Recruitment and Careers

To help you find, select and recruit the right staff to achieve excellent customer service.

Find out more about FirstStep. Our psychometric screening tests to help organisations recruit and benchmark staff for the specialist customer service environment. Jobsboard is exclusive to The Institute and is hosted by Jobsite. It is available to customer service recruiters and job seekers alike.


Empathy, thoroughness, a natural willingness to help

They’re crucial qualities for any employee. In customer service roles they can be the difference between success and failure. CVs and interviews take you so far. FirstStep gives you additional insight into candidates – and whether they're made of the right stuff.

What is FirstStep?

FirstStep is a range of psychometric screening tests that help organisations recruit and benchmark staff for the specialist customer service environment.

Features & benefits

  • One-off cost per candidate
  • Face to face customer service (non sales)
  • Inbound call centre customer service
  • General service (non-specific)
  • Good generalist (or mix of channels)
  • Sales (any channel)
  • Technical service desk (IT, product environment)
  • Telephone support for the first three tests
  • Comparison of each applicant with the top customer service performers
  • A tool to quickly rule out unsuitable candidates
  • Results offer a description of how the candidate is likely to behave or act in a sales situation
  • Enables recruitment of appropriate staff
  • Can be used to benchmark existing staff and create a unique selection criteria

What's involved?

FirstStep involves an un-timed test, that usually take 25-30 minutes. Results are available almost immediately – giving each candidate an overall low, medium or high rating. A guide to interpreting the results is provided, along with questions to use at interview. Results are weighted according to the specific test, but generally focus on:

  • Problem solving
  • Assertiveness
  • Helpfulness
  • Confidence
  • Diligence
  • Empathy
  • Sociability


The Institute of Customer Service's Jobsboard

The Institute of Customer Service Jobsboard can be used by jobseekers to find the right opportunity, and recruiters to find the right person for the job.

Customer service jobs are found in most organisations, and are not restricted to those with 'customer service' in the title.

What skills are needed?

Every role – and the skillset required – is different. But there are skills common to all customer service jobs, including:

  • Having the ability to communicate with different people, with different needs
  • The ability to work consistently and reliably to meet customers expectations and help to resolve any problems they may have
  • Once in a suitable role, you will also need to learn about your organisation's products and services, as well as the systems used to deliver customer service
  • If you would like to improve your customer service skills, your organisation's HR department may be able to help you; many organisations conduct their own customer service training
  • Training opportunities may also be available from your local college, your local Chamber of Commerce or the LearnDirect website

We may also be able to help.Find out if Individual Membership of the Institute of Customer Service could help you improve your skills.

How to find a job in customer service?

  • Visit our JobsBoard
  • Contact local recruitment agencies
  • Write to local employers – larger employers in particular may be looking for customer service staff
  • Visit your local branch of Connexions (formerly the Careers Service)


Work with us at The Institute

The Institute of Customer Service provides an inclusive and supportive working environment. Our staff are highly valued, motivated and focused on business needs. We are committed to fairness and equality.

Press releases

Press coverage of the Institute of Customer Service

Find out what's been happening in the world of The Institute of Customer Service. Including industry news and market commentary.

Qualifications and training

We offer a range of officially sanctioned qualifications to deve

Our customer service training courses help you build a consistent culture of service across your organisation. Courses are suitable for anyone involved in service – customer facing staff, team leaders and managers.