Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Every candidate who interacts with your brand creates a perception of how employees are valued first and creates a perception around your products and services second. With the great resignation still taking place and individuals evaluating what is important in life, they have choices and want to evaluate their careers even more. With this in mind, it is important to consider how you’re treating your customers versus how you are treating your candidates. In other words, you should treat your candidates the same way you would treat your customers.
Why is this important?
Candidates share their experience with others and unfortunately if their experience is negative, they will speak negatively about your organization. This will reflect back to customers or future candidates when they are researching whether they want to create a relationship with your company.
Now, imagine all the times you bought an item with the expectation that it would perform as advertised and it didn’t. You were frustrated and probably returned the item or left a negative review. That is the same thing that happens with candidates. If their experience is frustrating, they may tell others about the experience or even worse, they may accept the job only to quit later. For companies, this becomes costly. In fact, it costs companies between $190,000-$380,000 when experienced hires leave.
How can you make sure you're treating customers and candidates similarly?
It’s important to be clear what is expected of the candidate, as well as what they can expect from you and your company. When you sell to a customer you share the features, the benefits, how they will feel when they use the product/service, and what outcome they will receive from the product/service. Do the same for the candidate.
It’s also important to have an inclusive environment that is open to different people, different kinds of discussions, and adaptation to your practices. When we work to attract clients/customers we listen to objections, we learn from what they say, and we adapt to be more inclusive of several different customer’s values (no matter what demographic a person is from). This also helps frame what inclusion means to a candidate, specifically that they are being heard, respected, and valued early on. If these are true qualities in your organization, the right talent will buy into your culture and this will help you acquire talent that is aligned with your brand.
When we listen to our customers, they help us build the pillars for change within our organization. They tell us what's wrong, how to fix it, what they need to be successful, and why your company is the one to make a difference for them. Or why someone else is the better option.
These same listening skills help when working with candidates and employees. Taking in what is wrong, how to fix it, what is needed to be successful, and why they want to work with you or not you; these ideas help companies build a strategy to attract candidates. And when those candidates join and become employees, they will be happier and more innovative if these listening skills are consistent.
What other factors need to be considered to attract candidates like you would customers?
With today’s technology, it is even easier to evaluate a company’s products/services and culture. Just like more people are likely to buy a product that averages a 4-to-5-star rating, more talent is inclined to work for organizations that have happy employees. That is why sites like Glass Door receive traffic, upwards to 148,000,000 users a year.
This is not the only place a perception can be created. Your website and digital marketing materials can influence a person’s perception. If you only talk about yourself on your website, it can come across as if you only care about the customer or the company comes across as self-centered. If there are no pictures of employees, one could think employees are not valued. If your career site speaks at the candidate, rather than engaging the potential candidate in possibilities, that is a turn off too.
If an employee can’t paint a picture of a day in the life of being a part of your company through your eyes, they will come up with their own interpretation that is most likely not in line with your company or culture. Unfortunately, a top candidate could slip through the process all because your talent brand isn't clear.
So, when you are looking to attract key talent to your organization. Ask yourself would I market to or treat my customer this way and your talent brand will strengthen?