Why should you treat your candidates as your customers?
Table of Contents
To start off, here’s a bit about me. I come from a Marketing background and when I joined My Recruitment +. I was first overwhelmed by the complex functionalities of the HR product and why they existed. However, I came to realise that even though Marketing and HR focus on different audiences, they actually share similar goals. Marketing is accountable for how they brand themselves to consumers as the external audience of the company. Whereas HR is responsible for branding to employees. This ensures that their company is branded appropriately to then be perceived by internal employees and external candidates.
Companies need to connect and build conversation with customers’ needs and expectations in order for value co-creation. This conversation cannot just be limited from the perspective from a corporate marketing department. This is why the future of marketing lays in HR as full active participation and commitment of all your employees is necessary to gain a full perspective.
This is so important due to the fact that employees need to believe in the value of their product. You cannot sell your product well when you don’t believe in the product.
Marketing in HR aims to craft a powerful and positive candidate experience. This is achieved through investing into onboarding through the combination of technology and people. These two components enable HR teams to build long lasting relationships with their candidates. According to the Society of HR Management 69% of employees who undergo effective onboarding are more likely to stay with an employer for at least 3 years, and 58% are more likely to stay on for more than 3 years.
Paper Based onboarding is clunky, disorganised and inefficient. This may be an instant red-flag to candidates. It’s so important to impress new-hires right from the get go, as up to 20% of staff-turnover occurs in the first 45 days. Utilising modern onboarding technology aims to achieve beautiful candidate experiences to seamlessly slide them into their new workplace.
Ease of use:
Onboarding is the first experience a new hire has with a business. It’s pivotal in shaping their perspective of their new company.
The onboarding period may be daunting. A new hire had been looking for a job before getting selected and could feel overwhelmed with the overload of forms, paperwork and training.
In order to treat your candidates as customers you must provide a beautifully crafted and seamless experience. Convenience can be produced by creating a mobile-first accessible by candidates on any device. When an onboarding software is mobile-enabled, new hires can complete their onboarding pack anytime, anywhere. A mobile first platform more efficiently utilises your new employee’s time. Displaying all segmented stages further simplifies the process by making it digestible.
In order to attract, hire and retain top quality candidates, the company must appear desirable. In order to control this, HR managers must carefully craft their “ Employer Brand”.
The Employer brand is defined as the company’s image among candidates in the job market. This is where HR can look to marketing for inspiration in treating their candidates as customers.
Employer branding is similar to the way a corporate brand works by offering a value proposition. They can do this by treating the company as the “ product” and the “job seekers” as customers. An Employer brand includes the market’s perception of your company as an employer but also describes your promise ( or employee value proposition) to employees in exchange for their experience, talents, contacts or skills.
Your employer brand should aim to define the essence of your company, on how it’s unique and what they stand for, in order to attract quality candidates.
As onboarding is the first touchpoint, it should be branded to reflect your company. It is necessary to keep it consistent throughout the duration of the process. Branding should reflect the company and look enticing to become connected to the new hire.
Modern use of multimedia:
Branded videos further help familiarise new hires with your company. Using multimedia not only modernises your business but also improves brand image to new employees.
Overall, utilising onboarding technologies increases efficiency and effectiveness when compared to traditional paper-based onboarding.
Marketing can inspire elements of customer experience which can also be applied to candidate experience such as the following:
Scheduling personalised two-way SMS/Emails ensures that HR professionals provide plenty of opportunity for queries. This ensures that they can be proactive to solve problems when they arise. This is a skilled way to provide support to the new hire leading up to their start date. Scheduling communication reduces workload and prioritises consistent communication. Building solid relationships can benefit both the HR manager and the new employee into nourishing opportunities such as further training for the new hire. According to the AHRI (Australian HR institute) Turnover and retention research report 2018 stated that the most commonly cited reason at 63% that employees gave as a reason for leaving was due to lack of career progression opportunities.
Starting a new job is a bit like starting a new school in the middle of the year. Everyone already knows each other and you are a small fish in a new ocean. It could be intimidating to say the least. Think of how you are invited into a retail store as a customer. Store attendants introduce themselves to you and show you around the sore. The same can be applied in the office. When HR Managers introduce the new starter to the rest of the office, it takes the pressure off the new hire from doing so themselves.
At my workplace here at My Recruitment +, my marketing department and I were taken to my CEO’s Anwar Khalil’s favourite local japanese lunch spot. It was only when I was writing this blog when I reflected on this event. They had been talking about the restaurant all day, it was a workplace tradition and I felt included !
I know having lunch may be a tricky situation regarding allergies and people’s diets. A great alternative are team welcome activities ! This could be bowling or group yoga.
Using the product
The experience people create for your company is critical as people want to be part of a successful organisation. To achieve this they need to be connected with what the customers are experiencing.
When I completed my onboarding at My Recruitment+ I had a positive experience of what it would be like to be a user of their platform. My personal experiences would be a strong factor in believing in the value of my company.
Other companies can also do this by providing welcome packs or merchandise and strengthening these relationships with bonding events. After I onboarded here at My Recruitment+ they asked me to write about my own personal experience using it. This brings value to both parties. I felt valued that my voice and opinion was heard. In turn, the company also received valuable feedback.
Ultimately HR wants to create an attractive workplace where people want to stay. When you connect talent and people that are highly engaged, connected to branding given by the marketing team, both your customers and your internal team are going to benefit.
The onboarding program is the impression a candidate has with their new company which would cement their image of the brand from thereon. It’s vital to set a solid foundation in building employee- HR relationships.
HR needs to take ownerships of their internal communications to become the voice of the organisation. An effective onboarding program outlines the goals and objectives, expectations and skills an employee must possess. Setting the objectives early and treating employees like customers enables clarity on what is expected of them and how they can most effectively achieve their goals.