Your recruitment team could be hiding the secret to improving your CX

In the world of retail, mountains of investment go into polishing customer experiences. The idea is if everyone you touch leaves with a positive feeling about your brand, that will result in more money spent at the checkout counter. It’s not only logical, it’s been proven to work. 

A recent McKinsey study claims a 10-per-cent improvement in customer experience results in a 10-per-cent increase in revenue. But here’s the clincher: in the retail sector, the vast majority of your recruitment candidates are ALSO CUSTOMERS.

That means a great customer experience starts with a great candidate experience. Or put in a more sobering frame, a poor candidate experience is a poor customer experience.

A few years ago, Virgin Media decided to test this assumption. They found that from 123,000 rejected candidates each year, 6 per cent were cancelling their monthly Virgin Media subscription. That equates to about 7500 cancellations – about £4.4million per year. By reframing recruitment experience as an opportunity for customer retention, Virgin actually turned those losses into a £9.7million sales improvement. I mean, that’s a good day at the office, right?

We spend a lot of time talking about efficiency in business – breaking down silos, improving cross-department collaboration, making sure all parts are working together to create consistently great offerings.

This shared outcome – candidate/customer experience – is a great example of that efficiency in action. Recruitment and talent managers are in an awesomely privileged position in this equation. The people they talk to everyday are not just the ones who keep your business moving, they’re also the people who shop in your stores too. Finding little ways to make engagement with these people smoother can enhance your recruiting process while also making sure the impact you’re having on them as customers is a positive one.

Learn from the industry leaders:

Here are a few practical start points to consider:

  1. Do your top-of-funnel touchpoints complement the in-store experience?

If you had to boil down the feeling customers get when they walk into your stores to one or two key messages, what would they be? At Target Australia, it might be “People go out of their way to be helpful here”. Now think about where candidates have their first interaction with you – your careers site or maybe your job ads and application form. Are these touch points reinforcing that same message? Target does this really nicely on their career site by making their application process an inclusive, helpful one.

  1. You measure your customer experience, but do you measure your candidate experience? 

Data is fun. But let’s face it, putting numbers around candidate experience can be pretty tricky. To justify spending on your recruiting experience, you really have to find a way to measure it. The team at Flybuys use Weirdly’s NXS feature to do just that. You can automatically collect hard data measuring your candidate experience. Alternatively, you can look into adding an existing marketing-style NPS to your process.

  1. How do you say no?

Some 48 per cent of candidates list “waiting to hear back from a potential employer” as their number one pain point. If your people are fielding large volumes of applicants, that’s a helluva lot of people associating anxious or nervous feelings with your brand. We all know rejection can be hard, but uncertainty is much worse. Ultimately it boils down to thinking about how you’d like your kid to be treated if they were applying for a job in one of your stores. 

Keren Phillips is a co-founder and VP marketing at Weirdly. Weirdly’s recruiting software solves one of the most expensive and painful problems for large retailers like Kmart, Target and Vodafone: finding the best frontline staff, fast, within tight budgets. 

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