Are You a Recruiter or an Experience Architect?

The “value added” for most any company, tiny or enormous, comes from the Quality of Experience provided.   –   Tom Peters

I just finished reading The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley the general manager of IDEO, the successful design consulting firm in San Francisco. IDEO as you can imagine is all about innovation and applying new and creative approaches not just to product design but to services and processes as well. Clients come to them looking for innovations in packaging, web design, advertising, interior office space layout, new product launch, employee training and much more.

Kelley suggests that the Ten Faces of Innovation are the roles or the personas that certain individuals within a company play in order to take an idea from, just that, an idea to successful product launch; to move a project that had lost its mojo to a wildly successful completion; to take a process or service offering that at best could be called ordinary, and make it extraordinary.

One of the ten faces that Kelley writes about is the Experience Architect. The person playing this role looks at a company’s products or services from the customer’s perspective. From the first time that a customer comes in contact with your company, through your web site, over the phone, entering your building or office space, was that experience ordinary or extraordinary?

IDEO has worked with hospitals to improve the patient experience; has worked with retail stores to redesign the store layout to make it more customer friendly, has worked with auto dealerships to improve the car buying process and has even worked with schools to improve the student-teacher relationship. In each and every case improving the customer experience has dramatically impacted the measurements that companies use to determine success namely more sales, happier healthier patients, better students.

Our company, Q4B, recently hired two very talented, experienced recruiters, both of whom will be working with two of our clients, managing an RPO engagement. Some of the responsibilities that each will have are:

–         Work as a liaison on a daily basis to ensure staffing goals are met through daily interaction and communication

–         Coordinate and facilitate process to open new requisitions; follow up as needed to gain appropriate approvals

–         Coordinate and facilitate process to ensure appropriate recruiting and sourcing support is assigned and monitor progress for candidate submittal

–         Facilitate interview process by greeting candidates, ensuring proper paperwork and/or forms are completed and collected, escorting candidates to 1st interview and closing out with candidate if needed

–         Ensure smooth on boarding process for new hires by coordinating and gaining approvals for offer letters, ensuring background checks and drug screens are performed and cleared, start dates are arranged and communicated, etc.

After reading Kelley’s book I felt that for each of our engagements, the recruiters that we assign could also play the role of Experience Architect. We could look at the client’s talent acquisition and retention process through the candidate’s (customer’s) eyes. Is the process ordinary or extraordinary? If ordinary we are in a position to make it extraordinary by fulfilling our responsibilities as listed above in an extraordinary way.

It is my belief that there are very few companies who could claim that their talent acquisition and retention process is extraordinary. There is enough evidence that suggests how improving the customer experience positively impacts the bottom line. Treating candidates as customers, looking at the hiring process through the customer’s eyes, improving the process, slowly but surely, to make it extraordinary, these should be part of the responsibilities of all internal recruiters, 3rd party recruiters, talent managers, just as they are now the responsibility of our great recruiters.

So if someone asks you what you do for a living you could say I am a recruiter, or you could say I am a recruiter AND an Experience Architect.

Try it sometime and read the book.

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