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September 23, 2018

Employee Referral Program (ERP)

If there's one perk in the call center (BPO) industry that I haven't avail for the past few years, it will definitely be the referral system. Due to the high attrition rate of agents in the BPO industry (either they're terminated, resign due to fatigue or found a higher paying job), there is always hiring. You can even walk-in anytime to a call center and you'll definitely be entertained. Some BPOs even have a dedicated recruitment hub that caters to job applicants on a daily basis, even Saturdays.

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I am actually thinking of making the most of this referral system. After all, it's usually 10,000-20,000 depending on account. These are the usual referral incentives that we can get for every successful applicant that we refer. Most of the time it's given in 3-4 pay-outs: one hired, after 3 months and once regularized. Sometimes, I think of printing out referral slips/leaflets with my contact number and email address on it but that will incur some cost and time to distribute it. I would have to spend a day probably near Citibank Eastwood for distributing leaflets.

Since I have a blog, I could probably advertise it here. Every single poster that appears on Concentrix's Facebook page, I can probably re-post it here. I can also try to be a member of Facebook groups that caters to job applicants or probably join a recruitment caravan on malls and job fairs. The possibilities of getting referrals are endless. However, I might need to invest some time also in giving tips and practicing these applicants for the question and answer portion of the interview to increase my changes of having successful referrals.

I will have to create articles on tips and tricks to pass that interview. Well, if you're a high school graduate and badly need to work, then I would highly suggest you apply for a call center job. If you're lucky, you might find a BPO center that offers continuous learning program, provided that you can still function efficiently as an agent. If you're single, then you could definitely earn from your salary as a call center agent and take units in college. The other thing that's advantageous in the call center industry is that promotions are always there (again, due to attrition).

Here are some tips if you wanted to work in the call center industry:

1. Start with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) account. These accounts are always hiring and has the least requirements in the call center industry. You can start at a local ISP account, but I suggest you go international. The best way to learn the basics of supporting an ISP account is visit a local computer shop or a friend that has Internet at home. Ask them how to do basic troubleshooting and familiarize yourself with the equipment involve -- the computer (monitor, CPU, keyboard, mouse), the telephone cable (RJ11), the modem, the ethernet cable (usually yellow or blue and a.k.a. RJ45), the browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer) and filters.

2. Start watching American TV shows and movies. You don't need to have the accent. A neutral, Filipino accent is okay as long as it's understandable and doesn't have a very strong regional accent. Try conversing with your friends in English more often.

3. Prepare at most, 2-page resume. Don't follow the format of those Bio-Data that is being sold. Just be simple and concise with your resume. Don't put your picture on your resume yet. Reserve it after the job offer. You also don't need to mention your height and weight, parents name, etc. Mention your Education, Work Experience and Seminars attended as well as your hobbies and interests.

4. Practice typing faster. Use free typing tests on the Internet or download a copy of Typing Master. Aim for a speed of at least 25 words per minute and 90% accuracy. It will also be helpful if you could learn how to Google for answers faster using the correct keywords based on the questions. Also, try to answer abstract questionnaires or those number sequence questions. It will also be helpful if you'll increase your vocabulary and your synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. Reading a dictionary will also be helpful.

5. The most common question in the initial interview is: "Tell me something about yourself that is not in your resume". The aim is for you to speak up and express yourself in English. Just make sure that you don't mention topics that you're not comfortable talking because from this initial question, the interviewer will derive more questions. Talk about your family, your hobbies, and other things that you are very much involved in.

6. Next questions are usually the descriptive questions. Questions like: "How do you sell a pencil/ice cream to a blind person/Eskimo?" The interviewer will like to know how you convey ideas over the phone. It will be easier if you can do video calls to clients but that will probably take a few more years. Practice describing something over the phone. Other questions might be "How did you get here (at the venue) from home?". The interviewer wanted to know how you will ask a person to perform task or navigate. It's very important that your instructions are clear.

7. Prepare for other questions like "Why do you want to work in a call center?" (to try something new, improve your skills and earn), "What is your advantage over the other applicants?" (try to mention that you are all qualified for the job but you're more attentive to details or happier or more dedicated at work). You can YouTube these questions and try to personlize your answer a bit.

"How do you see yourself 5 years from now?" (you should still be part of the company you're applying for).

8. Don't lose hope if you don't get hire after applying 5, 6 or 7 times. I got hired after applying 20 times. Beat that. Just take note of the questions that you get in the initial or final interview. Google for better answers. Practice it with a friend then re-apply.

9. It will not harm if you could Google a little info about the company that you're applying for. Also, if you're asked if you believe that the customer is always right, please answer YES (although in reality, it's not). It will be plus points if you ask a question if the interviewer ended his/her interview by saying "Do you have any questions?"

Good luck on your job application! You may also email your resume to elmerlovesoreo(at)gmail.com so I could proofread it and offer suggestions on how to improve it. Then I'll forward it to our recruitment personnel for a possible appointment with you.

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