Busy week for #NZRec this week. Especially Tuesday where the theme of the day can be pretty accurately summed up as where the bloody hell have all the good candidates gone?
BNZ ran a morning seminar called “The Global War for Talent: Is New Zealand Winning” or more properly are we attracting better people than Australia?
ASB hosted the Sourcing Summit with the theme “Pushing Sourcing Frontiers” or more properly how can we find good people who are trying to hide from us?
Then the day finished off with an HRINZ Recruitment evening at the University of Auckland entitled “Future Forward” or more properly is it actually going to be even harder to find good people five years from now?
I was lucky enough to be at two of these events, bestowing on me great knowledge, improved sourcing skills, and a couple of days tinged with panic as I fought to catch up with my desk again. Lots to take on board, and far too much to convey on this Whiteboard, but there was one thing that stood out for me. One of the speakers at the Sourcing Summit was the inimitable, globe-trotting, irrepressibly irreverent mouthpiece that is Bill Boorman. Delivering a typically eye-opening keynote, he also mentioned to keep a look out for the CandE Awards coming to these very shores next year.
Which is pretty cool, if true. Candidate Experience is a growing area of focus in the wider recruitment world and, if done well, I can see these awards offering our local industry a genuine chance to separate the wheat from the chaff and highlight those of us trying to do things in the right way.
I mean it seems to work pretty well in other sectors. My attention was brought to something called Net Promoter Scores by Alan Ward and Matt Pontin over some crafty craft beers later that evening. Apparently Telcos, Banks and other sectors have for years canvassed their customer bases to pretty well find out whether they thought they were great, or crap, and thus how likely they would be to tell their mates how great, or crap, they were.
The best explanation I’ve been able to find is here:
In a nutshell, customers who give you a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 are considered Promoters. Customers who give you as rating of 7 or 8 are passive customers and whilst they are not dissatisfied, they do not factor into the NPS score. Lastly, any customers who provide you a rating of 6 or lower are considered your detractors.
Can this work in recruitment? Bearing in mind most of us spend a large majority of our time rejecting candidates rather than placing them, how likely is it going to be that those people will be Promoters of our business, or even Passives for that matter?
There’s a couple of points to raise there I think: Firstly, we are all relying too much on technology that exists to generate as many applicants as possible and then moan about the quality of applications, which is bound to make it harder to please them all. Secondly, it is possible to let people down in a more humane and civilised way.
Inspired by a rejection letter penned by Renny Hayes and shared on this blog just over a year ago, we tried to make our standard rejection email a bit more personable and human. We even stole a few phrases from Renny’s letter, so impressed were we, and so keen to avoid the bland, robotic auto-replies seen elsewhere, or even the dismissive “only successful applicants will receive a response” missive. But in a classic case of proving you can’t please everybody, Sean clearly hurt the feelings of a rejected candidate just a bit too much earlier this week, who received this response to his rejection email:
I would say thank you for your reply but I feel strongly about the contents or should I say context of your email, and would like to provide you with some feedback. That was the worst reply I have ever received after sending in an application for a position, it was immature and lacked any sort of professionalism. May I suggest you try and put a bit more empathy into these emails, using phrases like “I am afraid its a no” and “its somewhat a cliche to wish you well” is I believe very unprofessional and as a recruitment consultant you may like to look at retraining, as you clearly have no understanding of what its like applying for a role and receiving an answer like this.
So, it’ll be interesting to see how the future winners of the Candidate Experience awards handle this kind of rejection and communication piece. Or maybe, as I suspect, it will just become blindingly obvious that we recruiters get so deeply entwined with the ego, the status and the emotion of our candidates, just by the very nature of what we do, that it’s virtually impossible to please them all.
We will carry on having a go, though. In the meantime Sean will go and get some training. At last.