
- Empathy. This trait can be learned but some people have the innate ability to understand other people's feelings. People who have high levels of empathy are well suited for client-facing situations since they are perceived as understanding, compassionate and sensitive.
- Trust. Trusting individuals believe that the motive of other people are honorable and tend to focus more on finding a solution for the problem rather than on the validity of the problem.
- Tact. Tactful people are perceived as discreet and diplomatic, and can state their position without offending their customers. This trait can be especially useful in fields which may require highly technical knowledge.
- Focus. Client-facing positions require focus. You need people who can stay on track despite of all the distractions.
- Conformity. You need people who comply with the rules and respect those in authority. Thus, independent and free-spirited people may not be suitable for client-facing positions.
When you find candidates who possess these traits, you can easily train them to develop the skills needed to serve your customers well. You can then hone their customer service expertise, bilingual and/or multilingual capabilities, and their ability to "read" customers.