Candidates are customers too

A fundamental principle underlying CareerGift is that candidates are customers too.

As any good recruiter or marketeer will tell you, your employer and consumer brands are inseparable. How you behave in one space will affect how people perceive and engage with you in the other. There is no doubt that candidates who have a poor recruitment experience can, and sometimes do, change their consumer habits as a result.

If candidates are customers too it makes your recruitment experience a commercial issue, not just an HR one.

On the surface it’s a tough problem. It is a fundamental fact that the majority of candidates for any role will end up being disappointed. And disappointing potential or existing customers is something to be avoided. So how do you send those rejected candidates away feeling good about you? The answer is simple: give them a CareerGift.

Based on 20 years’ of experience in helping people get the jobs they want, CareerGift is an on-line career toolkit that covers every aspect of job search. And for a small monthly fee you can give it to an unlimited number of candidates with your compliments. Nothing says more loudly or more clearly “we care”.

The mathematics of candidate experience are really quite simple.

  • First, understand what you think a typical customer is worth to your business. It is a valid question whether that customer is buying goods and services privately or on behalf of an organisation.
  • Think about how many candidates you reject in a year.
  • What percentage of those candidates could be existing or potential customers? Either now or in the future.
  • Multiply the number of candidates you reject who could be existing or potential customers by your typical customer value.

That’s the potential “price” of delivering a poor candidate experience…

Does that really happen in practice? We think it does. Very early on in the development of CareerGift we spoke to a large professional services firm who told us that they were repeatedly being “punished” by candidates who they had rejected. The story being that candidates they’d rejected years ago (including for their graduate scheme) were taking business away from them when they had buying power later in their career. The headset being “if I’m not good enough to work there then they are not good enough to be my supplier”.

So never forget: candidates are customers too.