Jenn Post joined Startek® in 2016 as a Customer Service Representative working on the phones to support customers on a telecom account. 7 years later Jenn drives talent acquisition for Startek U.S. and considers starting out on the production floor as one of the secrets to her successful career.
In this blog, Jenn shares her career journey and how she progressed from contact center agent to Talent Acquisition (TA).
“Prior to joining Startek, I had been working with adults with developmental disabilities. My role had been to train and supervise individuals performing tasks to enable them to achieve a clear goal.
During this time, I learned I enjoyed working to support others. I saw a lot of transferable skills moving into the contact center, especially the need to empathize with callers and help them to achieve their aims. When I first joined Startek as a customer service representative, I knew I had found the right place to kickstart my career.
The company's focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences and its supportive work environment resonated with my values. As an agent, I learned the art of active listening, problem-solving and providing personalized solutions to customers.
My agent role was rewarding, but I also had an appetite to do more. As I looked around, I saw the complexity of the contact center operation and began to recognize all that goes on behind the scenes to deliver a world-class experience to the client’s customers. And I wanted to be a part of that. Startek invests in their people through training and learning opportunities and I felt privileged to have joined an organization that enabled and encouraged me to develop my self-confidence. Fielding calls 8 hours a day, you quickly learn to manage complex situations.
Startek invests in their people through training and learning opportunities and I felt privileged to have joined an organization that enabled and encouraged me to develop my self-confidence. Fielding calls 8 hours a day, you quickly learn to manage complex situations. My agent role and the training I received armed me with the skills I needed to understand the customer’s drivers and guide them to the best resolution. I enrolled myself into a coaching program offered by Startek called The Essential Habits of Ideal Dialogue. This communication training program trains and challenges customer experience specialists to become more aware of how they communicate and what they can do to alter their approach in real-time to better anticipate, address and support the needs of the customer being spoken with.
I believe that the skills agents need to be successful in their roles are the skills we all need to be successful in interacting with others. These are transferable skills that form the foundation of success in any role and it is a great introduction to an office environment for those just leaving education as well as those who have been in the workplace but outside the corporate world.
Through my work, I saw how important delivering a consistent experience to each caller was in creating customer engagement and I became more interested in the work of the Quality Assurance (QA) team. When an opportunity to become part of the QA team became available, I seized the opportunity to contribute to the overall improvement of customer experiences. In this role, I evaluated interactions between agents and customers, identifying areas for improvement and providing constructive feedback. The transition was smooth due to the continuous support and training provided by Startek which ensured that I was well-equipped for my new responsibilities.
Startek emphasizes continuous learning and growth, which has motivated me to actively seek self-improvement. As I became more familiar with the company's operations, I noticed the diverse career paths available to team members within the organization. This realization sparked a curiosity within me to explore other facets of Startek operations. I expressed my interest in learning more about Talent Acquisition and to my delight, my managers were encouraging and supportive.
The transition from an agent to a TA specialist has been a defining moment in my career. It involved stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on new responsibilities. And it was the skills I learned working on the phone, managing a new situation with every call, that helped me to develop the confidence I needed to take that leap. What’s more, moving from agent to Quality Advocate gave me the confidence that the support I needed would be there to help me flourish as I moved my career in a new direction. Startek provided me with comprehensive training and mentorship to ensure I was well-prepared for the new role. As a TA Specialist, my focus shifted from resolving customer inquiries to finding and attracting top talent to join our growing team.
This role allows me to utilize the communication skills I honed as an agent to build meaningful connections with candidates. While first-hand knowledge of the agent role means I am especially well-suited to understand the skills a successful agent needs to possess and can I quickly identify the very best candidates. I am also able to bring the role to life for job seekers. Additionally, working in recruitment has taught me the importance of diversity and inclusion in the hiring process. The Startek commitment to creating a diverse workforce inspires me to actively seek candidates from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, enriching our team and fostering an inclusive work culture.
Throughout my journey, the emphasis that Startek lays on continuous growth and development proved to be a guiding force. The ongoing training and the encouragement to continuously seek the next growth opportunities that Startek offers its associates have transformed me both professionally and personally. Little did I know when I joined Startek as an agent in 2016 that 7 years later I would be playing a key role in talent acquisition for Startek U.S. During my time at Startek, I have learned that agent roles are a gateway to a wide range of career paths within the organization. I am proud that Startek fills 57% of roles with internal hires and I always encourage anyone starting out in their career or looking to switch directions to consider an agent position. You never know where it may lead you!”