BPO Staffing: The Interview Process

The interview process is how companies identify the appropriate character traits and skills for a specific position. It’s also how organizations decide who is a good cultural fit. In small organizations, it is critical to include only those individuals who will advance their mission as efficiently as possible.

The following summary discusses how our sister company Atelier Lumikha handles the interview process. In brief, our process encompasses an online resume review followed by three interviews concluding with an offer letter plus contract.

As a standard procedure, and in contrast to larger organizations that cannot afford to be highly selective, we do not encourage walk-in interviews. This is because walk-in applicants are generally seeking any position available and we prefer applicants with either a clear sense of career direction or who possess particular skills or unique characteristics that make them a desirable addition to our team.

The First Interview: Over The Phone
Our Human Resources department handles our first interview over the phone. All our job positions start with this phone interview. This is a critical and logical starting point for any contact center role or position with customer-facing responsibilities, when we assess communication skills, phone etiquette, engagement, and ascertain the applicant's interest in the position.

If an applicant succeeds with Human Resources, we schedule an interview with Operations to commence assessment of the applicant’s specific job position skills and team suitability.

The Second Interview: With Operations
As a rule, we want our leaders to take ownership of a new hire and advocate their success. Operations conduct interviews between the applicant and their presumed immediate supervisor. The applicant benefits from the opportunity to learn more about their duties.

Our HR team generally presents qualified candidates, so a great part of this interview emphasizes cultural suitability and possibility of tenure. These two qualities are key for smaller operations that occupy <300 seats especially because retention has a huge effect on performance.

We search for employees who will be well-knitted with their prospective team and with the entire company and who will strongly validate our investment in training. Without a doubt, these elements become more significant with positions’ complexity and level of skill.

The Third Interview: With the Management
After passing the second interview, the applicant is ready to be scheduled for a quick management visit.

This third and final interview affirms Operations’ decision and provides an opportunity for the management to speak with and get to know each new potential hire. This is also a chance to gain additional understanding about the job market at a tactical level and, of course, to get to learn more about the applicant’s personality and background.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Offer Letter & Contract
Once we conclude the interviews, we present an offer letter to the applicant which details the position, schedule and compensation. Our payroll bands are based on experience and skill-level. This initial contract concludes after six weeks then we regularize the employee.

Companies generally offer a probationary or initial contract for six months under the Philippine labor regulations. After this period, an employee is “regularized.” Being regular means they are now entitled to employee benefits and confirms their status in the company. Usually, a ten percent compensation increase is included.

Contrary to most BPOs in the Philippines, we act more swiftly (six weeks vs. six months) to regularize employees. The reason behind this is our stringent and uncompromising hiring process gives us confidence in our capacity to evaluate an employee's suitability. Also, from a labor compliance standpoint, there is a very slim disparity in the process of separating a probationary employee vs. a regularized employee. This approach has also a proven positive effect on employee morale.