Your Customer Is Everyone – Not Just the Person Who Purchases Your Product
In a startup, you want people on your team who are tenacious—who aren’t afraid to do something differently and aren’t afraid to make a mistake. You want people who sweat the details. You want people who have the entrepreneurial spirit.
You’ve spent a lot of time developing your company’s reputation among candidates as a great place to work, a company that’s got vision and vitality. Having the right reputation among job seekers is a critical component of your strategy to attract the best people. But too many entrepreneurs forget that their reputation needs attention at every step of the hiring process. That work doesn’t end when someone sends you their resume.
Consider this from Gallup: More than 70 percent of job seekers had at least one frustration with the hiring process. And:
Job applicants were most likely to mention frustrations regarding the lack of communication prospective employers demonstrated. Whether it was the wait for the results of their application; the length of time between applying, being interviewed, and being hired; or not hearing from the hiring organization at all, 22% of respondents cited a lack of communication as the most aggravating aspect of their job search.
One respondent said the most frustrating part of the process was “when you interview or even just apply, and you don’t hear from anyone in the organization for a long time or ever.”
Part of this problem might be happening because internally you have the policy of “generating inbound interest” for candidates, just as you do with sales leads. But the problem is that because you are “generating inbound interest” you are also loosing potential customers and employees. Imagine that you are scheduling a house cleaning appointment; you fill out a form online for Company A and you wait for the service provider to contact you, but they never do. As a consumer you would be upset. You would then go to another service provider, Company B, and tell your circle about your negative experience with Company A. The same thing happens when there is little to no response to a candidate during the application process.
To resolve this, Gallup’s prescription is simple: “Start by caring about prospective employees as much as you do about your customers and current associates.” And, “take the steps necessary to ensure positive experiences from specialized customers, such as job applicants, regardless of whether they get the job.”
Time and again, we hear job seekers say their resumes vanish into “black holes” or that an employer was “non-responsive.” Yet all this grumbling can be put to rest by taking a simple step: Replying to candidates for each communication, treating them just as you would a special customer.
By understanding this and effectively managing your hiring process, by demonstrating to everyone inside and outside your company that each contact represents a specialized customer, you’ll build a positive impression of your organization, a pipeline of prospective customers—and a pipeline of qualified candidates, too.
Why? Because word will get around. By being responsive, you’ll build strong in-bound interest. You’ll widen your net of potential team members and likely find someone who didn’t exist in your network. All because you showed candidates you value their interest as much as you would any other customer’s.
Till next month,
Image: Kostenko Maxim/Shutterstock.com