Your Candidates are Your Customers

We have been saying this for as long as I can remember. I have even said this to friends, family, peers, prospects, team members and clients. It has become the center piece for numerous proposals for our recruitment process outsourcing engagements. It is part of our company’s DNA and it is a key focal point and one of our strengths, Candidate Relationship Management.

Yet, for all of my preaching and presenting the message has largely fallen on deaf ears, primarily because people are concerned with the “here and now”; a somewhat myopic perspective of the real world.  With the exception of our firm’s team members and a few stalwart family members (dogs included) and friends, the majority of those who have heard the message don’t seem to get it. And you think that they would and should get it.

The easiest way to think of candidates as customers is to consider your company’s hiring process. That process is a sell – sell, buy – buy process. The candidates are selling themselves to the company in order to get a job and the company is selling itself to the candidate in order to have the candidate accept the position.  The candidate is the buyer (customer) of the company’s sales pitch for the position and the company is also the buyer of the candidate’s presentation of qualifications through the interview process.

If this were the only way that companies viewed candidates as customers you would still expect that the hiring process would encourage respect for the candidate’s interest and invested time and that the company viewed the candidate’s interest as a valuable asset in promoting their brand. Many companies don’t.

Companies that sell products and services to the public are very aware of the negative effect of poor customer service. They know how much each dissatisfied customer costs them and the damage that treating customers badly does to their brand. And these are customers of the company’s products or services, not the candidates applying for positions.

And yet in many cases the candidates who apply for positions could be or could become buyers (customers) of your products or services.

In a recent article in ERE Daily, How Candidate Abuse Is Costing Your Firm Millions of Dollars in Revenue by Dr. John Sullivan their were a number of examples of how important treating candidates well, as customers, is to the profitability of a company. There are many examples of how NOT treating your candidates as customers can contribute to a loss of revenue, lost business, fewer offers accepted, your top talent leaving, fewer employee referrals, tarnished image and diminished brand awareness and other impacts.

Perhaps such dollarization of this important message will cause more companies to rethink how they view their candidates. The way that candidates, all candidates are treated by many companies is atrocious, an abomination, a disgrace. You would not treat your other customers in the manner that you treat your candidates. If you did you would not be in business.

Remember the Golden Rule; Treat others as you would like to be treated. Your Candidates are your customers and who knows, you might be a candidate someday. How would you like to be treated?

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