Open Enrollment, a time to apply for new health insurance coverage or make changes to existing plans through federal and state government programs, is fast approaching.
Each year, recruiting healthcare call center agents to support the influx of inquiries regarding Open Enrollment starts earlier. Moreover, strict deadlines have led to more competition when hiring talent for companies during enrollment. This highly coveted pool of healthcare talent is also experiencing a decline in the number of qualified candidates. Unfortunately, even when companies find their best-fit applicants, they face agent attrition that often leaves seats empty before the marketplace even opens.
Companies servicing Open Enrollment participants must keep up with the changing hiring environment and the latest tactics to address these common issues. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
Prepare for Strict Deadlines
The Open Enrollment Period has strict deadlines placed by either state or federal governments. These timeframes leave no wiggle room for companies preparing for participant inquiries. Additionally, many organizations begin to recruit contact center agents for the Open Enrollment Period at the same time meaning that recruiters face higher competition than normal when looking for qualified candidates. Unfortunately, there is no room for leeway if a company falls behind in recruiting.
Starting your search early will help you find highly skilled agents at BPOs with plenty of capacity and a proven ability to scale quickly when needed. Moreover, a BPO partner with many outsourcing locations can handle hiring issues, like limited talent pools, with unmatched expertise. In the end, choosing a BPO partner early means you won’t be left picking through the clearance racks because you waited too long.
Understand That Talent May Be Limited
In today’s competitive job market, hiring remains challenging due to a shrinking pool of active job seekers. Approximately 72.8% of recruiters are struggling to find relevant applicants. According to HR Cloud, 73% of candidates are currently working but browsing open positions because of low unemployment, meaning they would need to be motivated to leave their current roles. If you include peak seasons when many industries are vying for the same talent pool, such as retail and travel, hiring becomes even more challenging.
To compete, companies must offer extra incentives when hiring internally, such as work-from-home and better benefits. Finding an outsourcing partner means you can leave the hiring headaches for your BPO partner to handle. BPO providers know what to add to make positions more appealing to candidates in their area. They even know how to entice veteran agents, helping to ease the training process. BPO providers are experts at recruiting and training call center agents, so let them take on that burden.
Limit the Impact of Agent Attrition
Call center staff turnover is always a concern, but during Open Enrollment, it becomes even more critical due to strict deadlines. Your company has a limited amount of time to hire and train employees before the marketplace opens. If you’re unable to retain the necessary headcount through the training period, you may find yourself with empty seats needed to handle insurance inquiries.
There are two pillars to combatting attrition on a deadline. The first is to find a BPO provider with a history of low agent turnover. These BPOs often know how to use benefits, training and a positive work environment to keep employees happy. A second common practice is over-hiring, which may take extra time in the beginning, but will pay off later. This agent surplus will keep your call centers fully staffed in the wake of inevitable training period attrition.
Strict deadlines, agent attrition and limited talent can damper any company’s plan when preparing for Open Enrollment. That’s why partnering with a BPO provider with marketplace and insurance knowledge is so important.
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