Six Best Practices Recruiting Leaders Can Learn from Customer Service

Best practices recruiting

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Feedback-driven, best practices recruiting programs are relatively new, yet the potential for transformational change is huge. Born out of the quest for friction-free candidate experience, early tactics for feedback-driven recruiting have revolved around point in time surveys aimed at understanding candidate satisfaction to deliver a better candidate experience.

Along the way, those organizations that have analyzed recruiting from the candidate’s point of view found a gold mine of data about their entire recruiting process. Some good, a lot not so good. Enter the feedback-driven recruiting movement.

This is where recruiting leaders can learn a lot from customer experience feedback. Customer experience feedback programs began similarly, utilizing periodic surveys to gauge customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction, it was thought, would drive customer loyalty. And periodic feedback would be enough to uncover keys to increase this loyalty.

However, after many years of data it became clear that neither approach was generating significant increases in satisfaction or loyalty. Over the years customer service organizations evolved their strategies to more effectively increase customer loyalty and, therefore, revenues.

So here are five ways in which recruiting can learn from customer service.

It’s Cheaper to Retain Than Acquire

Best practices recruitingWhen it comes to customers, it is definitely cheaper to retain them to acquire new ones. By the same token, in best practices recruiting, it is cheaper to source from existing candidates than it is to acquire new candidates.

So loyalty is a big driver for customer success teams and it also should be for best practices recruiting organizations. Companies with large talent pools face the constant challenge of how to effectively engage these candidates, understand what kind of affinity they have for the company, and learn what motivates them to throw their hat in the ring for jobs.

Therefore, in best practices recruiting, as in customer service, feedback programs are the key to maximizing satisfaction and, most importantly, building in some level of loyalty among candidates (or some level of positive engagement with the employer brand).

Link Candidate Feedback to Business Outcomes

In customer service, it’s not enough to have loyal customers. A good feedback program needs to show clear business outcomes stemming from that loyalty. In other words, do loyal customers affect the business with repeat purchases? New business from referrals? Both?

This is important for recruiting leaders as well. What outcomes are achieved by ensuring your candidates are satisfied, respected and loyal to the employer brand? Employers should make educated guesses about these outcomes and begin their feedback programs by asking questions to test these assumptions and/or uncover additional potential business benefits. These could be faster hiring, increased referrals, lower cost per hire, etc.

Establish a Key Indicator

As you come to understand the business benefits of candidate feedback, create a key indicator for satisfaction and loyalty to the brand that you can monitor and improve. In customer service, this is a Netpromoter™ score. The Netpromoter score measures customer loyalty and has many years of research behind it to back it’s effectiveness. It’s a great way for employers to understand how effectively they are impacting the business outcomes that flow from candidate satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Learn What Drives Satisfaction and Loyalty

In customer service, drivers of loyalty might be affinity programs, lower prices, white glove delivery, etc. In recruiting it might be company mission, friction-free applications, frequent and transparent communication, etc. The key is to use candidate feedback to identity which drivers make a difference to overall Netpromoter scores and optimize your processes to maximize these drivers.

Act on Feedback

At one point, customer service organizations were spending nearly a $1B annually on satisfaction programs, yet industry analysts were finding that aggregate satisfaction was stagnant. This arguably helped morph customer satisfaction into what we now know as “customer experience.” This shift drove much of practices referred to in this article and placed the burden on customer service organizations to gather more granular feedback and actually ACT on that feedback to optimize the customer experience.

The same holds true for best practices recruiting. Satisfaction scores do not, in and of themselves, move the needle. Feedback programs should be well thought out, tied to business outcomes, monitored through effective feedback scores and, above all, fed back to candidates in the form of increasingly better experiences.

Constant Feedback

Finally, these programs require constant feedback. Customer service organizations gather feedback at the transaction-level, loosely meaning each step of the customer lifecycle. The same holds true for recruiting. This ensures processes are optimized throughout the hiring lifecycle, holds recruiters, hiring managers and management accountable for day-in-day-out results and makes employers able to react to changes in market conditions.

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