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A Call Centre Facing Dwindling Application Numbers and Poor Staff Retention.

The challenge

Applicant numbers were declining for this specialist Government services call centre. The Department was also challenged with the regular attrition of new recruits prior to the completion of their training period. These factors resulted in the call centre constantly operating below its required staffing levels.  This led to increased costs of overtime and increased pressure to deliver required service levels and call handling times.

HOBAN’s solution:

HOBAN conducted extensive position profiling, working with customer service staff to understand the types of calls and associated skills and capabilities required to handle them effectively. The variety of call types meant that resilience and flexibility was essential, together with spatial reasoning and the ability to multi-task.

Due to the unique nature of these positions, HOBAN’s organisational psychologist designed bespoke assessments to simulate the skills required to be proficient in the role.  These included both online and offline assessments, as well as role-play scenarios to test each candidate’s ability to navigate the system whilst remaining calm and supporting the caller.

HOBAN developed a comprehensive advertising strategy, utilising a number of mediums to tap into a broad range of potential candidates in the local area. In the initial campaign alone, applicant numbers doubled to over 500. This strategy was then replicated in regional sites, supported by talent pooling and an upskilling plan for existing staff during non-campaign periods.


Outstanding results were achieved in the first campaign, which saw every position filled and a reserve pool of applicants created. 100% of new recruits successfully completed the initial training period. HOBAN repeated its strategy over the following 24 months to ensure consistent fill rates and excellent retention levels.

As a direct result of HOBAN’s expertise, the call centre is now meeting all required service levels with no additional costs or other risks associated with being under-resourced. The Department’s hiring managers stated that HOBAN’s robust screening process meant that the final candidates presented for interview were extremely high calibre.

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