Reflections from the #TruLondon unconference: Tales from a customer service evangelist!

Reflections on the unconference TruLondon

Today was an auspicious event: Trulondon an unconference planned by Bill Boorman and his merry band of geniuses. I have admired Bill from afar because he embodies something sorely missing from the industry of recruiting: a heart of gold.

It has been an honor to participate in Bill’s blogradio show over the past few weeks. I am the girl who toots the horn of compassion. We simply can’t take the “human” out of human resources, yet so many try. There’s been much discussion about whether or not HR is dead. No, not dead yet, to quote Monty Python. Perhaps we might kill it with the soul sucking attitude that recruiters are there to tag, bag and deliver candidates for positions as if they are cattle to be herded into positions. Ok, I get it, recruiters find people for jobs, rather than jobs for people. However; with that said I am inspired by the model of recruiting that many in the UK have embraced. In England, recruiters value the needs and concerns of the candidate equal to those of the client. They are not merely square pegs in square holes. They are human beings. They are also in a position to provide job orders to recruiters in the future. Therefore, I assert it makes sense to treat candidates with respect, and offer them the generous time one would an employer.

On today’s show there were recruiters from Scotland, Canada, and the UK. While I sincerely appreciate the diversity of many viewpoints, I beg to differ with certain opinions. For instance, a guest on today’s panel suggested that recruiters must be ruthless in order to be effective. I heartily disagree. In fact, I posit that the word “ruthless” ought to be removed from the recruiter’s vocabulary. It is neither effective, nor does this word engender the spirit of sales. Isn’t recruiting, in its finest form, a type of skilled salesmanship? Does it not make sense to be customer focused?

I make no apologies for being a customer service evangelist. From the time Blanchard published his book “knock your socks off customer service,” to the present tense, recruiters should take a note out of the play book. Customer service is the NEW customer service, as I stated on today’s blog radio show. Everyone is our customer, both candidates and employers. Therefore doesn’t it make sense to provide rave worthy customer service to everyone we work with in today’s tenuous market?

During the discussions of #Trulondon, I picked up on another trend: Gen Y, the new recruiting strategy. Does it make sense to develop a new recruiting strategy to attract and retain bright young people? Or, should we customize our recruiting strategy to the needs of the client, and of the position regardless of the age of a candidate? The business model must be re-examined, or we should have our heads examined. We customize, personalize, and evaluate the needs of the customer on a case by case basis.

While I digress, the point is the same. Recruiting is every bit as responsible to the art of stellar customer service as any other industry. In fact, if we are to be successful, we must never lose sight of this fact.

Respectfully submitted,

@HRMargo Margo Rose

Views: 75

Comment by Shennee_Rutt on November 19, 2009 at 5:36pm
Margo- Great thoughts on the Subject. I come from a Sales/Customer Service background, and I really believe we need to customize, personalize, and evaluate needs on a case by case basis.
I disagree that a new recruiting strategy is necessary for Gen Y. I do think that Social media and new recruitment techniques may need to be employed for useage with already working procedures. Why fix what is broke? Let's improve on existing strategies that work. I also have no use for the word "Ruthless".
There I stated my thoughts~Cheers.:)

Comment by Margo Rose on November 19, 2009 at 6:53pm
Actually, I don't think we should have a separate strategy for Gen X, Y, Z Baby Boomers. The point is if we are doing our jobs, we customize our strategy to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. Everyone is our customer. As far as the gentleman who suggested recruiters should be "ruthless," it is far more helpful and productive to reframe the argument to say rather, recruiters ought to be pragmatic and discerning. The world is ruthless enough without piddly minded professionals adding to the muck. What we need is to continue to take the high road. We lead by example. I want my example to that of a trustbuilder, a relationship builder, and a customer service evangelist. Thanks for your comment Shennee.


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