Candidate Experience is Free!

This week on Tuesday Best Buy was supposed to deliver to my house a new clothes dryer. I had scheduled the dryer to be delivered. Best Buy sent an email confirming the date and time slot of my delivery. I waited for the delivery. The dryer never came. You know the drill, call customer service.

So, I did, and probably like most of you, it wasn’t a call I wanted to make because by now we all know the drill. I’m going to get someone who has no idea why or what happened, fake apology, we’ll have to reschedule.

To my surprise, I ran into a dude answering Best Buy customer service calls in Guatemala, named Mateo. The dude seemed more upset than I was about what happened. He questioned why wouldn’t the local delivery people send me a note or text message telling me it wasn’t going to happen. He chastised his own company and then he went to work fixing the problem and getting our delivery rescheduled. He apologized so many times I felt sorry for him! He made zero excuses. I wanted to hire Mateo!

Great customer service is so rare, it seems like a luxury!

We’ve spent the better part of a decade focusing on candidate experience, which is really just another form of “customer service” to our candidates who apply to our jobs. In a very real way, our candidates are our customers. Too often we confuse this with our hiring managers being our customers, but in fact, our hiring managers are our peers, who also need to deliver great customer service to candidates.

The reality is delivering an exceptional candidate experience is completely free and it’s almost always dependent on us as individual recruiters. Yes, I get it, I understand we all have capacity issues, and it can be really difficult to deliver the same level of experience to every candidate. Still, the best recruiters find ways to deliver an exceptional experience enough times that it’s definitely recognized.

I’m not naive to think my guy, Mateo, delivers the same customer experience to every single person. In fact, he even made mention to this fact, that sometimes customers can be quite rude to him. It was a combination of me not being overly worked up about the issue and him being ready to help someone who needed help. The reality is the dude is good at customer service and the few bad ones he most likely has, doesn’t cover up all the good ones he has on a normal basis.

Candidate experience can definitely be aided by technology and process. All of the stuff we have at our disposal can make it easier. Ultimately, though, true candidate experience will fall into the hands of the individual recruiter working the req that is having contact with the candidates. We have the ability to be our own Mateo. To have a personality. To be real. To care more. To show the candidate that yeah, we probably messed up, but that we care that something went wrong and we want to fix it.

Great candidate experience shouldn’t be a luxury.

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