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Treat your candidates like your Customers


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Whether it is a customer walking into a Retail store, a guest walking into a hotel or a buyer walking into a car showroom, they expect the best possible level of customer service. The concept of great service is not to merely meet their needs, but to exceed them. Even if they don’t make a purchase, or decide to book a room, you want them leaving with a smile on their face. They will be more likely to recommend you to their friends and family, and highly likely they will return.

How is this possibly relevant to recruitment you might ask? Surely when a candidate enters the process, there are only two outcomes – they get the job, or they don’t. There are no repeat purchases or visits. They don’t get the job, never mind, and you move on to the next applicant.

That sort of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth in my view.

Employers increasingly understand that their “brand” extends far beyond those people already working for them. The moment someone clicks on their recruitment website, they are forming an impression of the company. The moment a recruiter calls them about a role, they understand the approach of the company towards their people. Recruitment is a complex process – there are so many aspects that can make or break your “brand” in the eyes of a new candidate.

That is why you should aim to treat them like a customer, walking through the doors of your store or hotel for the first time.

First impressions count, and in recruitment, it is often the external recruiters who make those initial inquiries. I believe that it is crucial to find recruiters whose ways of working and values are aligned with your brand. If you are a creative business, then find a recruiter who is ready to think out of the box. If you are technology driven, make sure that your recruiter speaks your language. If you are a service driven business, make sure that your recruiter understands what great service means.

If your chosen partners are not able to represent your brand with the same passion and values as an internal employee, they will not be able to treat your candidates like customers. They simply won’t understand how.

There is still a certain amount of leeway for candidates to “forgive” a recruiter’s approach. They aren’t seen as your direct employees after all. However, once they walk though that interview door, it is an entirely different story.

Too many companies act like there is only one decision to be made in the recruitment process, but for the best candidates there are choices and, their decision is the crucial one. Hiring companies need to be mindful that as the competition for top talent grows, so does the expectation from the candidate. Those that don’t assume that every candidate would “die” to work there will take a much more balanced approach to interviewing. Candidates will feel respected, and the qualities of their hires will improve.

Much like the customer, to me, the candidate is king. Do you believe the same?

 

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