Welcome to Chiumento Recruitment Solutions

HR Blog – Creating a WOW in candidate experience

I’ve been lucky enough to hear Mark Robb speaking about creating a WOW in customer experience twice this year. On both occasions I have been knocked out by the lengths businesses go to in order to secure customer loyalty. In a world where it is so easy for consumers to change their buying behaviour just leaving people satisfied is no longer good enough.

On both occasions I was also struck by how bad some of the same organisations probably are at candidate experience. Even though, in many cases, customers and candidates are one and the same. For example somebody applying to a retailer for a job today could easily be an existing or future customer. With a bit of help from Mr Google it is so, so easy to find what you want somewhere else and get immediate, and maybe long term, payback for being snubbed.

So how do you create a WOW in candidate experience? Last week I sat down with some recent graduates to find an answer. To get things kicked off I asked the basic question: if you were looking for a job tomorrow what’s the minimum you’d expect from an employer? The answers went something like this:-

  • Enough information on the job requirements to make a sensible choice about whether to apply or not.
  • Details of the salary and benefits on offer – not vague “competitive” type statements
  • Clear instructions on how to apply – including guidance on what the employer specifically wants to see in CVs.
  • An acknowledgement that my application has been received.
  • A clear timetable for what will happen next.
  • Stick to the timetable you have given me.
  • Let me know the final outcome – no “if you haven’t heard within so many days please assume…” nonsense.
  • Earliest possible notification that I have been unsuccessful – allowing me to move on and look at other opportunities.
  • Some feedback and help on what I could have done better.

Deliver those eight things well and you at least stop most of the complaints. But how many organisations actually could tick all those boxes? If some recent exchanges on the CIPD LinkedIn Group are anything to go by, then not many at all. Not if 75% of candidates are saying they don’t even get acknowledgements to their applications.

(As an aside, I think it is fair to score a point back for recruiters everywhere. It’s this: many, many candidates don’t use email properly. They apply using email addresses they never check. Or have never bothered to set up the spam filter correctly. In either case they don’t see the automated acknowledgements that pop out of every self-respecting Applicant Tracking System (ATS). I’d like a pound for every candidate I have ever spoken to where that has been the case…)

Creating a WOW in candidate experience depends on doing MORE than these basic minimums. And that’s how you generate positive employer brand momentum. You see only when you exceed expectation do you win loyalty. And only with loyalty will people regularly recommend you to others. That is the path to the Nirvana of being an “employer of choice”.

Forget about “candidate satisfaction” surveys. There’s only one question you need ask job applicants: based on your experience how likely (on a scale of 1 to 10) are you to recommend us to your friends, family and colleagues?” In customer experience it is called a net promoter score. And very few businesses have a positive one.

If all the noise on the internet is a true reflection of candidate experience in the UK even fewer organisations would have a positive “job applicant promoter” score.

Of course the vast majority of job applicants are sent away empty handed. The retail equivalent would be a shop with lots of shelves but only enough stock to let one in 100 customers get the product they want. So getting a positive outcome will be tough – but not impossible.

I sent my graduate group away with the question: what could an employer do that would be over and above your expectation as a job applicant? That of course would be a WOW.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with. Some totally impractical and hugely expensive ideas are bound to come out. However in their somewhere I am sure there will be some bright ideas that will go into our product development plan for CareerGift. In a world where delivering poor candidate experience is common, delivering a WOW is still a relatively simple thing to do.

 

If you have enjoyed this HR blog article, we would love to hear your views below. Please have a look at some of our other articles!

 

New HR Job – HR Manager, East Herts with UK travel

TO UPLOAD YOUR DETAILS AND APPLY TO THIS ROLE CLICK HERE

HR Manager, East Herts with UK travel

Location: Hatfield office with UK travel ie Manchester, Middlesbrough etc

Duration: Permanent

Salary: Circa £42,000 + car allowance + great benefits (could flex for a great match)

Why apply?

This new HR job would be a great opportunity for a strong HR generalist used to working on a standalone basis at site within Construction or Engineering based contracted services. Whilst the post would suit someone with a great background in Employee Relations, you will do other good stuff and with a lot of on-site contractor and project managers to look after you will definitely get variety here.  You will get to know your stakeholders well and will act as a mediator, case manager & trusted advisor to the senior management team.

Role purpose:

To provide a generalist HR advisory and support service across your area, ensuring adherence to policy & procedure and best practice.  Acting as a coach to managers you will be supporting them with recruitment and selection, D& G case management, the induction and training process, succession and talent management.

You are likely to be required at site in order to support on complex ER case work, urgent recruitment requirements etc.

You will also ensure trends, statistical analysis and reports are managed in order to be available to provide impact at contract review time.  You will also manage and mentor and HR Administrator who will help you to support your contracts.

What are we looking for in an application?

You will be a full HR generalist with extensive ER & employment law experience.  Ideal would be experience in operating in a business within construction or engineering based contracted services.  You will be a robust character used to working with a blue collar workforce.  You will have experience of working with Unions and of managing TUPE.  Whilst CIPD is preferred being qualified by experience is equally acceptable.

What else can we tell you?

You will report into a Senior HR Manager for the North who is based in the North so you must be confident in working on a standalone basis from the Southern office.

 

HR job – HR Manager, West London & M4

TO UPLOAD YOUR DETAILS AND APPLY TO THIS ROLE CLICK HERE

HR Manager – West London & M4 Corridor

Location: Regional post covering multiple sites, West London & Middlesex to Reading

Duration: Permanent

Salary: Circa £42,000 + car allowance + great benefits                                           

Why would you want to apply?

