Human Resources Today

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customer service

Great Recruiting is Not a Supply Chain

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Great Recruiting is Not a Supply Chain

Most job seekers don't brag about the application process.  They hate it--the black hole of recruiting, the time it takes to hear back from recruiters and the length and complication of the process. But they don't always have insight into recruiters' woes either: heavy requisition loads, corporate processes and rules, and inappropriate candidate behaviors.

Case in point: last week, a recruiting leader posted the following...

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Startup Employees Rocking the Holiday Season

There’s nothing worse than a busy season to test the mettle of a startup. Excessive orders, customer service wrinkles, products out of stock, you name it. And when something goes wrong the problem usually lies with…you guessed it, the people. When we help clients build cultures, we talk about the importance of hiring to culture–especially for startups where employees are often the face of the company. Hiring to culture is not “can I have a beer with this guy?” It’s a defined selection process that tests whether a candidate will deliver in a way congruent to your company values. It’s employees that live the brand every day and act as an extension of the business no matter where they are.

Since I’m in the business of startups, it’s only fitting I patronize them too. And in checking off my own gift list this year, I decided to put a few service startups to the test. How would they fare when I ordered their goods, asked questions, and responded to problems that arose? And what startup employees are really singing their brand’s tune?

Best Practice #1: Sharing the Brand

Fornash is a startup that pivoted multiple times in the design industry from hand-painted glasses to design-your-own purses to their current successful jewelry and accessories line. Stephanie Fornash Kennedy, founder of the brand, has bootstrapped her way to Oprah’s Favorite Things List. Not only is Stephanie always decked out in her own line, her social media team is constantly sharing ways to wear her items on Instagram.

e88eb1ea5ee411e3977412e829fefa95_8I had the chance to join Stephanie and a group of women last week for dinner, and she came with free baubles for all of us: she gave the Cosmopolitan Bracelet to each of us. We promptly adorned them, took a photo and shared it across numerous social media channels. Brand goodwill starts with friends and family. Putting the product in the hands of friends and sharing the brand you’re proud of makes those who know you, proud of it too. You don’t need Kickstarter to remind you that startup success often begins with the people who have faith in you and are proud to share the story of someone they know. Now I’m off to fill stockings with more Fornash bangles.

  • Shop Fornash this holiday season: use code COSMO for 20% off of the Small Cosmopolitan Bracelets you see above.

Best Practice #2: Informed employees are the best employees.

I inherited a love for giving gifts from my mom. For me, it’s not about extravagance but about the unique finds that are perfect for one specific person on your gift list. As a citizen, I’ve always admired the Back to the Roots story to make food personal. As an entrepreneur, I appreciate their carefully curated product line. And as a consumer, I looked at the Amazon reviews before purchasing one of their Aqua Farms as a gift.

Unsure if some of the problems the reviews cited had been addressed, I conveniently asked Emily, a Back to the Roots employee who popped up in the live chat function on their site as I was shopping. What changes had they made to address the problems? She responded immediately in the chat window with the specific changes that had been made to the product pump, tray and construction using the exact terms I’d seen in the reviews. I was impressed and convinced. She topped it off with a coupon code and I was off to the checkout, one more gift uniquely checked off my list....

...continue reading the rest of this post over on Tech Cocktail where it was originally posted.

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce strategy that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.





QUIPS #1: Candidate Experience

Speaking and consulting with HR professionals, I often hear how hard it is to take best practices and actually implement them. The grand solutions shared at conferences and in whitepapers often come from companies with big staffs, big budgets and a supportive and forward-thinking HR team.  What if that's not you? What if you're working exceptionally hard but starting from scratch? Maybe your company doesn't have the money or the time and energy to focus on solving a problem in a big way.  Today, Exaqueo introduces QUIPS: QUIck Problem Solving. These are quick ways to begin to address and solve common talent challenges.  First up? Candidate experience. You know you need to fix your candidate experience. But you don't have time to do a complete audit. You don't have money for new technologies and quite frankly, you don't know where to start.

QUIPS: At its core, candidate experience is all about communication. Think about your worst customer service experiences. They are ones where you don't know what's going on and have to try again and again to get an answer or have your problem solved. But when you get an honest call or email that updates you on the problem, or the status of the problem, even if it takes some time to solve you appreciate the communication. Apply THIS to your candidate experience. Here are four quick things you can do to begin to address candidate experience now.

1) Communicate the process at the start: Tell candidates if they will hear back, how they will hear back and when to expect some sort of communication. Be honest about length of time. And give them a way to check in if possible. Share this information clearly, plainly and boldly in every job description or in an exceptionally prominent place on your site.

2) Be upfront with candidates: Let them know you're busy/short-staffed/someone's on vacation. Candidates won't mind as much if it takes longer to hear if at least they know what's going on. Require recruiters to have standard (and detailed) out-of-office replies and voicemail greetings.

3) Align recruiter responses: Ask each recruiter on your team how, if and when they respond to candidates. You'll likely find some gaping differences--fix those and have some baseline requirements to help reinforce your reputation--that's the foundation of your brand.

4) Make a small investment: Hire one person, even part-time if that's all you can afford, to help manage the queue. Depending on the complexity of your organization, they can serve as the triage nurse--handling immediate questions about application status or interview scheduling changes and referring the candidate where the need is more complex like offer negotiations.

It's a start. None of these will address the experience completely. But they will help with baseline challenge of communication. And when you have the time/money/focus/energy, you can use these resources to dive in further.