As part of a return-to-work programme Rapid Results has been partnering with Work and Income to put dozens of people back in to the workforce.
Rapid Results has delivered a three day training programme to 114 Work and Income candidates on customer service in contact centres. There have been some outstanding outcomes from this industry-specific training.
The concentrated programme focusses on basic skills in the customer service/contact centre setting and includes site visits to contact centres as well as practical skills, tips on cv writing and interview techniques. It also provides an opportunity to meet potential employers in a ‘meet and greet’ session.
One of the success stories out of the course is Terry Waihi, who is employed by DebitSuccess on Auckland’s North Shore.
After his previous employer downsized, Terry was hoping for a career change. However, he’d come to a “dead stop” in his hunt for new employment. Formerly an IT worker he still had a lot of skills to offer the workforce – the problem was in convincing employers of that.
“I’d been to university, started my own business, worked at large corporates like Telecom and smaller software companies. I’d done other programming positions but had painted myself in to corner as I knew one specific product really well, but demand had atrophied.”
Terry says he felt he would be good at contact centre work, but there was a difference between his work experience and skills and the skills normally required by contact centres.
“That’s always a risk for employers when you’ve had a bigger salary, much bigger jobs, they think you’re going to get bored or move on really quickly.”
When Terry heard about the Rapid Results programme through his Work and Income case manager he knew it was just the opportunity he needed to kick-start a new career.
“I knew I could make use of my skills in programming and dealing with people and everything I’d done in the past would serve me well in a contact centre role – I just needed someone to get me across that gap.”
Rapid Results facilitator Chris Lakatani delivered every single moment of the course with humour, he says. “I told Chris afterwards the biggest thing I got out of it was my motivation levels were back again.”
In addition, the meet and greet session gave him his first opportunity to meet a range of employers from companies like The Warehouse and ADT Security, and it was his first contact with his now employer Siala Uepa-Holmes, from DebitSuccess.
Siala says it was important to attend the meet and greet to get a real idea of a candidate before the interview process, and has employed two people out of the Rapid Results programme.
“They are fantastic and both have worked out really well. All the preparation work had been done for me. They received top quality training, I got the CVs in advance to review prior to the meet and greet, and when I attend the meeting, candidates are all prepared with questions, enthusiasm and confidence. I generally target talking to the ones I’m keen to employ.”
The DebitSuccess call centre comprises 80 staff on the customer service team and growing, recruiting four times a year or as the need arises.
Siala adds: “The initiative between Rapid Results and Work and Income is excellent. I found some real gems through this programme – people who we may have passed over if we just looked at the piece of paper called the CV. “
October 5, 2014