The customer is always right. We’ve all heard that before. There are valid principles behind this sentiment, as consumer spending is what drives company revenue. Businesses that have a customer-centric focus are more likely to experience customer loyalty. Likewise, the same focus should be applied to attract the right talent.
The Customer (Employee) Experience
Studies show that 89 percent of consumers will switch to a competitor after a poor customer service experience. Losing a customer to the competition can have the same impact as losing employees to the competition. Both can derail a business. Your company will do whatever it can to retain customers. That same energy should be applied to retaining your employees. How does that happen? It starts with leadership.
Culture-focused organizations should treat their employees as they do their best customers.
As a leader, you can avoid becoming just an ominous figure, “seated in an ivory tower, issuing directives,” says Ron Johnsey, former CEO of Axiometrics. Shake hands. Compliment good work. Know employees by name. That is the type of leadership that will engage employees and encourage business success.
Eighty-six percent of Human Resource (HR) professionals agree that recruitment is becoming more and more like marketing. It takes similar skills to attract customers and employees. Without a strong marketing plan, you risk creating an excellent product with no customers. Without a strong recruitment plan, you risk doing the same, but with no employees.
The way your company is perceived by the general public matters to potential employees, and in a competitive labor market, job seekers have more employment opportunities. Brand image has an impact on where a candidate decides to apply. In fact, 84 percent of job seekers say that the reputation of a company plays a factor in deciding where they want to work. Things like bad press, negative employee experiences and bad reviews can all damage your company’s reputation and attractability. One negative post on social media can have a negative effect on your recruiting efforts.
According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, a bad reputation can cost a company at least 10 percent more in wages annually, per hire. Additionally, half of the candidates surveyed reported that they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even with a pay increase. With a 10 percent raise, only 28 percent would join the company.
Ways to improve your company’s reputation:
- Contribute to the social and economic development of your community.
- Value your employees.
- Become a thought leader in a specific industry.
- Solicit positive customer reviews for social media posts.
Anticipate Needs (Retention)
It is said that customers don’t buy products or services. They buy based on feelings and solutions to problems. The better you know your customers, the better you will be at communicating the value that impacts them as individuals. The same goes for your employees and the generational preferences around benefits and compensation plans. If you can anticipate what they desire in wages and benefits, it could be enough to pull more talent into your company.
While Millennials favor tuition reimbursement and telecommuting, baby boomers emphasize retirement plans and vacation time. Each age group brings different demands and meeting those demands can improve retention metrics across the organization.
In addition, today’s employees are likely to desire things like continual learning opportunities and competitive pay. The key to attracting and retaining your employees will rest in your ability to correctly identify their needs. Here is where your current employees can provide even more value. Ask your employees to take a poll so you can identify the type of benefits they would desire most. Take those results and generate packages based on those needs. The right benefits will do much to attract talent into your company.