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MYTH #6: There’s little value in planning for attrition

Contact centers that fail to plan for attrition will suffer significant financial and workplace consequences.

It costs the 100-seat center $25.52 in lost productivity every hour a seat goes unfilled. The worst-case scenario is a center that reacts after attrition occurs. If it takes 74 days to fill an opening with a trained agent, it costs the center $15,108 in lost productivity.

Understaffing increases pressure on workers to maintain service levels and negatively affects CXs. Every open seat increases occupancy rates. Research shows that occupancy rates above 90% harm productivity and lead to burnout.

Creating a talent recovery plan reduces seat vacancies, inefficiencies, and lost productivity. It forecasts attrition and required staff while providing a timeline to recruit and train new employees to ensure the center remains at or near capacity.

The example below demonstrates how to construct a talent recovery plan.


SOURCE: Cinareo, Intelliante

The talent recovery plan helps centers hire ahead of attrition. Suppose center leaders forecast seven agents will depart in March and April. The center can bring trainees into the January class (24 February graduation) to prepare them to fill the open seats, eliminating lost productivity.

A talent recovery plan typically delivers solid returns. The table below shows an average return of 141%, but the values range from -35% to 385%.

Note 1: The 2,400 hours reflects seven new hires who completed training and nesting (2,240) and one who completed four weeks of classroom training (160).

Note 2: We excluded nesting and training expenses because they are not incremental. A center will incur those costs; the only thing that changes is the timing.

Note 3: We split March and April because we assume four people quit on March 15 and three quit on April 15th.

Source: Cinareo, Intelliante

The negative return means using the talent recovery plan at the 100-seat center will increase expenses when it takes ten days to fill a seat. The center’s recruiting process is working efficiently; the talent recovery plan will not add ROI directly. However, other outcomes worth noting are lower occupancy rates and higher staff satisfaction, which create additional value.


The cost of attrition exceeds the most widely used benchmarks.

Contact centers seem to operate in a state of blissful ignorance. Industry executives recognize the deleterious nature of attrition but consistently underestimate its financial repercussions for two reasons.

Check out our other myths that will help you better understand the hard and hidden costs of attrition:

**Excerpt from The Hard and Hidden Costs of Attrition by Mark Alpern and Brent Holland published in December 2022 in the Contact Center Pipeline magazine


Find out how Cinareo can guide your decision-making for hiring ahead of attrition in order to maximize your profitability and boosting employee performance and satisfaction.


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