Long before viral videos, a 1980's TV commercial drew in viewers with grainy, analog graphics and the promise of a product so appealing that "you'll tell two friends, then they'll tell two friends, and so on and so on and so on..."
For companies today, that ad provides a simple, pre‐internet‐era illustration of the power of a positive customer experience. For executive recruiters and their clients, it's a reminder of the importance of the candidate experience – how highly qualified job seekers rate their satisfaction with the hiring process – and why it matters now more than ever.
Today, candidates can share their experience via social media with two friends, or two dozen or two thousand, all in less time than it takes to order their morning coffee. What they choose to say about the hiring process and those involved in it, whether via text, LinkedIn, or in 280 characters, is largely in the hands of the executive recruiter.
Intentionally or not, executive recruiters are front‐line brand ambassadors for their clients. The way in which they conduct a search can make a first and lasting impression on high‐potential candidates about a company's culture, people and way of doing business. It's this impression – good or bad – that sticks with those candidates as they evaluate top‐level job opportunities.
Executive recruiters offer guidance well beyond a link to the job description – personal attention, communication and contacts, just to name a few. But the most successful executive recruiters provide their clients and candidates with intangibles that can't be captured in a checklist. They employ industry expertise, company knowledge, candor, responsiveness, follow‐through and a personalized approach, rooted in integrity, to create an outstanding candidate experience.
When this level of satisfaction is achieved during the hiring process, recruiters and their clients can feel confident that qualified candidates were fairly and thoughtfully considered; that the right candidate will enthusiastically accept the offer when it comes; and that all candidates will speak positively about their experience when they tell two, two dozen, or two thousand friends.