The Impact of Fit on Attrition

Findings from survey in November 2007

About the Survey
In November 2007, Knowlagent invited 535 registrants to a webinar on fit and attrition to participate in a survey on the topic. 128 completed the survey

Functional Areas of Respondents

Other, 21% HR, 34% Training, 7%

Call Center, 39%

Agent-Reported Reasons for Leaving

What are the top 3 reasons agents give for leaving?
Not prepared to do the job Bad relationship with supervisor No opportunity for advancement Other The job is not what was expected Not the job for me (bad fit) To make more money 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 9% 15% 39% 43% 48% 52% 63% 70%

There are causes for attrition at all stages of the agent lifecycle, but bad fit and incorrect job expectations have the most potential to be addressed through improved hiring practices.

Approach to Fit

Which approach to fit for the job do you use?

I don't know our approach to fit.


We identify non-fits.


We look for the best overall fit.


Most hiring processes are geared to find the best fit as opposed to identifying non-fits.

Determining Fit
How do you assess fit?





The majority of hiring processes rely heavily on screening for fit via interviews.

What makes a bad fit?
Have you identified the top 2-3 things that make agents a bad fit?





Most respondents can name why agents fail.

Bad fits happen to good centers
Do you ever hire agents that you know are a bad fit but do so because your hiring needs are so great?





The demands of hiring for the call center sometimes drive recruiters to knowingly hire bad fits.

How Assessments Are Used
We use hiring assessments to inform coaching or nesting plans We use hiring assessments to adjust training for new hires We do not use hiring assessments and don’t plan to in the future We plan to use hiring assessments in the future We use hiring assessments to determine attrition risk We use hiring assessments to determine personality fit We use hiring assessments to determine if an agent has the right skills 5%







68% use hiring assessments, but only one in five use them to assess attrition risk.

Who Owns Attrition in the Call Center?
Who is accountable for improving attrition?

3% 3% 5%

Call center management 3% 2% Different groups at different stages Business unit

7% 44%

Call center operations Call center HR

9% Corporate HR No one Don’t know 25% Other

Call center management has the ball in 44% of the organizations. Within the 25% who answered different groups at different stages, HR, training and the call center typically share the ownership, depending on when the agent leaves.

The prioritization of attrition
What statements apply to attrition at your organization?

None of the above


We have funding to improve attrition


We have a timeframe for attrition improvement


We have assigned a team to work on attrition


We have a management directive to improve attrition


Two thirds of companies responded that management has issued a directive to fix attrition.

About Knowlagent
Knowlagent has enabled companies around the world to manage call center agents for 13 years.
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