If you’re like most managers at SMEs now, you’re worried how to get through the lockdown over the next month. However, it’s at exactly times like this when you want to look at your processes, evaluate what you’re doing, and start documenting and improving. Having gone through similar challenges in 9/11, Lehman Shock, and after 3/11, I know the challenges, but know that the market will turn around and you’ll want to be ready to take advantage. Hiring processes are an excellent place to start.
I was lucky enough to recently sit down and chat with Timothy Connor. He is an expert in transforming customer experiences for companies. Having been in Japan a long time, he also knows the unique challenges. He was speaking about the Customer Experience in marketing and it resonated with what I share to clients in recruitment: have the interview be an experience--one where the applicant leaves the interview with a strong interest in the company, position, and people met. In no way does that mean that any candidate is hired, but the experience is one that creates an experience that motivates the interviewee. The result is:
The applicant is interested in the company. Even if rejected, the applicant shares the experience. The more people speaking positively about your brand, the better.
Applicants are motivated. Motivated candidates tend to more readily take an offer.
There is less negotiation about contracts for on-boarding.
First impressions make a lasting impression, as they say, and having a new employee start motivated is a great thing.
This is the thing that Timothy has been teaching companies, using a Customer Experience 2.0® Transformation. What really hit home for me was his comment that Employee Experience is the secret sauce. That’s why I’m recommending this framework for managers of SMEs to take the time and create this framework for their hiring process. It need not be fancy: a standard operating procedure that you and your team follow for hiring. However, you can then start rolling it out to other areas in the business. It’s worth the time to sit down with Timothy and learn how to do this.
Insight & Analysis - what are you doing? What’s working and not working? Ask
Strategy & Vision - look at the applicant journey from start to finish. How can you tweak what you’re already doing to make it better from the applicants point of view?
Design - Put down the steps to follow. The only real hiring mistakes that I see in companies is when they don’t follow their process (and no, almost any process is alright).
Governance - Give someone the responsibility to monitor the process. In a small business, you are often the person who keeps the process going. If you have the luxury to have someone else run the recruiting process for you, make sure they are holding people accountable.
Measurement - This is the testing block to me: is it working? If not, make small changes. Then run the process again.
Culture - If you’re running this process within the company, spend an hour or two with those that will interview applicants and help them understand how to interview, sell the position, and make the customer experience memorable for the applicant.
I find this template an excellent resource for managers to start streamlining their process. Once you have taken the step here, start looking at your Marketing processes.
If you’re running a SME in Japan, drop me an email or text me. Let me know what challenges you’re facing or other topics you’d like to know about. As the Managing Director of FocusCore Group, I’ve helped companies in Japan for over 20 years focus on their core business. Feel free to reach out for comments or suggestions at David.Sweet@FocusCoreGroup.com