Joyful Recruiting Makes Happy Customers in Business and at Work
Since my experience as a customer long precedes my experience as a Human Resources / Recruiting / Organizational Effectiveness Subject-Matter Expert (Yes, I remember my mother taking me for all-Saturday shopping sprees in my stroller, complete with a detachable pink strap harness equipped with a leash to give my mother the illusion of preventing me from making a break for it), it’s my great experiences as a customer with exceptional employees that tell me which businesses are probably great places to work:
- The nurse anesthesiologist who sang The Beatles They Say It’s Your Birthday to me as my son Noah was born via emergency c-section while keeping me well-numbed;
- The dining hall staff who kept us well-fed and well-served at Ferry Beach, Maine camp — it was more like spa food than camp food;
- The consistently great service I receive from the staff of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, who continue to build their success by in turn authentically supporting the success of my business and those of my fellow Chamber members.
This week’s Washington Post article on how Zappo’s workplace culture directly translates into their best-practice customer experience is yet another key data point that happy / engaged employees absolutely make happy customers.
Conversely, it has been my consistent experience that employees with a bad attitude provide me with bad customer service (customer service is one of those key business areas where you can’t fake it until you make it), indicating either a bad hiring decision or even worse, that the employee is a microcosm of a bad workplace culture, which acts as a powerful disincentive to bring my repeat business to their company. Social media on smartphones make these type of experiences painfully contemporaneous on the interwebs and embarrassingly public, such as the tweets I read from a colleague who real-time was experiencing poor customer service at a local grocery store, complete with the sour-puss employee complaining about their corporate management team.
Which is why a great Recruiter — joyful, full of energy, authentically conveying how happy they are to work for their employer — is a critical customer service and reputational representative for any company striving for best-practice customer service. As the Executive Recruiter for my company at the time, for example: my extreme satisfaction in my own job was often the decision-point attracting candidates to join my company. Candidates heard the joy in my voice during phone-screens, and wanted some of it for themselves. My company was a great product to present, and I derive a great deal of professional joy to this day vocationally matchmaking great candidates to great companies.
If your Recruiter exposes your candidates / new hires to a negative customer service experience, such as:
- Lack of skill / experience, e.g. slow response times or rudeness to candidates;
- Subjecting your candidates to bureaucratic hoops and transactions;
- Conducting phone-screens and interviews like a grand-jury investigation;
- And worst of all: when the recruiter conveys their own dissatisfaction with their job or the company;
You may be not only conveying a negative impression of your company and your workplace via the key channel of your Recruiter(s), but also hemorrhaging dollars in lost customers, candidates and turnover (e.g., the average cost of entry-level employee turnover is currently running about $6,000 a pop).
Or: if your joyful Recruiter takes leave of your company for happier workplaces because your company has become too negative, and therefore too difficult, to present authentically as a great place for great employees to consider, it may be time to take a step back and reassess your workplace / human capital strategy and branding as it dovetails with your company / customer service branding.
Which is why joyful recruiting is critical for happy customers.
How authentically joyful is your Recruiter about your company branding, your workplace culture and their job? And, in turn: how happy are your customers?