The 2016 chances lie within customer & candidate experience

AMSTERDAM, FEBRUARY 2ND, 2016 - People have been saying it for years: 'customer is king'. And finally in 2016 the client is really king! Clients demand an excellent customer experience and will only become enthusiastic if their expectations are exceeded.

To accomplish this the client will need to experience the ultimate customer experience over and over again. This means that every type of contact with your organization and brand has to be an acknowledgement that the client has made the right choice. An excellent customer journey will give you loyal and happy customers. These loyal and happy customers (and employees) are really important for your organization; these clients and employees will not only help you to retain and grow your revenue but will also bring in new clients and employees.

You can only keep a strong brand with a positive reputation if your organization is able to provide the ultimate customer journey. Therefore, reaching this goal always starts from within your own organization.

To realize the ultimate customer experience you need to involve the whole organization as all internal processes are part of this so called customer journey. It is of utmost importance the client is number one priority in all organizational processes which means that all departments within the company have to actually do something.

Before you decide to do something you first need to determine what kind of experience you would like to give the the client. Make sure it is consistent and that everyone within your organization understands that they are a crucial part in this customer journey and can influence happy and loyal customers.

2016 is not only the year where “clients are really king” but also where “applicants are king”

Big opportunities for organizations do not only lie within customer journey but also candidate journey activities. That is why TMR Brand Brand Marketing and the Search & Co Group have decided to work together closely as they share the same vision and importance in realizing the ultimate customer and candidate experience.

The labour market has become transparent thanks to the sharing economy and initiatives like . Organizations cannot deny this fact anymore. Nowadays, the consumer and the applicant decide how strong or how weak your brand actually is as they share their experiences with your brand with others. The impact on your brand is immense during the so called candidate journey based on the analogy of the customer journey.

Two out three applicants will never buy a product or service from a company after a bad candidate experience.

Four out of five will share this experience with people they know.

Shocking numbers, especially, if the company receives many applications. For instance, lets say you have 50 vacancies with an average of 100 applicants – not unusual – then you could easily gain 5000 unsatisfied customers. Every year. 3000 of them will never buy your product or service, 4000 will share their bad experience to at least another 4000 people, but probably more.

What kind of negative experience? For every new vacancy you have you can only appoint one future employee. All the other applicants will have to be disappointed and rejected. Does this mean these rejected candidates will refrain from becoming your ambassador or client?

As often happens in live it is not the act itself but the way it is done.

Due to the great number of applicants many companies do not even bother to reject less suitable candidates. Let beside give a detailed reason why they did not fit the job. This causes bad intent amongst unsatisfied candidates.

A new job is a big change and step in the lives of many applicants. A rejection is often felt as a huge disappointment. That is why organizations need to take this seriously and come up with valid arguments why candidates did not get the position. So that rejected candidates feel that they have been taken seriously and are left with a positive experience at the end of the candidate journey.

Did you know that a good 80% of all your applicants will not recommend your company to others? And that 4 out of 5 cases these experiences shared will influence their choice of employer?

Unprofessional handling of job applications can influence the company results.

Not only will you miss revenue from potential clients who do not want to ever hear from you again but you also exclude potential interesting candidates for future jobs. The growing number of people who applied before do not feel obliged to respond to any of your vacancies.

Many rejected candidates fall within the target audience of your organization. They feel close to this industry, have a profession which fits the organization and are presently potentially working for a competitor and also fit the profile of a potential client. One day, even rejected candidates will move to a managerial position with a potential client. They will carry a grudge due to former experiences with your company for the rest of their lives.

Applicants are a forgotten group for marketers. A very important target audience!

This has to change. An organization cannot afford not communicating with applicants after they have applied for a position within your company.

The Search & Co Group has combined their experience in recruitment and community building in a new method to help optimizing a company’s candidate journey. In order to turn every applicant into a brand ambassador of their organization.

This concept combines a new candidate experience model with easy to use software, training, education, websites to reach target audiences and a continuous candidate experience survey in order to have results confirmed.

An important ingredient of this candidate experience model is to build a specialist network / community of interesting candidates by providing the best communication. Managing expectations perfectly and delivering what is promised. The result is not only a more positive influence for your image, but also a big decrease in recruitment costs.

It takes an average of two years to build a good community of former applicants in order to find future colleagues without the use of external recruitment agencies, social media or paid job ads. Thanks to these communities owned by the companies the become independent and self reliant. A loyalty or knowledge program can contribute in building a closer relationship with this community and enables the company to stay in the picture.

A leading hotel chain, NH Hotel Group, is well aware of the fact that all applicants are potential guests and has therefore integrated the new candidate experience marketing model in their candidate journey. Search & Co Group is helping NH to positively influence their applicants view on the organization in such a way that even rejected candidates want to stay in touch with NH and hear about future jobs and relevant employer news. Not only for themselves but also to share with their friends, family and former colleagues.

Research done by the Search & Co Group has shown that jobs forwarded by friends, family and former colleagues result in qualitative much better candidates than an average recruitment campaign. Not strange as friends and family know each others good and bad features much better than the average recruiter. And they are more capable in judging if a specific job is suitable for this person they know well.

NH also continuous measure the candidate experience and also ask how the applicants experienced the employer brand. This feedback is then used to improve the service towards NH applicants. Despite candidates being rejected they thank NH for their excellent candidate experience. Most applicants want to stay in touch by becoming part of the NH ambassadors network.

The number of positions filled by candidates who are part of this ambassadors network or recommended by this network is growing. It shows that the need for external recruitment agencies and paid advertisements is decreasing. At the same time the positive image is also growing. The company is now able to find the right people for the right job much quicker without increasing their recruitment budget.

The candidate journey concept, developed by the Search & Co Group, is summarized on a new website:

Would you like to know more about integrating your candidate experience in the customer & brand experience marketing activities of your organization please let me know. You can e-mail me at or call me on +31624768758.