HR & Customer Service (Part 1 of 2)

This post is talking about how Human Resources departments (at least the part that hires people) generally need to improve their customer service. Surely everyone has experienced at least one nasty HR executive telling you “We will let you know when we have an opening.” in the nastiest tone they can come up with.

Note: This post is not against HR people. Some of them provide great examples of customer service, but it seems that a vast majority do not.

Note #2: This started off as a long (two – three times longer than average) post, so I’ve split it up into two days. A mini-series of sorts.

Reality.
The reality is that HR people should be nice to potential employees. The company needs these employees to grow, to gain new customers, to keep existing customers, to keep the store running, to keep the technology up-to-date, to clean the bathrooms, whatever it may be – chances are if they are posting an opening, they need that employee.
The job market is very competitive, but the best people (which your company should be trying to recruit) can probably get a job at quite a few places. As an HR person, you need to impress the candidate and make it seem like your company will be a great place to work.

This post at The Brand Builder is an excellent post about HR and customer service. The company there did a very good job. Furthermore, he brought up some good points:

  1. The friendlier and most engaging companies will most likely land the better employees.
  2. To get a glimpse of a company’s mindset and culture, replace any reference to job applicants / prospective employees with “customers”, and “positions” with “products”.

It’s a very good post and definitely one that I’d recommend people who work in HR and anyone who deals with job interviews, applications, etc. to read. They should also read this post, of course.

HR people represent their company. They show potential employees what type of company they work for and what their company values. This is a very important group of people that need to think positively about your company or they may not want to work there. HR people who seem disorganized or rude may cause the candidate to think the company is disorganized or rude. Make sure your HR experience is a good one.

Have project managers.
Large corporate accounts have sales representatives, many support issues have an assigned representative, so why can’t candidates have one person they deal with through most of the HR process? It makes the experience much quicker, smoother, personal, and more accurate than just shuffling the candidate through several people in a department.
Some people don’t do very well when they are shuffled from person to person in a series of 15 minute phone calls. Having a candidate deal with one person allows the candidate and the employee to build a relationship and the employee can get a better idea of who this person is (besides applicant #93548).

The second and longer part of the mini-series is coming tomorrow.

One Response to “HR & Customer Service (Part 1 of 2)”

  1. olivier blanchard said:

    Jul 31, 06 at 2:01 pm

    I had completely forgotten about that post. Thanks for digging it up. 🙂

    Great post today.