Leadership in Recruiting: How to Create Happy Employees, Happy Experiences, and Happy Clients

My family and I go to Disneyland every year. When I walk in, I can smell the popcorn and cotton candy right away. The friendly staff wishes you a magical day and, of course, all the amazing entertainment is certainly a “wow” factor. So, why do thousands of families (mine included) continue to go back to Disneyland? For the experience, of course.

Customers will happily spend their money when it provides them with a great experience. A quote that really resonates with me about customer experience is a famous one by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

In our industry, meeting expectations means recruiters fill jobs consistently with quality candidates. When things are going well, that’s the perfect time to take things to the exceptional level for the customer. As a leader, it’s your job to help recruiters create an exceptional experience for the customer. There are two customers in recruiting who you need to provide excellent service: the client and the candidate. Recruiting strategy, client experience, and using your team’s strengths are all crucial for creating happy employees who can then provide that exceptional service.

Sourcing Strategy

When recruiters are filling jobs with quality candidates, it’s easy to not change the status quo. However, this is a great time to audit your strategy and ensure you are not leaving anything else on the table. Can you source in your current CRM for candidates who you have reached out to a few months ago who were not interested at the time? Have you made two to three attempted contacts with candidates you have sourced? I am not saying to be overly persistent by leaving voicemail after voicemail and sounding like a telemarketer, but rather sending a few emails and trying to reach them live once or twice. This task seems to be missed often. Candidates may be on vacation or it may not be the right time, so don’t give up after one attempt.

When dealing with “stale” roles and not seeing results you are looking for, have your recruiters partner with their peers and swap roles for a few hours a week … everyone sources differently! Many of our recruiters have had times when they kept in touch with candidates who were not interested, but then found them a great opportunity at a later time. Creativity doesn’t take anything grand — just looking at the basics and collaborating with peers can make a big difference.

The Client Experience

Once you get your sourcing strategy in place, look at the hiring manager experience.

Ultimately, customers remember experiences more than they recall individual tasks, so think about personalizing your customer’s experience. Some hiring managers need a lot of detail on the recruiting activity going on behind the scenes, so they may require a spreadsheet of all candidates who are contacted to better understand the market. Other hiring managers want to see specific, weekly reporting that is more customized with metrics, activity, etc.

Typically, once a recruiter has the filled the role they were working on, they move on to the next role right away. Instead, have them schedule a recap with the hiring manager to discuss what went well and which strategies brought in quality candidates. This provides a consultative approach and makes the client think of you as a partner, not just a tactical piece. Customizing your approach creates an experience that will make your customer feel valued and will contribute to a better client relationship.

Challenging Your Team’s Strengths

So how do you find the right recruiters that will provide this great customer experience? How do you create a culture that ensures recruiters are happy and feel empowered in what they do every day? As we all know, it’s hard to find and keep good recruiters unless they remain challenged and empowered. Think about what recruiters can do in addition to filling jobs — yes, that is the main focus, but giving them additional opportunities doesn’t take much time and  can go a long way. Focus on their strengths and encourage them to own a piece of the process and train others.

For example, if you have a good recruiter who is very good at managing their time, have them train others to do the same. If you have a recruiter who is very good at creating out-of-the-box sourcing strategies, have them share their knowledge with the rest of the team. If you create a culture of ownership, your team members will feel more like a cohesive unit instead of individuals “just there to fill jobs.” Happy recruiters who feel valued will go the extra mile.

As a leader, you should focus on how your team makes people feel. If your recruiters feel good about their roles and what they do, they will, in turn, do a better job for the customer. After all, customers have a lot of choices when they want to buy. Quality products can be purchased anywhere; quality experiences are more rare and sought-after. As the great Walt Disney once said, “Do what you do so well, that people can’t resist telling others about you.”

Pooja Lagos is a program delivery manager for ManpowerGroup Solutions - Recruiting Process Outsourcing. She has 12 years of full-lifecycle recruiting experience and her areas of expertise include recruiting, client management, performance management, development, and training. Her passion is developing and growing people. She has supported clients in homebuilding, manufacturing, semiconductor, and consumer products.

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