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5 Ways to Treat Your Job Candidate Search Like a Good Customer Service Experience

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

/// Guest post by contributor Maryellen Adams, CareerCo

A retail customer wants to be appreciated for his patronage and tended to quickly. And a potential employee wants to be acknowledged for his effort and what he has to offer. If you want to start your working relationship on the right foot, don’t allow job applicants and interviewees to fall into a black hole while you hem and haw over your hiring decision. Here’s how to make your future workers happy from the start.

  1. Make Use of Technology
    Think of the job applicant hunt like online shopping – make the “purchase” easy, the confirmation messages clear, and send updates when items “ship.” Abandon old-school ideals that require job applicants to send applications via snail mail. You won’t weed out the lazy or undesirable candidates. And once someone has (easily) submitted their application online, communicate in modern, convenient ways, like email and text: “Your application has been received and is under review by the job search committee.”

  2. Give Them a Window
    Customers like to know how long they’re going to be waiting, particularly those on the phone. Wondering how much longer you have to listen to pop songs or pre-recorded promotional messages on repeat is torture for any customer. Be honest with job candidates just how long it’s going to take for a decision to be made. If you’ve invited someone for an interview, send them on their way with a, “You’ll hear from us within the week.” (And be specific too: “We will email you, either way.”) Or simply say, “We will make a decision by February 1.” And when you give them a deadline, stick to it. (That goes for rejection letters, too.)

  3. Be the One in Charge
    Yes, it’s up to a customer to make the decision about the items or service they wish to purchase and then get in line to wait for attention. And it’s a job-seeker’s responsibility to apply for the job they want and jump through the hoops to get the gig. But telling an interviewee to “check in” or “follow up” when the ball is in your court is like telling a customer to go hunt down a service agent to do their job. Be responsive. Convey your follow-up messages succinctly and promptly.

  4. Know Your Price Point
    When you ask an interviewee for salary requirements without giving them even a hint of a starting point, that’s like asking a shopper to name their price for the item they want to buy. We all want to believe we’re worth the most the position can offer, but no one wants to eliminate themselves from the running by naming a number that’s too high, or make themselves seem like they’ll take anything by naming a number that’s too low. You know what you can pay this potential employee, so if you’re going to ask them what their salary requirements are, at least give them a range to consider.

  5. Know Your Product
    Presumably, you are advertising a job because you’re seeking to fill a particular position and are ready to do so completely. Changing the job description mid-interview process is tantamount to saying to a person shopping at a retailer, “Oh, you want to buy that? OK. No, wait, you can only buy part of it.” You need to be clear about exactly what the job opportunity is that you’re offering and convey that to the candidate during the interview. Otherwise, you are sending the message, “If you really want to work with us, you’re just going to have to tolerate our fickleness.” Not a very good first impression. There is a science called the psychology of queuing, where the encounters and feelings customers have while they’re waiting in line impact how they feel about their entire customer service experience. The way you behave during the job search will give potential employees a taste of your company culture and impact how they feel about your company and you as their potential future boss. Job candidates have to make a good impression, but so do you.

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by Maryellen Adams, CareerCoA NATSO endorsed service provider, CareerCo is a network of pay-for-performance job sites that reaches more than 5 million job seekers monthly. Employers can save time and money in their recruitment by setting the job requirements and only paying for candidates that meet them. All NATSO members receive a 10% discount. Discount will be applied to your monthly invoice. To qualify, be sure to identify your company as a NATSO member. Learn more about CareerCo.

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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About the Author

Maryellen Adams

Maryellen Adams

As Director of Association Partnerships at Career Co, Maryellen develops and manages the company's relationships with trade and industry association partners on both the state and national levels.

As a trusted association partner, Maryellen offers her expertise in employee recruitment strategy to associations in all industries; providing their members, both small and enterprise level businesses, an array of staffing and recruitment solutions.  

Maryellen is a frequent guest speaker at industry association trade shows and conventions. She has presented educational workshops and webinars on topics including; Performance-Based Recruitment,  Best Practices in Attracting, Hiring and Retaining Talent, Recruiting Next Generation Talent To Drive Future Success, Motivating and Managing “Millennials” in the Multi-Generational Workplace ;Adjusting Your Culture to Improve Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention.

Maryellen holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance from Fairfield University in Connecticut.  She is based in New York and can be reached at