Job-hunters judge agencies by reputation. Before taking up a new role, they check a company’s reputation by examining online reviews, blogs and discussion threads, conducting Google searches, reading Glassdoor posts and quietly seeking the views of friends and colleagues. Only after extensive research will they accept a job offer.
Recruitment companies once assumed they were not subject to the same rigorous process, believing themselves completely neutral agents in the eyes of job-seekers. The result was that the industry’s reputation started to suffer.
Poor Reputation Affects Business in Recruitment
Take a look at social media, and you’ll see how disgruntled job candidates use platforms such as Twitter to express bad experiences and failings of a particular agency. It is easy to believe that only a small number of agencies are any good.
Online reputation has never been more critical when it comes to attracting talent – especially for recruitment agencies. Vacancies in the UK are at a record high, and unemployment is at its lowest since the mid-1970s. Job candidates have a lot of choice in a crowded UK market with more than 39,000 agencies (and nearly 8,500 registered last year alone according to Companies House data).
Agencies Are Changing Their Approach To Customer Experience
There is, however, much goodwill out there for recruiters. Research last year1 conducted among 1,017 UK job-hunters found 92 per cent of candidates trusted agencies, while 66 per cent thought their experience was satisfactory. However, if you operate an agency, where is the platform where such opinions can be posted for everyone to see and which everyone will trust?
The savvier agencies are learning the lesson by listening to genuine customers. They have realised they must go on the front foot to protect their reputations by adopting customer experience management systems that enable them to listen to job candidates who have used their services. They can use the feedback to improve the candidate experience.
Recruiters are more prepared to listen, respond and determine where they are falling short of expectations and where they are meeting or exceeding them. This is where utilising smart customer insight platforms comes in. Collecting and analysing feedback through technological means from customers is vital, because who has the time and money for focus groups and who can rely on quick online polls?
Customer insight platforms enable agencies to extract priceless gems of intelligence from the feedback of thousands of job-hunters who can be invited to post reviews at the various stages of their job search. This way, the insights are not just about the final result, but about the steps in the entire process.
The Integration Of Advanced Data Analytics
Integrated into a recruiter’s website, customer insight platforms use natural language processing, machine learning (ML) and sentiment analysis capabilities to spot trends quickly and give agencies precisely what they want to know. The data might, for example, expose weak on-boarding practices or inadequate, disorganised personnel at one branch.
Agencies are using the evidence from these platforms to change procedures and tactics to optimise customer satisfaction and build a reputation for excellence in serving both clients and candidates. We know from research that insight platforms are effective. More than six-in-ten candidates believe a real, invitation-only review system helps them find the right agency for their needs.
Many service industries are waking up to the importance of customer sentiment and feedback in the rebuilding reputation through smart insight platforms. Recruiters must start using insight platforms to let everyone know they are customer-focused, efficient, transparent and prepared to respond to fair criticism.
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About The Author
By Matt West, CEO, Feefo