I have been asked many times to write a piece on the recruitment of CX teams. Up until this point I have been reluctant as – since we established ourselves in 2012 – this has been an ever changing environment, and one which I have felt we were still learning about. However, after more than 7 years of specialising in CX recruitment – I feel I can now start to speak with relative authority and say that, while we are still learning on a daily basis, a few reliable generalisations are emerging.
The world of Customer Experience is a broad church – it remains a very diverse and unique sector in which to work.
Every business approaches Customer Experience differently, and is at a different stage of maturity. How specific CX roles emerge within a business is interesting – in some cases it grows out of operations, sometimes marketing, others customer service or even the digital silos – and these roots often predict and influence the type of teams that businesses look for.
Every single CX role is different and unique dependent on the organisation looking to hire. This is because every single organisation is at a different point on their CX journey in terms of maturity and because the overall outlook and the way that the customer is viewed by the leadership of that organisation is held with different levels of importance. This will naturally have a strong influence on the candidate an organisation might be looking for and often makes the recruitment process a long and complicated one.
So – you may be wondering how we at CX Talent Ltd see Customer Experience roles? To our mind CX roles include the following: Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, Customer Experience end to end implementation roles, Customer Journey, Customer Experience Communications, Digital Customer Experience, Customer Engagement, Loyalty roles. It also includes some of the satellite roles which would include Employee Experience and Engagement, Customer Operations, Business Transformation and Change roles, Customer Success, Product Management, UX Design and Research roles and the more senior Customer Service and Customer Relationship management roles.
Where a business is in terms of CX maturity predicts how much influencing / business transformation / change and continuous improvement experience a CX candidate will need in addition to these skillsets.
To find the right candidates for Customer Experience roles organisations need to be clear on what they want to achieve from having a CX team and what that team’s objectives are. This has a direct impact on finding the right candidate. For example – If you are starting out on your CX journey as an organisation and need someone to set up a CX function and champion the customer, to change the culture of the organisation to become one which is looking in as the customer from the outside rather than looking at the customer from the inside, you are going to need a candidate who may have done this before – this is unlikely to be someone who is only used to working in mature CX teams (unless they were the one that set that up in the first instance!).
CX teams often have to work across the other silos of the business in a fairly unique way – being expected to engage and influence across the full range of departments from securing finance for projects through marketing, usability, operations and crucially the front line of customer facing staff. This demands particular skills – being most obviously strong influencing and engagement abilities, together with the confidence to map and prioritise complex business scenarios and journeys.
In terms of sector differentiation, CX professionals have the luxury of being very transferable. Particularly in the regulated environments of financial services, utilities and telecoms – employers tend to like bringing in people from other sectors as they can bring with them a new way to look at improving customer experience. We work with clients across all these and many other sectors including facilities management, property management, the third sector and F&B, both with agencies and client side, and we find that we can move candidates between sectors very comfortably.
We’ve learned which questions to ask our HR and hiring managers about the role of the CX team in the client organisation, which allows us to streamline our search to candidates with the right approach as well as the right experience. CX candidates in general are great to work with – they tend to be instinctive problem solvers and open thinkers who are happy to share ideas, and we really enjoy our regular conversations with the professionals who make up our database of contacts.
So in conclusion CX Talent Ltd can add value to your recruitment process by already having an understanding of the sector and a large database of active and passive CX professionals working within it. We often have candidates in mind by the end of a briefing call – and if they are not ready for their next move we will use our network to find those who are!
Whether you are a candidate needing help to find your next steps on the CX ladder or an organisation struggling to find the right talent at any level – Kate and I would love to hear from you. We can and would very much like to help you along your own CX journey.