Improving Customer Service through Inclusive Employment

In 2018, eir made the strategic decision to move all customer facing employees back in-house. This decision was driven by the belief that for high quality customer service to be delivered, every person dealing with a customer should be an eir employee.

In keeping with eir’s commitment to its national footprint, a significant number of these in-sourced jobs are located outside Dublin – in hubs in Cork, Limerick and at a brand-new facility in Sligo. Sligo saw the lowest job growth of any county in Ireland after the recession and Limerick has eight out of the 10 worst employment black spots in the country. eir is bringing hundreds of jobs to these locations.

eir’s recruitment policy dictates that the company commits to recruitment practices that ensure meaningful opportunities for all, including under-represented, marginalised and vulnerable groups. The company prohibits the design or implementation of processes, which result in discrimination. The policy also outlines that:

  • career progression will be based solely on the application of objective criteria, personal performance and merit;
  • competency requirements for roles will be clearly defined and focused on the specific requirements of the role being filled;
  • job advertising will encourage applications from the widest possible range of candidates;
  • selection criteria for recruitment to, and within the company, will be based on the competency requirements for the position or role and it will not be assumed that external commitments lead to limited career aspirations.

In order to be a more inclusive employer, the company has a variety of flexible working arrangements in the Call Centres. When recruiting new employees, we make it clear that we are open to any hours that suit employees as we have morning, afternoon, evening and weekend shifts. We also are adjusting our training and induction schedules, offering sessions in the evenings and weekends. Every effort is being made to enable each employee achieve an acceptable balance between work and personal priorities.

Additionally, eir are also in the process of engaging with Turas Nua to potentially provide jobs for long term unemployed people in Sligo. Turas Nua works with candidates to help them prepare for job interviews as well as providing on-going training on the job, while eir provides suitable roles and positions for people to build careers and remain in long term employment.

Since October eir have hired and trained 315 new front-line staff across our three regional sites and 220 employees have transferred over to eir. Every week, more than 40 new care agents complete training and begin taking calls. Performance has improved steadily month on month resulting in a significant improvement in eir’s Customer Effort scores. Overall, substantial progress has been delivered in a short time.

Having a more flexible approach to working hours has attracted a wider range of candidates and it has also helped with employee retention, as people want to work in an environment that is flexible and promotes equality.

Finally, flexibility, ownership of your role, and control of your career results in a much higher team morale, with employees actively contributing by providing feedback and suggestions on how to improve eir’s service for customers.


Call out to Business

Do you have examples of initiatives in your business that have helped build an inclusive culture?  If so we’d love to hear from you. Contact losullivan@bitc.ie to share your experiences and inspire others to action.

Upcoming Network activities related to the Inclusive Employer:

  1. Customised presentations to interested companies
  2. Event: Round-table discussion with member companies on the topic of employment and retention of people with disabilities.

If you would like further information on how to build an inclusive culture contact losullivan@bitc.ie


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