Salary Benchmarking in Contact Centres - the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

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Salary Benchmarking in Contact Centres - the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

For many organisations salary benchmarking is essential for comparing the pay and benefits on offer against those offered by their competitors. It ensures that they are paying market rate and in turn attracting and retaining ‘top talent’.  Many top recruitment businesses produce yearly salary benchmarking reports which can provide invaluable information on specific industries and job types.  They give a good overall impression of the market at the time the data is sourced, but they are obviously not able to provide specific and niche information around localised areas in more generalist type positions.

For management and specialist positions in contact centres it’s much easier to source relevant data, you can use specific skills and experience to identify candidates and current jobs.  Interestingly locations don’t really come into play, we have found that most role types follow a similar salary pattern and although there are slight regional differences, they are not dramatic.  The biggest differentiator in what salary is deemed competitive is the competition itself, both the size of that competition, but also their growth or shrinkage status at any given point in time.

The other issue with relying on benchmarking reports is that they can often provide a wider view, but don’t focus on ‘real-time’ data.  The market changes daily and the correlation between who is hiring at any specific point in time can hugely affect the candidate pool.  If a large organisation makes redundancies suddenly there is a large influx of candidates on the market, but if you are trying to recruit in Manchester for example where there are currently 1,570 “Customer Service Advisor” jobs advertised on Indeed then you quickly realise that it’s not just about salary, it’s about a race to the finish!  You not only have to be sure you are offering the best salaries, but the most comprehensive benefits, the best possible development programmes and market leading working environments – and to top it all you have to be the fastest, slickest and most attractive employer in the market if you want to attract the best, but as always just as importantly, retain the best too!

What we provide at Cactus is different – we focus on ‘real-time’ data, we create reports based on the what the market is offering at any given specific point in time.  Often salary benchmarking in contact centres and especially at advisor level focusses on other similar businesses, employing similar telephony advisors, thus providing a picture of the frontline market in that area.  However, what so many companies fail to realise is that within the frontline advisor population you may not be looking solely to recruit experienced advisors.  Often organisations will look for candidates who have similar transferrable skills in retail or hospitality, so now the net is widening for the employer, but also the employee too!

At Cactus we take a deep look into who is currently hiring in a specific area at a similar salary level, we place ourselves in the position of the candidate and take into consideration all sorts of factors to include: location, parking, transport links, holiday, hours of work, shifts, bonus, benefits and any other factors that may influence our decision of which jobs stand out.  We provide a detailed report of who is recruiting locally and what they are offering.  This in turn provides an accurate view of any market at any point in time and most specifically from a candidate view point.

Those clients that we have produced these reports for have found them invaluable in not only ensuring they position themselves as the ‘employer of choice’, attracting the best possible talent, but also in supporting their retention strategies moving forward.   There are lots of specialist organisations who provide salary surveys and benchmarking reports, none however that have the focus and knowledge we have accumulated over the course of the last 16 years of the contact centre industry.  If you are interested in Cactus supporting your recruitment strategy, either by producing a ‘real-time’ benchmarking report or up to date industry information, then please get in touch.

Francesca Randle -
01905 330 790