Will the recruitment industry ever evolve into a "Marvel"ous customer-centric sector?

June 19, 2020

Posted by Home (ENG)

Will the recruitment industry ever evolve into a "Marvel"ous customer-centric sector?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Marvel’s Avenger films, many for the first time. In these weird times, these films have really helped me to forget about what’s happening in the here and now for a few hours - if only we had The Avengers to help right now! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see what was coming our way, turn back time to correct mistakes, protect our loved ones with instantaneous armour and be immortal? Unfortunately, that’s where the dream ends. As mere humans, we have to accept reality and the world as it is.

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We are pretty extra-ordinary in our own way though. Clearly we have evolved over many years into the consumer that we are today and we have become incredibly demanding. When we decide to make a purchase, the journey we go on and the resulting experience we have with any transaction can determine the way we feel about a company, individual, product or service and can influence whether we chose to do that again and make recommendations. 

This customer experience is not something new, but it has become a key differentiator for many sectors and industries. As we have become more and more demanding, the customer experience has had to evolve and also become more complex.  A company that offers an outstanding customer experience would be one that does the right thing by its customers and actively manages their experience. To me this is all about creating consistent, inspiring and outstanding touch-points and experiences, which in turn creates customer satisfaction. According to the 2020 UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), the current top companies are John Lewis, first direct, Next, Nationwide and Amazon.co.uk.

These companies manage to create a sense of loyalty through their customer experience strategy, and therefore people return to use their services and are trusted to deliver time and time again.

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While customer experience isn’t new, I wonder how much of it has actually trickled into the recruitment industry? There seems to be a consistently poor perception of the levels of service provided within recruitment and I wonder where recruitment consultancies would come on the UK Customer Satisfaction Index? If we base our thoughts on the perception, I imagine the sector would be pretty low. But why is it so different and if customers are so important, does it have to be this way?  

The sector hasn’t really changed its service model for decades and can often be seen as a grudge purchase. Combine this with an increase in competition, and surely there is a compelling argument for the recruitment industry to evolve to do the right thing by clients and candidates and provide an outstanding customer experience. 

Some will argue that the industry has changed significantly with social media, but perhaps this has been part of the problem. Has social media simply created a slightly more lazy consultant where real face to face relationships and account management have become a thing of the past resulting in less engagement and decreased levels of service? Perhaps it is time for the recruitment industry to “re-evolve” and provide the outstanding customer journey we (as consumers) all deserve.

I am pretty sure this is already happening in pockets, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a recruitment partner that was doing the right thing for its clients and candidates that you

could rely on for those consistent, inspiring and outstanding experiences again and again?

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And wouldn’t it be great if there was a recruitment provider that had some of those special powers like the Avengers?

How about using data, research and insight to help shield your people, protect your business and help see what might be coming around the corner, or turn back time to eliminate those expensive recruitment mistakes? 

How about using data, research and insight to provide a reliable, trustworthy service that gave you more than the bare minimum, and could really help your business and talent strategy to evolve?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a recruitment partner that wanted to make recruitment better, change the way the industry worked, changed the perception and ended up higher up the UK Customer Satisfaction Index?

Perhaps this will happen, perhaps this is happening? Let’s watch this space and see which companies come out of this current situation well and really thrive with a more customer-centric strategy.

By Richard Collett

Senior Consultant ENG