If you've ever been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you know that customer service is paramount to Disney. Yes, you may wait in line for 200 minutes to check out the latest rides, even if it turns out to be a 5 minute psychedelic version of "It's A Small World." With flying jellyfish (I'm looking at you Avatar). But it is a guarantee that every single Disney employee you encounter will give 120% effort to make your encounter the single best encounter you have ever had with a human. Or costumed human. And if not, that employee will be dragged down into the secret tunnels and exiled forever into Disney jail. Or just be given a bad reference, at which point I am sure they will be hired by Legoland. But I digress...Disney knows it's expensive, its hot, and your kids have been up 14 hours and are about to go nuclear. They are unlike any company out there...they go the extra mile for their customers. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The philosophy doesn't take a single shift off. Everyone has to buy into the system, or it doesn't work. It wouldn't be magical. Recruiters, take notice! I think it's time recruiters offered some Disney Magic of their own.
Disney under-promises and over-delivers. Yes, they are charging you almost $10 for a slap bracelet, but they also talk to your child during the transaction like their lives depend on it. They offer stickers. They offer treats. They tell jokes. They don't just tell you where the bathroom is located...they walk you. They ask where you are from. They ask if you are having a good time. They actually act like they care about your day and your vacation. I have it on good authority they do not personally care if your vacation is super-awesome as they walk around in 100 degree in unforgivingly hot pants on a Sunday. But they act like it. I don't know if recruiters are personally invested in each candidate they work with...but they should act like it. Don't treat them like inventory. Don't act like they are a burden. They chose to work with you...fake some gratitude.
A common complaint is that recruiters come in hot and hard, promising quick action and results...and then nothing. Be honest to the candidates, and be positive. You can't guarantee them a new job. Hell, you can't even guarantee them feedback. But sell them on the experience. That they will enjoy and respect working with you, and they will learn some things along the way that will make them better professionals. And if you offer them a sticker? Even better.
Disney parks are geniuses...GENIUSES at managing crowd flow. Tram cars to monorails to entrance gates. Spreading out attractions. Fastpass lines that weave in and out of regular attraction lines. They can even convince HUNDRED of tourists a day to walk up and down the Swiss Family Robinson Tree THAT IS NOT INTERESTING AT ALL. But they do it to alleviate foot traffic in the parks and manage the crowd flow. Without it, there would be chaos. Recruiters have to manage the process more efficiently for candidates. Lack of feedback, lack of any contact at all...it's because recruiters are working the thing that is closest to money. But if they managed their flow better, they would have an easier time keeping everyone updated in their searches. Come up with your own protocols. Every Friday afternoon...anyone that has a resume submitted, reach out and give them an update. Reach out to those clients with resumes on their desk and ask for an update. Anyone who has interviewed that week, assure them on a Friday that you are working to get feedback. Manage your flow of work. You can't just keep collecting resumes and firing them off, waiting for things to happen. When you manage your crowd flow, you actually get more results. And happier customers. Otherwise you are just subjecting your candidates to wall-to-wall sweaty tank top gridlock.
Disney offers their customers the best of everything. Want to eat out? You can eat in Cinderella's castle. AND THE SERVER WILL CUT YOUR CHILD'S FOOD. Want to grab a quick snack on the go? Sure, how about a 5 POUND TURKEY LEG? Go ahead...get your Fred Flintstone on. It's ok because it's Disney and they want you to feel you just had the best day of your life. Recruiters need to bring more to the table. We are resume experts. We are interview experts. We know all of the industry trends. We have all of the super top secret hiring contacts at companies. If you get a resume, and you can't place them that day, don't print out the resume, crumble it up, and dramatically shoot it into a wastebasket. That would be wasteful. Offer the candidate something. A resume critique. A company submission suggestion/referral. Perhaps just acknowledge the candidate's submission. You know why? Because you want repeat business. You want them to come back to you. And you certainly want them to tell all of their friends about you so they want to work with you. *Turkey leg optional*
Put it this way. Disney knows that there are people that have saved their entire lives to go there, or take their families there. Disney knows that this may be someone's only opportunity to go to the parks. They respect the time and money that you have put into the trip, and they want to do their part to make sure you are happy with your decision and that it impacts your life positively for as long as humanly possible. They don't want you happy for the next month. For the next two months. They want you hooked. They want you to be Disney for LIFE. Recruiters need to take a similar approach. For a recruiter, working with a candidate may be a chance at a sale. But for the candidate? This is their LIFE. If you are willing to take someone's resume and submit it to a company, and if you are willing to place a person at a company and collect a fee for it, then you better respect the fact that you are impacting someone's (and their family's) life. And you should make sure they are always happy with it...not just when the check clears. You want them to be a contact for life. Again, if you need to think about it in selfish terms...it's good for repeat business. Disney is in the business of making memories. And if something isn't right, they make it right. There is a Guest Services Desk every 5 feet (approximately). They don't hide. They don't avoid emails or phone calls. They stand there, they listen empathetically, and they do everything in their power to make it right. Look, I get it. I'm sure they don't lay their heads on their beds at night thinking "I'm so glad I worked it out so that Adam met Elsa." *EDITORS NOTE - This happened. I DID meet Elsa. Crisis averted* BUT they ARE doing their to the absolute best of their abilities. And if recruiters even came close to approaching that, the industry as a whole would not only be more profitable...dare I say we would be beloved by millions of children around the world? No? Here's a turkey leg...how about now?
If you have any questions about anything I discussed in the above article, looking for a job and/or working with a recruiter, just ask! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more about me or my firm, please visit www.karpiakconsulting.com or www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak I am always looking to network with good professionals that share my values in recruiting, so shoot me an invite if you agree with me!
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