In Recruiting, Service Matters!

Recently, I delivered a presentation to a group of recruiting professionals that addressed how an organization's employment brand is directly impacted by the positive and/or negative experiences of individual candidates in consideration for existing openings. The underlying premise of the presentation was that the manner in which a job applicant is engaged throughout the recruiting process has significant bearing on a candidate's perceptions about an organization's values, culture, and people.

In kicking off the presentation, I decided to do a quick social experiment by asking everyone in the audience whether or not they could identify the single finest dining experience that they had ever enjoyed. As I began to poll audience members, I was struck by the fact that everyone could identify one particular dining encounter that was truly exceptional and that stood out among all of the others. One individual cited an incredible meal at a restaurant in Orlando - a meal that she had over seven years ago. Another individual highlighted a D.C. based restaurant that was consistently superior (and regrettably, was no longer in business). A third individual became sentimental about a small bistro in Italy's Dolomite region. As these dining experiences were briefly recounted, you could see other participants nodding in acknowledgement. In short, everyone was able to think of a specific time, place, and experience that approximated dining excellence in every respect.

As the dialogue progressed, it became apparent that the common denominator that made each dining experience outstanding was directly tied to the quality of the service that each individual had received. While fine dining is synonymous with great food, great service was unquestionably the critical factor that made the total dining experience unlike any other.

As recruiters we are ultimately afforded the opportunity to create a highly memorable experience for the candidates that we navigate through our hiring process (or client's hiring process). And, as recruiters we have the capacity to directly engage candidates in a manner that embodies great service. This, of course, doesn't mean that every candidate will end up getting a job. But, by providing candidates with candid feedback, by managing expectations, and by responding to candidate inquiries or requests for status updates in a timely manner, we not only are provided with an opportunity to distinguish ourselves as being highly professional, but are also more likely to mitigate the potential for hard feelings or a negative experience - especially if a candidate doesn't end up getting an offer of employment.

It may sound simplistic, but if we take steps that result in candidates feeling that they have been well treated throughout all phases of the recruitment process, there will be a favorable impact on our employment brand and reputation. And, while we may not be able to leave candidates feeling quite the same way that they would upon departing a fine restaurant that provided an outstanding meal, we can leave them feeling that they were respected, treated with integrity, and well served by working with us.

By Paul Siker, reprinted with the permission of Paul Siker
 BlackDog Recruiting Software Inc.
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