This just in: Your staffing or recruiting firm’s success depends on the level of talent you attract.

Ok, this isn’t news, really, but it’s important to remember!

When we think about customer service, we logically focus on the client side of the equation.  Clients place the orders; clients write the checks.  But as the employment pendulum begins to swing, creating a great candidate experience is becoming increasingly important. 

Even though unemployment is still around 8%, competition for the best talent is becoming fierce.  To thrive, your staffing service must be a company that talented people want to work for (or be represented by) – and that starts with delivering shareworthy service from the moment of first contact.

So stop and think for a minute.  Does your firm take great care of your candidates?  Or could you be doing more to show how much they mean to your business?  Use these tips to create a great applicant experience from moment one:

  • Ask your applicants what your recruitment process is really like.  Candidate experience is what your APPLICANTS say it is – not how you think you’ve designed it.  Never assume you know what it’s like to go through your screening process.  Survey candidates to find out how they honestly perceive their experiences with your firm, and use their feedback to identify areas for improvement.
  • Promptly acknowledge every résumé and job application.  If you can’t personally respond to every applicant, you should have an automated process in place that thanks each and every candidate who applies with your company.  Failing to do so leaves a bad taste in job seekers’ mouths – and may turn them into vocal, disgruntled customers.
  • Create better job descriptions.  The average job listing is about as exciting as a cheese sandwich.  Put more effort into develop postings that sell more than a salary or hourly job rate.  Brainstorm better ways to describe the company, the culture and the available position.  Job descriptions should be accurate, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be fun!  And the more appealing the listing sounds, the more likely you are to attract top performers.
  • Make it easy to apply with you.  Good content in a job posting is critical, but technical issues often drive qualified applicants away from jobs in which they’re interested.  In a recent CareerBuilder Applicant Experience study, job candidates cited broken links and lengthy job applications as reasons they abandoned applying for jobs.  So make sure that the links on your job board work and look for ways to streamline your online application process.
  • Train your recruiters to create a great first impression.  Candidates have options!  They are judging your recruiters as critically as your recruiters are judging them.  And their first impressions count.  So make sure your recruiters are enthusiastic, friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about your company’s history and policies.  Train them to sell the benefits of working through your firm, and to deliver a service experience that makes the best candidates want to work for you.

Caring about your applicants’ service experience isn’t just nice; it’s smart business! Treat them well, you’ll create loyal employees and powerful brand ambassadors.

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