3 reasons why recruitment “customer” experience is important – and how to improve yours!

Published on

July 6, 2023

Written by

Alison Humphries


Have you noticed how, when you deal with a call centre now (your bank, for example, or energy provider), you don’t have complete faith in the call agent? Or do they actually give you the wrong information, confidently?

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You may be thinking it was always like this, but NPS figures show that dissatisfaction with these agents is a big issue. Hubspot’s 2022 Report found that 91% of consumers reported poor customer service in 2021.

You may be wondering – how this relevant to me, a recruitment business leader? Why should I care?

Great questions. Here’s why it’s relevant, and how I helped one recruitment leader improve their experience:

1. People are more dissatisfied with service than ever.

Salesforce’s 2022 Report found that 88% of those surveyed felt that the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services. Improving your experience will help you cut through the ever-growing noise, while keeping clients (and even candidates) coming back for more.

2. Providing a good experience is harder than before.

Looking into the reasons for growing dissatisfaction with experience, industry commentators place the blame with a number of factors:

a) High staff attrition, meaning people do not develop the skills or product knowledge required
b) The march of WFH, which means that there is no-one for inexperienced staff to turn to quickly with queries
c) Very few calls are listened to by the manager – another effect of WFH
d) Agents developing “workarounds” of their own because they don’t know how to use the system or access information
e) Over-simplified KPIs which encourage quantity over quality.

Do any of those sound familiar to you as a recruiter? Or a recruitment business leader?

Well, they did to me. So, I did a spot of mystery shopping. Which leads me onto point 3 –

3. You’re (very) probably missing out on deals

Back to the mystery shopping – sure, it was a small sample, but I was doing this pro bono!

What did I find? Yep. You guessed it.

One “recruiter” told me the job I was interested in was closed (it wasn’t). Another said that I would have to complete a lengthy application form before he would discuss opportunities with me. When I posed as a potential client, I was advised that it was “company policy not to do a site visit”. I use real profiles for this, so nobody could have spotted my ruse. Then I got the Team Manager to see what had been recorded on the CRM. In one case, nothing. In another, it fell woefully short of the expected standard.

So, what did we implement to improve experience?

Namely, some big enhancements to the training (and support) the recruiters were receiving. The manager refreshed his core processes and made sure they were accessible. But most importantly, he stopped measuring BD by number of calls. Because that, as you can see, doesn’t tell you anything.

It’s too soon yet to measure the results in fee income. But we were able to identify 4 interview opportunities for the next 2 candidates (not at the advertised job they were enquiring about).

That’s got to be worth it, right?

What’s going on with your team? Time to find out…

Alison Humphries is an award-winning NED and board advisor to recruitment businesses, and MD of Recruitment Leadership Ltd. Get in touch today to discover how she can help you elevate your recruitment business and achieve your goals.

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