Poor Candidate Experience can damage your Brand.
Kate and I have not always been in recruitment – I personally have been a Picture Researcher, an Account Manager, A Business Development Manager, A Commercial Director and now Recruitment Consultant. Kate has been involved in Theatre, Production and PR in General Management and is now a Recruitment Consultant. Why you may think? Isn’t recruitment dirty and nasty and doesn’t everyone hate you?! Well – yes! But that is why we wanted to do it, because we wanted to do it better and make a difference.
We’ve both been a candidate, We’ve been a Hiring Managers and we like people! We have seen and experienced recruitment from all sides. I am good at Relationship Building, I’m good at selling (though this should not be a big part of my current role) and I care about people getting and doing jobs they love. Kate is too – but she brings the operational focus. The only BIG JOY of being in recruitment is knowing we have placed someone in an awesome role that is completely right for them. If it is right for them – it’s right for the client and great things can happen! As we know – businesses are created by people, run by people and are nothing without their people – so more effort should be placed on finding the right people – Right?!!
When I started up CX Talent Ltd with my friend Kate Baird we didn’t start out as CX recruiters. We started out trying to help local businesses by providing them with short term and interim candidates to help run high level projects. It didn’t work! We fell into CX recruitment almost by mistake – but quickly realised that there was a big gap there, where those recruiting for the roles didn’t understand what they were recruiting for as the roles tended to be so diverse and complex. CX Candidates were completely unrepresented at that time and we found a lovely niche in an area that I would have probably found myself in had I not had my children. We’ve grown our business slowly and organically. Most of our business to date has been by referral and from many of our amazing candidates who like our approach.
What is our approach?
Simply to not be like the other recruitment agencies out there. Don’t get me wrong – there are some awesome ones and those we applaud. However, as you will be aware a great number of people and companies in recruitment have an awful name and reputation and we DON’T want to be like them! We TRY to be as personal as possible, talking and viewing our candidates as individuals not numbers. We try to give as much information and advice to help them secure their next role – irrespective of whether it is with us. Ideally of course – we would place every single person, but that simply isn’t possible. We LISTEN to what our client’s want in a person and then look to our network to find those people. When we have been given a briefing for a role – we don’t immediately rush out and advertise it. We don’t tell our candidates to check roles on our website – we proactively inform candidates when we have a role that is suitable for them. When we’ve been given a briefing – we will already have a few people in mind and those are the first we speak to. Then we go into the database and look to see who else might be interested, then Linkedin and then and ONLY then will be advertise for a role. That is only if we don’t have enough people with the right skill set in the right location for the right money.
So is that why I’m not be familiar with your brand?!
You wont have seen us advertising very often on Linkedin or other job boards. We are not overly shouty about ourselves – but maybe we should be?! Our candidate base is AWESOME full of amazing CX professionals of all levels. If you need someone in this field, In House or Consultancy – seriously look no further – we’ll have them! Other specialist agencies will have amazing candidates in their fields.
Who goes into the Hiring Process with joy in their hearts?
What I would like is for when In House Resourcing Managers and Hiring Managers have to recruit for CX roles – they think of us. They don’t think – OH GOD! I’ve got to recruit – this is going to be painful. Which is certainly the current way that people feel when they have to recruit! Instead of that – they think: – ‘OK – I’ve got a role to fill – I’ll call Kate or Jo and they will get it sorted. It won’t be painful or laborious – it will be a great partnership’. We’ll get them the right person into that position as seamlessly as possible. Shouldn’t recruitment be like that – always for all roles?
I know that there are a lot of great In House resourcing teams – fantastic! However, they are often working on far more roles than a Recruitment Consultant is and they can be hugely varied. The In-House Resourcer is often far more stretched than a Recruitment Consultant. With the more complex and specialist roles – like CX, Customer Insight, Transformation, Digital CX, UX, UX Research etc… it is surely easier for these teams to look to a specialist agency to help them find that talent? It is cost effective to get those people in place in a business as soon as possible. It saves on advertising costs and allows those In House Resourcers to get on and fill the roles that are easier to fill – where they don’t necessarily need expert knowledge to know who is suitable for a role and who is not.
I’ve read so many posts on Linkedin recently by people who have had appalling candidate experiences, where they are one of maybe 400 applicants or more for a role. They are often feeling vulnerable due to not being in work and are susceptible to take the silence badly. Don’t damage your brand by offering bad recruitment experiences. As Noah Halperin (a recent contact on Linkedin) so eloquently said in a recent post – ‘People are not a product and processing them like they are is to the detriment of all’. How can recruitment have become like this? People hire people – yet it’s become very transactional and dehumanised.
How can we help to overcome this?
Why not consider using the smaller Independent Specialist recruitment agencies for the more complex roles? They are often owner run and always want to do a great job – this in turn always ensures a great recruitment experience for both candidate and client. It will protect your brand and you might just help keep some of them in business! It is surely a win win!!?
If you’ve got a role – please don’t just look at the PSL agencies. Please look beyond and see if there are others who can offer you a better service – you may be pleasantly surprised!