On-line recruitment is fast becoming a marriage made in heaven
Written by Vanessa Clark
Apparently almost one in five people who got married in the last three years met online. In fact, online is the third most popular way of meeting a partner, after meeting through a mutual acquaintance or at work or school.
So how does it work for that other important, long-term relationship in our lives? the one between employers and employees. Unsurprisingly, these introductions are also starting to be made online as well, with a new layer of service providers emerging to use the internet to improve the way we recruit.
There is no denying we are more connected now than we have ever been – thanks to digital and social media. And that we are using this connectedness to find jobs and employees.
According to US online recruitment site Careerbuilder.com, two out of five companies use social networks to research candidates. Of these, 34 percent have not hired someone based on what they saw, while 29 percent have decided to hire, someone thanks to their social network presence.
Of the companies who don’t use social networks as part of their recruitment process yet, 11 percent plan to start, says the report. The social networks that these companies are using to check up on potential employees are Facebook (65 percent), LinkedIn (63 percent) and Twitter (16 percent).
As individuals seeking employment, our ability to tap into our network is greater than ever before; as is our ability to keep in touch with “loose” alliances, such as your first ever manager or university professor, which could help us find out next position but in an analogue world might have fallen by the wayside.
We now have the ability to directly approach dream employers, get the inside scoop on upcoming vacancies, and hopefully bypass the whole CV, covering letter, endless wait process usually associated with applying for a job.
As well as this informal use of social networks to find jobs, or employees for that matter, a new breed of recruitment services has sprung up to fill the gap between ad hoc networking, offline recruiters and wading through online job boards or a deluge of inappropriate CVs.
JobCrystal, www.jobcrystal.co.za, claims to turn the recruiting process on its head by offering a service akin to a head hunter – ie matching employers with happily and gainfully employed people to choose from, rather than only hiring from the pool of disgruntled employees looking for their next opportunity.
JobCrystal’spricing however, is lower than that of a recruitment agency. The average cost of hiring through a recruitment agency is 15 percent of annual cost-to-company, which means that hiring a sales manager at R25,000 per month CTC would cost a company R45,000.
JobCrystalhowever charges a flat, once-off fee, the highest of which is R15,000, which is substantially lower than using an agency and also makes budgeting much more predictable.
JobCrystalallows companies and candidates to talk directly and the online recruitment portal also gives business owners in-depth analytical tools to quickly identify the most appropriate candidates for their company.
Paying the bounty
Then, they can filter these candidates according criteria such as industry experience, BEE rating and suburb to ensure a better success rate at the interview stage. JobCrystal is being used by brands such asFoschini, Shoprite, Santam andTruworths.
New kid on the block, Hiring Bounty, www.hiringbounty.com, from the Quirk Labs stable, wants to superpower your network by enabling crowd sourcing of new employees. Employers post their positions with a “bounty” which is paid to anyone who refers a successful candidate. A similar bounty is paid to the candidate (if they refer themselves they get two bounties) as well as to Hiring Bounty on a job offer being accepted.
The start-up says that by leveraging trusted networks between people, Hiring Bounty is able to identify skilled candidates and place them in better suited jobs, faster and at a lower cost, when compared to recruitment agents. Managing director Greg Schneider says: “Hiring Bounty plans to capitalise on the connections of people to make recruiters obsolete.”
Now that new clever ways of reaching the best candidates - and candidates reaching the best roles - have emerged, hopefully a new generation of developers will rise through the ranks to support the growing and very vibrant start up eco-system in the country.
Vanessa Clark is a journalist by training who thrives on telling the story of innovating companies. Over the last 10 years Vanessa has fulfilled a variety of marketing roles spanning PR, communications, branding, digital media and sales support. She has worked in Cape Town and London, dealing with businesses as far afield as Mumbai, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo and San Francisco, building brands in new territories. Before joining Mobiflockas a founder member, she ran her own marketing and communications consultancy. Previously she managed the marketing and communication activities for Clickatell, the mobile messaging provider, as it grew its Internet and enterprise sales activities globally. Before that she helped London-based Band-X, the world’s first bandwidth exchange, to expand into eight countries; and was news editor at Total Telecom.com
Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey
There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.
There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.
There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.
In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.
Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.
So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?
Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney
While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.
For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.
For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.
Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.
It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.
How do companies support the new customer journey?
More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.
These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.
The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?
For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.
It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.
And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.
It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.
At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.
About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.