The end of January the network posted an article on their website requesting people from European timezones to apply for support staff member. Last week a second request went out for all timezones.
“We originally requested only European applicants because were having problems supporting our userbase from those time zones”, Human Resources Manager Michael Rossi explained to IRC-Junkie. ” We received a decent response from the Europeans. We hired 10 European staff members. After we hired them, however, we realized at that point that we could also use some more help in our American time zones.”
Although other timezones were covered pretty well, the target of a maximum of 2 minutes waiting time was not always guaranteed so a second request went out for non-EU timezones.
The network has been restructuring its support system, and is now being led by Support Director Cradly. While this process was ongoing the network did not wanted to hire in new staff with the risk that they would need to learn new policies right after learning the old ones.
After being accepted as a trainee a 6 month training program starts. The first month the trainee becomes a trial agent. “During this month, the agent will have no access to any information and has to get used to interacting with users as well as the command format. Whenever the agent needs a command run, he must request that a full support agent run the command for him. The support agent verifies to see that the commands are correct and that they should be performed and then performs the command for the trial. If the command is not correct or information is missing, the agent corrects the trial and the trial learns the correct way to do things, from running commands to handling complex channel disputes and harassment issues.”
When the initial trial month is over, the training can be extended to the support agent position. This 5 month period will be monitored by a training manager to ensure proper quality of service to the networks’ users.
“We have a number of different things we require/expect from our staff members. They must be professional at all times when on the network, because not only are they representing themselves, but they’re representing the network as a whole”, Michael explains. “As a trial they have to work in #support for five hours per week and pick up a minimum of 40 requests during that time.”
Reasons for users to become actively involved with their network of choice are many. But once involved one of the rewards is the friendship amongst the rest of the team. “The best part of being on a network’s staff is the bonds you forge with the other members of staff”, Michael starts. “You all share a common interest and have a common goal – making your network a better place and making sure that your users have the most enjoyable experience that they possibly can.”
“The response so far has been amazing, since we’ve reopened applications two weeks ago, we’ve processed over 100 applications and have currently hired 15 trial agents, in addition to welcoming back three returning agents to our ranks. Most of the applications I’ve read are wonderful, it really says a lot to me that people want to give back to a community that has given them so much enjoyment and I’m proud to be a part of it as well.”