What is employee experience and how does it impact recruitment?

While we all know the importance of customer experience, its ally hasn't merited the same importance. Until now.

Productivity, job satisfaction and the desired working culture are all in direct relation with an organisation’s employee experience (EX).

In this article I’ll go through these three different aspects of EX, demonstrating how they are increasingly considered, designed and given merit within companies.

Happy employee, happy company, happy customer

Many companies promise the best customer experience, but rarely do you stumble upon a guarantee of the best employee experience. The two are inextricably related.

As a field of design, EX seeks to increase productivity and develop company culture to also improve customer relations. Thus, EX has an indirect impact on customer experiences, creating consistency through which customer satisfaction increases.

EX isn’t a single step, it’s a continuum

Like a product, EX has a lifecycle.

It starts when a potential employee hears of a company for the first time and continues until she/he leaves the company. So how does EX differ from traditional HR?

In EX, the different phases of employment and the experience of an individual employee are designed using service design methodologies.

No such thing as too much communication

Let’s look closer at the recruitment process.

How did you hear of your current employer for the first time? What was your perception of the company? Was it correct? How did you feel about the recruitment process? How was onboarding handled?

The first “touchpoints” – the channels, experiences, pieces of content etc. – a potential employee comes across often relate to the image and brand of a future employer. These touchpoints can also include projects, products or current employees impact the reputation of the company in question. However, having a good reputation by no means guarantees a smooth recruitment process.

Communication plays a major role in recruitment and throughout the process there really can’t be too much of it. For an applicant, applying for a new job means accepting the possibility of big changes. Therefore, a lack of communication can easily cause uncertainty and perpetuate negativity. If several applicants find the recruitment process unpleasant, the company’s reputation eventually takes a hit.

Applicants appreciate one thing above all

Lately, I’ve come across many positive recruitment experiences on social media. One thing all these experiences have in common is clarity: keeping applicants up to date about the process. In these cases companies have understood applicants’ pain points and addressed them.

As a process, recruitment – like customer experience – can be seen as a journey: awareness, consideration, comparison and finally the decision to apply for a job. A well designed recruitment journey guides the applicant through these steps.

6 steps for designing a recruitment journey

  1. Communicate the unique attributes of your company

    Start by building an understanding of your audience: who they are, what values they have, and aspects of your company might they find appealing? Benchmark and reference how your competitors communicate. Note! Do something differently to stand out from the crowd.
  2. Choose the right channels

    After understanding your audience, find out which channels reach them best. Sales oriented people spend most likely time on LinkedIn, the visually minded on Instagram and tech folks god knows where (at least on GitHub).

    Don’t judge any channel before understanding your audience. Sometimes events and fairs work nicely, and sometimes a newspaper ad might do the trick.
  3. Empower your employees

    People believe other people. Therefore, rely on your employees and their stories. They mean more than some arbitrary ”Best Place To Work” award. Positive comments, anecdotes and recommendations from current and former employees enhance credibility.
  4. Think other ways to communicate

    Job posts are often thought of as the first touchpoint for recruitment. However, for many that’s not the case. Your brand is built on all other content available on your website, social media, blogs, and other sources. Think of the recruitment process as a marketing campaign: what content do we need in addition to the announcement?
  5. Manage expectations

    Letdown is a result of a situation where the reality and expectations don’t meet. Try to avoid that in the recruitment process. Focus on your positive differentiating factors without building an unrealistic image of your company. Of course honesty and transparency are key from the very beginning of any relationship, but remember to be open about development areas as well.
  6. Communicate enough

    Plan recruitment communications in advance and keep your applicants in the loop. Once again, there is no such thing as too much communication.

Would you like to hear more about EX?

Drop us a line and our EX expert Maija will be happy to tell you more:

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