Hiring For Customer Service: What Employers Need To Know

As Seen In

logo of wsj
logo of wsj
logo of business-insider
logo of business-insider
logo of cnn
logo of cnn
logo of fatherly
logo of fatherly
logo of nbc
logo of nbc

Table Of Contents

When you hire customer service representatives, you’re looking for more than just a person who can answer client questions and upsell your company’s business. You need people who can help build the customer’s relationship with your organization. You’re seeking candidates who are smart, patient, good communicators, and above all, empathetic.

Sound like an impossible dream? It doesn’t have to be. To hire customer service reps who will build brand loyalty and grow your business, start by understanding what you’re looking for in a CSR. Then, learn where to look for candidates that match your requirements.

If you’re ready to add to your team now, consider posting your job on ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter distributes your job posting to 100+ other job sites with a single click. You can get started with ZipRecruiter for free.

Get started with ziprecruiter

How To Recruit For Customer Service

Identify What Good Customer Service Looks Like To You

When you’re hiring customer service, your first step should be to identify what good customer service looks like to you. Typically, this will involve some level of subject matter expertise, technical and communication skills, and emotional intelligence.

Determine Your Goals For Each Customer Interaction

You’ll also need to be very specific about your goals for each customer interaction: are you focused on resolving issues, building the relationship, or upselling services? Often, you’ll want your CSRs to do all these things–and to do them gracefully enough so that it won’t seem like they’re reading from a script.

Write A Job Description

Once you’ve nailed down skills, experience, and goals, write a job description. Be very specific about which qualifications are required and which are preferred. Remember that you can teach technical skills to a motivated person who already has the people skills required to do the job, but you may find it harder to do the reverse.

Post Your Job Opening Online

When you’ve finalized your job listing, post it on your preferred job site. (More on the best sites for customer service job listings in a moment.) Also, consider using word of mouth to find qualified candidates. Your professional network can be an invaluable tool for locking down skilled customer service representatives who already have the qualifications you’re seeking.

Ask Quality Interview Questions

Be sure to ask interview questions that give candidates an opportunity to show you what they would do in specific situations on the job, as well as reveal their values, goals, and strengths. Good customer service interview questions include:

  • What does customer service mean to you?
  • When have you experienced great customer service in your own life?
  • Tell me about a time when you’ve handled a frustrated or angry customer.
  • How have you worked with other team members to resolve a customer issue?
  • What are the most common causes of customer dissatisfaction, in your experience? How have you remedied them?
  • What do you know about our products/services?
  • What are your career goals?

Consider Hiring Remote Employees

Finally, consider hiring remote employees. You’ll expand your talent pool and attract candidates who see remote work as a valuable perk.

Top Skills To Look For In Customer Service Representatives

The best customer service representatives have these skills:

  • Communication skills: CSRs should be able to communicate well via phone, chat application, or email. This means being an active listener, striving to understand others, and being able to make themselves understood even in a stressful environment.
  • Patience: Whether they’re offering technical support or pricing information on a new service package, customer service representatives must be able to deal with customers who are frustrated, demanding, and sometimes less than pleasant.
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence: CSRs should be able to put themselves in the customer’s shoes to understand their point of view and goals.
  • Problem-solving skills: Conflict resolution is an essential part of customer service, but beyond that, agents should be able to come up with new solutions to customer problems.
  • Technical skills: Even in a job that doesn’t require much advanced tech know-how, CSRs must be able to use the tools of their job including software packages, chat programs, etc.

Where To Find Customer Service Representatives

When you’re hiring for customer service, there are many free job posting sites and fee-only job boards to consider. Here are some of the best sites:


ZipRecruiter boasts that 80% of employers get quality candidates on the first day their job listing goes live. The site offers several plan levels, all with a free trial. Here’s how to get started.


Indeed offers free job postings or sponsored job postings for as little as $5 per day. The site only charges when a candidate engages with your post. Learn more about Indeed here.


LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world. The site has nearly 800 million members in over 200 countries. Employers can post jobs for free on LinkedIn or pay to promote job postings.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should I look for when I hire customer service?

When hiring customer service representatives, look for communication skills, empathy, and conflict resolution, as well as the technical skills required for the job. Also, look for candidates who are passionate about your product, service, or the industry in general.

When should I hire customer service?

Hire customer service agents when you start spending too much time answering customer questions instead of working on other aspects of your business–or expanding it. Also, consider the workload of your current employees. When your team starts to seem overloaded, consider creating more specialized customer service roles to relieve the burden.

What is good customer service?

Good customer service doesn’t just solve the client’s problem. It strengthens the relationship and improves the customer’s view of the organization. This involves anticipating future needs as well as addressing the current problem.

How much do customer service representatives make? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, customer service representatives make a median annual salary of $35,830–or about $17 per hour. Wages vary by location, area of expertise, and more.

The Bottom Line

Customer service representatives are on the front lines of customer retention, satisfaction, and brand loyalty. Find and hire the right CSRs, and you’ll never need to worry about finding new customers–you’ll have all the business you need in your existing client base. If you’re ready to hire a customer service representative who will take your company to the next level, consider posting your job opening on ZipRecruiter!