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Why Treating Your Employees as Your Customers Will Create Success


Why Treating Your Employees as Your Customers Will Change Your Business

When we think of our (potential) customers, especially about how we want to reach them, we right away start to think on marketing level. We contemplate about how we can steer our identity in a way it can influence our image and our reputation positively. We have ideas about our brand: who are we, who we want to be and how we want people to perceive us. We directly connect this with the changes our company culture needs, so it can help us shape the company we wished for. A distinct marketing plan will put all sorts of processes in motion that creates all this. Or at least, we aim for it. Now visualise replacing customers for employees in this situation.

Did you notice your mind shifting in another gear in just a few seconds? Although it takes the right people to build the company that attracts the desired customers in the first place, it seems that our auto pilot thinks differently about ‘recruiting’ customers than about the recruitment of employees. I don’t say that it’s exactly the same, but they do have an important common denominator: they can both become your ambassadors. Also, both groups of people are complementary to one another. It takes good employees with empathy and understanding of your customers’ journey to succeed in your customer approach. People are key in all the essentials that can build a solid and appealing company.

This brings me to the point of this article. In the past employers had an advantage on their employees when it comes to market information. Nowadays the labour market is transparant. Professionals know exactly what they are worth and what is negotiable. The market transparency has increased even more through online platforms. Look for instance at Glassdoor, where you can get a glance behind the scenes of vacancies and companies. Information about salaries, company reviews and interview questions in one search engine. This information is provided anonymously by employees and job seekers. En good example of data being available in a wink. Technology and innovation change recruitment more and more in a marketing process.

Treat your employees as your customers

Have you ever defined why someone would want to work for you? Recruitment is a pull strategy. For employer branding departments great recruiters are the vital connection. On the one hand they know what brand and culture an organisation wants to build, on the other hand they understand what talents expect of their ultimate job or employer. Looking at the marketing process that comes with scouting and recruiting talents, recruiters are the detrimental factor in that process:

  1. Know your target market
  2. Develop your key message
  3. Spread your message through multiple channels
  4. It is always a continuous journey, find out what works

Talent is a valuable asset that companies borrow, not have. After you have seduced skilled people to work for you, what’s next? Well, how fast can you get from on boarding to creating ambassadors? Turning employees into ambassadors requires more than basic work floor principles. People need to be educated on your history, on what your business stands for and what your goals are. Just memorising is not enough. They basically need to ‘feel’ the concept. Therefore it better be an inspiring background you are dishing up, so they share your vision! This requires high level internal marketing that is empowering your company’s cultural behaviour. Building a culture not only means making changes happen, it also helps to create an environment people would really want to work in and engage to. What happens on the inside projects on the outside. Engaged and loyal employees (ambassadors) easily attract job seekers that develop that same connection with your company.

How are social media changing the game?

Digitisation, connectivity en accessibility. A gossip, story or photo can be shared with the whole world by pushing one button. So can a job vacancy or a job application. Social recruiting is therefore playing an important role in branding and recruitment. Being out there, being everywhere. Social media is an excellent way to get noticed. Not only by job seekers, also by potential talents who are not actively looking for a new job, but are open to a career change. If it’s a suitable strategy to sell product to customers, why not for recruitment?

If you get noticed, you create opportunities. First, you can build and promote your employer brand. Second, you can position your company so that talents will think of you first when they are looking for a job, whether they are unemployed or are seeking for or career change. Third, you are able to show candidates and potential ambassadors what your company culture is all about. These days using social networks for recruiting is the smart thing to do, because you will reach candidates where they spend the majority of their time. Online. But let’s be fair, this might be the easier part. Becoming an organisation talented people would like to work for is still your ultimate challenge that precedes the recruitment marketing strategy.

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