Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to attend an interesting event presented by Ian Aitchinson from COPC and hosted by CCINZ, which focused on customer journeys and building a customer journey map. Hearing about the importance of a customer journey map and the customer life cycle when engaging with a business, made me think of the recruitment process.
Think of the customer journey map as an overall visual customer experience, from the day that they discover your company to their first interaction with your brand and beyond. Instead of just looking at one part of an experience or purchase, the customer journey map highlights the full experience of what it’s like to be the customer. Understanding what a customer (or candidate, in the case of recruitment) goes through when interacting with your brand, product or service, can help you put yourself in their shoes. This in turn can help you improve your own processes, by making it easier and more satisfying for the customer. When a job seeker decides to invest their time in your brand, it’s crucial for you to pay attention to try to understand their mindset. Otherwise you could be losing out on a good candidate.
Ian also painted a picture of the approaches needed for different customer interactions. When a customer makes a routine transaction, they expect it to be quick, easy and hassle-free. However, if a customer is about to make a big purchase, they tend to want help or advice from a customer service agent and a more consultative approach. Similarly, when a candidate applies for a job, they want a positive and quick hiring process that satisfies them and keeps them happy.
Although looking for a job might carry a little more gravitas than shopping, similar principles still apply. If you invest your time in your “customers” and gain their trust with excellent service and consultation, you’ll almost certainly end up with better results. Ultimately, how one candidate is treated through the hiring process will also affect other candidates that apply and the overall process itself, so it’s good to get it right from the start.
Create Your Own Candidate Journey Map
Candidates, job seekers, hopeful individuals looking for an opportunity; if you’re recruiting, these are your customers. To create a customer journey map for your recruitment function, you and your team must put your heads together to find out about the needs of your candidates; who they are, what they do, what they like and don’t like. It’s good practice to reflect on your recruitment process after each hire and make sure that it’s working as well as it can be. Making these kinds of iterative improvements will help to build up a positive experience for candidates.
Make Your Hiring Process Clear
To keep those top candidates interested, you’ll want to make your hiring process as clear and easy as possible. For a hire to be successful for both employer and employee, it’s crucial to know what you’re looking for when recruiting.
Remember that every job seeker is either looking for a certain role or a particular kind of company, which is helpful for you as it enables you to match your needs and priorities with theirs to find the best match for both sides. Your company culture and employer brand (your reputation as a place to work) is a key part of this, and by representing your company honestly you’re more likely to attract the attention of candidates that are the best cultural fit for your organisation.
Too often people can sign up to a job that is the complete opposite of what they wanted, so make sure to be transparent about your process from start to finish. Let each candidate know what will be expected of them through a well-designed job description. This document can help clarify responsibilities and expectations for both sides, including the duties and responsibilities of the role, as well as the experience, skills, qualifications, or personality traits required. A solid job description can also serve as the basis for the interview process.
Always Keep in Touch with Interviewees
During the hiring stage let your candidate know of any pre-employment tests, background checks and reference checks that might be needed, and ensure the paperwork is sorted out as smoothly as possible so that there are no unwanted surprises. If the candidate ticks all the boxes during preliminary screenings, and you reach the face-to-face interview stage, then don’t just stop the communication there. Keep a line of communication open with the candidate and ensure they’re informed of how their application is progressing in a timely manner. Many candidates don’t get the feedback that they’re after during the hiring process, so keeping your applicants updated can make your organisation stand out.
The same rule applies for candidates who aren’t unsuccessful – let them know. Leaving people in the dark is a mistake that companies can often make. Spare the candidate from the unknown by telling them why they didn’t get the job, giving meaningful feedback and also telling them what they did well in the interview; especially if the candidate was on your shortlist. An honest answer can be a lot more personal and effective than an automatic rejection email, and will reflect better on you as an employer.
Keep in mind, a recruitment agency can be of significant help with this process. Our experts at Beyond Recruitment can take the whole hiring process off your hands, freeing you up from sorting through endless applications job applications and enabling you to focus on your core duties. Recruiters can help you with interviewing candidates, conducting background checks, and even extending a job offers. Recruiters have specialist industry insight, as well as a deep understanding of skills and experience requirements and personality fit, to ensure that you have access to the right candidates without fail.
Using a customer journey map when recruiting can help you see things from the candidate’s point of view; how they feel, and what they want and need from the hiring process. From here you can adapt your approach to improve your hiring process and build stronger relationships with your candidates, providing a great experience for them regardless of whether they get the job or not.
Recruiters understand how busy and time consuming the hiring process can be, so, if you need any extra guidance or assistance, feel free to get in touch today.