Faster recruiting

Call center positions have average turnover rates of at least 33% (Batt, Doellgast, and Kwon 2005), making the quick filling of these jobs a critical priority. The clock is ticking because open vacancies mean stalled growth, and lost revenue and productivity.

But haste makes waste: Forty-three percent of companies revealed that the need to fill positions speedily was the primary reason for poor hiring decisions, the National Business Research Institute (2013) found. The pressure to deliver quickly can damage an organization’s bottom line and disrupt company culture. 

Is it possible to find quality hires under time constraint? Yes, according to recent research from the Korn Ferry Institute, which suggests that Futurestep’s RPO assessment, developed by parent Korn Ferry, advances the process. Data from 1,111 call center hires at a large security provider demonstrate two major advantages of Futurestep’s screening methodology: 

  • The RPO assessment helps increase screening efficiency by three to six times, depending on the job type. 
  • The RPO assessment saves on average three days of recruitment time per candidate. 

Getting well-screened candidates on the job sooner can save organizations time, effort, and money.

Increased screening efficiency. 

The 25-minute Korn Ferry Four Dimensions of Leadership and Talent Assessment for RPO is a comprehensive, quick, and engaging assessment of candidates’ competencies, experiences, traits, and drivers. The similarity between candidates’ scores and expert profiles prepared for each job type provides scores to indicate if a candidate would be a good- or poor-fit for a given job. A candidates with good predicted fit is three to six times more likely to progress through screening than one deemed a poor fit.

If the RPO assessment was no better than chance, then 50% of poor fit candidates and 50% of good fit candidates should pass screening. Instead, for the job type Customer Service Representative, of the candidates that passed screening, 67%
(n = 404) were good fit and 33% (n = 203) were poor fit. Of the candidates that did not pass screening, 60% (n = 585) were poor fit and 40% (n = 384) were good fit.

Futurestep’s RPO assessment can increase the efficiency of the screening process. Candidates with good predicted fit are three to six times more likely to progress through screening than are poor fit candidates, depending on the job type.

Decreased time to hire.

The average time to hire in this sample was 18.7 days. That means Futurestep’s time to hire was more than 50% faster than the average found in an extensive survey of financial service and sales centers in the United States and Canada (McCulloch 2010). Although direct sector comparisons are difficult to make, the average time to hire in the sample using Futurestep was 30% faster than the average staffing and recruitment agency time to make a permanent technology industry hire and 40% faster than a permanent hire in the retail or restaurant-hospitality sectors (Bullhorn 2014).

The use of the RPO assessment further decreased the time to hire. Candidates who completed the assessment, compared with those who did not, moved through to a job offer on average three days faster (17.6 days versus 20.6 days).

A reduction of three days equals a process 16% faster, freeing up valuable time and thus reducing the typical cost of $5,400 per hire (for call centers employing more than 100 employees; Response Design Corporation 2009).

Candidates who completed the RPO assessment (n = 1,111) were hired on average three days faster than candidates who did not (n = 632). Because some jobs are quicker to fill, the average reduction in time-to-fill was controlled for by jobspecific averages, indicating a difference of 1.2 days. Further speeding up the hiring process, candidates who completed the RPO assessment took on average 3.1 days less to accept a job offer. The differences in average time to hire and days from approval to acceptance were statistically significant.

Early fit assessment: a proxy for candidate engagement.

  • Screening: The assessment identifies the potential fit of applicants, enabling recruiters to prioritize their activity and speak to candidates with the highest potential fit first. Moving quality candidates more quickly into the funnel decreases the overall time to hire.
  • Selection: Candidates with good fit scores have critical qualities for the role and are less likely to be rejected by hiring managers, thus reudcing delays in time to hire.
  • Offer: Assessment completion is a proxy for engagement. Candidates completing the assessment are indicating more interest and commitment to pursuing the opportunity, and they respond to queries, attend interviews, and complete and return paperwork more quickly.


  • Susanne Blazek

    Manager of Outcomes Research, Korn Ferry Institute