Whilst this HR job would suit someone with a great background in Employee Relations, the role is generalist, with a lot of on-site contracts to look after you will definitely get variety here.  You will get to know your client group well and will act as a mediator not just a case manager.

Role purpose:

To provide a generalist HR advisory and support service across a number of contracts in your area, ensuring adherence to policy & procedure and best practice.  Acting as a coach to managers you will be supporting them with recruitment and selection, D& G case management, the induction and training process, succession and talent management.

You will also ensure trends, statistical analysis and reports are managed in order to be available to provide impact at contract review time.  You will also manage and mentor and HR Administrator who will help you to support your contracts.

What are we looking for in an application?

You will be a full HR generalist with extensive ER & employment law experience.  Ideal would be experience in operating in a role in a contracts led environment.  You will be a robust character used to working with a blue collar workforce.  You will have experience of working with Unions and of managing TUPE.  Whilst CIPD is preferred being qualified by experience is equally acceptable.

What else can we tell you?

The geographical patch is manageable and the sites a mix of public sector establishments a flavour of which can be provided as part of the application process.

 

HR Job – HR Project Manager

TO UPLOAD YOUR DETAILS AND APPLY TO THIS ROLE CLICK HERE

HR Project Manager

Location: South London (with UK travel)

Duration: Permanent

Salary: up to £45,000 + car allowance + great benefits                                         

Why would you want to apply?

This HR job will suit you if you are an organised individual, an expert in TUPE and feel best valued when you are involved from the absolute very beginning.  That said you also need to be flexible with when you start work and the post could prove quite nomadic at times.  You will be the go to person in HR, not only will you work closely with the Business Development leaders  you will also have interface at client site so your stakeholder management skills will really get used here.

Role purpose:

Working with the HR Operations Manager you will support the bid teams on all HR aspects of tenders for new contract wins.  When those wins come through you will lead on the TUPE projects to embed the people into the business, the new culture the new T’s & C’s and everything else which goes with it.  Numbers can vary, and situations can be complex with much negotiation to undertake.

You will handle, Risk Management, due diligence, consultations, union negotiations and policy implementation.  You will get everything in readiness for handover to the HR Manager who will then look after that contract.  You won’t completely leave your generalist routes behind though as you will look after a key secure site in London.

What are we looking for in an application?

You will probably have HR generalist routes but will have developed TUPE expertise, ideally within a contractor led environment; this is likely to be TUPE in on a reasonable scale and must have included end to end experience.  Contract mobilisation is the key word here, as is stakeholder management. You need to be comfortable with travel and overnight stays.

What else can we tell you?

The HR Generalist responsibilities for the London site means there is a requirement for the candidate to be high level security cleared.

 

HR Blog – The killer interview question…

HR blog on effective interviewing…

It never ceases to amaze me how one interview question fazes so many candidates. It is not a difficult one – or a trick one. Nor does it have a right answer. Yet time and time again it generates uncomfortable silence followed invariably by a lame, incoherent and far from succinct answer.

The question is simple. How will this role help you progress towards your ultimate career objective?

The reason for asking the question is simple too. It is all about career logic. When I am hiring someone I want to know that if they get the job it will because they really want it. Not just because it’s a stop-gap on the way to somewhere else.

Many candidates are good (sometimes too good) at articulating what they hate about their current job. The boss, the hours, the lack of opportunities. It’s a tired and hackneyed list that’s rolled out time and again. Just knowing what you don’t want isn’t good enough.

Not being able to answer the question tells me there’s a big risk the candidate is running away from the past rather than towards the future. It is all about the departure not the arrival.

At this point I usually have to re-phrase the question to something like: so what do you want to be able to say on your CV in two or three years’ time that you can’t say now?

Time and time again I get the answer: “that’s a good question.” I know it is. It is designed to draw out what the job needs to deliver for you in order that you’ll be motivated and engaged.

And yet again the result is often silence. Frequently followed by a shrug of the shoulders.

Now you may think this question fazes only junior staff. Well you’d be wrong. I did some interviews recently for a £100K+ HRD role on behalf of a client. Only one out of eight people I met came even close to a good answer.

The inevitable conclusion is that many, many candidates are on the job market with their “eyes wide shut”. They don’t know what they really want so they end up doing the job hunting equivalent of impulse buying. In the process they waste masses of employer and recruiter time.

For example it helps explain why so many candidates get a long way down recruitment processes before they decide to pull out. Often, frustratingly, quoting factors that were in plain sight right from the outset of the hiring process – sometimes even in the job advertisement. Applying was about building their escape tunnel – without knowing where they would come out.

So what does a good answer look like? One that is honest is a good starting point. I am never put off by someone who responds along the lines of “I am not looking beyond this next move. I think it will help me decide which way my career needs to go”. At least that then lets me probe what career issues they are struggling with. Often that turns out to be things like work-life balance, technical v management career paths or wrestling with doing a job you love versus doing one that delivers the extrinsic rewards you want.

On reflection though what I really want is a helpful answer rather than a good one. Successful employment relationships are based on mutual benefit. I get enough of what I want, and in return so do you.

If I can’t help you along the path you want to take then we won’t be destined for a long and successful relationship. You may be technically capable of doing the job but your heart won’t be in it. If I have to choose between capability and motivation I’ll always pick the latter. People with energy, passion and commitment can be trained. Changing behaviours is much, much harder.

I’ll be recruiting for Chiumento over the coming months. If any candidates are doing their homework they’ll know now to expect one question in particular!