If a new customer entered your store and was keen on buying something, you would never dream of ignoring them.
Even if they’re just browsing, you would not let them leave without trying to make a good impression on them. You’d try and win them over for next time they are looking to buy. You’d respect and thank them for thinking about you, and share knowledge with them about products you have, so that they leave better informed consumers. Maybe they’ll remember you the next time they have a purchase to make.
This same philosophy needs to apply to candidates who apply for jobs at your organisation.
Yet, everyday we don’t … and it’s damaging. It’s damaging to both brands and to the people who apply to them.
You need to treat your candidates as you do your customers. You need to treat them with respect, give them an interview experience that makes them feel comfortable, familiar and convenient, is fast, and dignifies the effort they have made in applying. Go further and give them feedback and insights about their strengths and weaknesses that they can use when looking at other jobs, it’s likely they will think of you in the future, and recommend you to their friends.
As Michael Eizenberg, Head of Qantas Group Talent, Digital & Analytics told us: “We care deeply about two things when it comes to hiring. Firstly, diversity and inclusivity, and secondly the experience of everyone who comes into contact with the Qantas brand. Our goal is to treat every candidate like we would a customer.”
Qantas metrics prove the value of treating candidates as customers.
The idea of creating positive candidate experiences is not new, but the global talent shortage has empowered candidates in a way that companies are no longer the ones wielding the power.
You’re not doing the choosing. Candidates are. They are assessing you at every step of the way in a recruitment process.
We need to treat candidates not just as ‘prospective employees’, but put on the best show as “prospective employers”. We need to roll out the red carpet and listen to their needs – from the first moment they interact with us.
We’ve heard about the great resignation across the globe as people have reassessed their lives and decided they want more from their job than just a steady paycheck.
People looking for jobs not only have more choices, but they also possess more information about companies thanks to technology like Glassdoor. They will likely do research on your company before they apply.
Much like shopping has changed the way people buy things, making online comparisons and reading reviews, the internet has created a similar opportunity for job seekers who are looking for the best place to work.
Organisations need to not only consciously articulate and promote the value they offer and why people should consider working for them – they actually have to prove it through their recruitment process.
The candidate is a consumer of your “product’ (your workplace and everything you stand for), or at least you need to think of them as one.
This means making people feel valued by your company even before they work there.
You can read how Qantas’ approach to treat candidates as customers has improved the quality and retention on their candidates here.
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