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Experience First: What HR Can Learn From Marketing

Have you ever been delighted by a product you purchased? Delighted to the point that you wanted to work for that company? Only to be disappointed by the way you were handled as a candidate? To have your passionately crafted resume end up in a black hole? This regularly occurs: because businesses focus on customer experience, but neglect the applicant, candidate and employee experience.

Businesses who want to attract new clients may even find they LOSE some as a result of a negative applicant experience. A research group at Virgin Media looked at the information of consumers who had applied for jobs at the company but been refused. After a poor hiring experience, the applicants had threatened to terminate their cable service. The researchers discovered that Virgin lost roughly $5 million in sales within a year after compiling the data of applicants who swiftly migrated to their rivals. The candidate experience matters.

Owning the employee experience

A Report from Salesforce states: “74% of C-suite executives say that no one at their company truly owns the employee experience”. Neglecting to create a winning employee experience can, of course, result in low productivity and employee engagement, consequently impacting customer satisfaction. Another likely outcome of a bad experience is that the employee leaves... and we all know how expensive that can be. (To learn more, read John Hall’s article on the subject.)

HR leaders know that a good employee experience (EX) will lead to positive outcomes. Actually, 78% of HR leaders believe that EX will be one of the most important factors impacting their firms’ ability to deliver on business objectives. Therefore, HR leaders can accelerate their journeys towards an outstanding EX, and lean on the customer experience (CX) foundation of their organization.

4 CX Foundations To Enhance EX

1. “The customer is king”

If this is true, then the employee is the emperor. Think of it this way: employees are your most important stakeholders, and their expectations in terms of personalization and treatment will be very similar to that of a customer. From talent acquisition to onboarding and exit, they’re going to expect the experience to be as good as the one they’re used to from their favorite brands and businesses, on a daily basis. They want to be treated with dignity and respect. The communication should be transparent and personalized.

Luckily, you know what they’ll be expecting because you know them better than anyone else. You’ll know what they like and dislike without them having to tell you. So think of the brands you love, and how the personalized approach they offer customers can be applied to the talent in your business. All of this starts with looking at the data.

2. Data, data, data

Data is the currency of business, and its importance can’t be overstated. Consumer brands use data to gain insights into their consumers’ behaviors, past purchases, affinities and intentions. The greater their access to information about what customers are doing, the better these companies can understand their consumers, connect the dots, and make suitable improvements. That’s what you need to do for your employees. Unlock the data in your different systems to understand your employees, and their skills, competencies and aspirations. These insights can not only benefit the employee by leading to a better, more personalized experience, but also support the company growth strategy. Good team diversity will unlock innovation and growth for your business.

3. Personalization = relevancy

Your employees, like your customers, are happy to share their personal data as long as they know that the company will use it transparently, and usefully, and there is the ability to opt out. As well as running employee surveys, you can start to infer related, tangential or potential skills from the information you hold about your talent.

With AI-powered talent management technology, you’ve got a unique opportunity to offer a personalized experience to your employees and candidates based on their interests and skills, quickly and easily. Can you recommend internal vacancies they might want to apply for? Training courses or mentors that would take them to the next level? Career paths they could explore over the next few years at your company?

4. It’s all about the journey.

Marketers know that there are numerous steps before someone becomes a customer, and then numerous touchpoints they will have with your brand over their lifetime. The successful brands are those that treat all of these moments with importance: understanding that one weak link in the journey could undo the hard work in other places.

It’s no different with employees. Before they even become applicants, they have formed an opinion of your brand as an employer. They will interact with your business in various ways before they join (if they do join), and will continue to have interactions potentially long after they leave. Is every touchpoint creating an advocate for your company, or a detractor?

Starting to build a multidisciplinary team to handle employee experience is important. All aspects of the organization need to be involved in the process, and remember: the most diverse teams are also the most creative. This means that, as you recruit employees, you want to include people who represent all parts of the employee journey – everything from recruitment and onboarding, to career development and exiting the organization.

To be successful, everyone in the organization must contribute to the perfect employee experience.

Find out more about the top engagement and retention strategies in this report.