We live in a world where we reward big accomplishments – the Toronto Raptors winning their first NBA championship and the city of Toronto going insane (yes, I went bonkers), or fist bumping the salesperson who landed the big 7-figure deal or celebrating your child’s honour roll achievement. Whatever it is, we like to reward big things. Let me be clear when I say that I am not minimizing the awesomeness that comes with celebrating big accomplishments. We should celebrate them, because…. well… they’re accomplishments. But, the small things really do matter and they often have a big impact.
I am going to bet that anyone reading this blog post has been a job candidate at one point or another during their career. If you have then you have probably experienced a plethora of emotions going through the job search process from feeling rejected and frustrated by the “black hole effect” to receiving a job offer that you really wanted. Further, many of your emotions have resulted directly by how you were treated by prospective employers, from the time you expressed interest all the way to offer. You likely had several touchpoints — interaction with the career site, conversation with the Recruiter, tour of the office, sitting down in the lounge with a cup of coffee, speaking with potential colleagues, participating in a group video call, and the list goes on. Every single touchpoint makes up the total candidate experience, and each one matters, no matter how small, or big.
Personally, I have never been attracted and lured by big and bold when it comes to the candidate experience. I don’t need to be pampered and showered with “candidate love”. What really impresses me is the small stuff — being respected for the time that I commit to the process, timely communication (i.e. staying in-the-know on process), level of preparedness of people I speak with (e.g. did you actually read my resume or look at my LinkedIn profile, or are you winging it?) and demonstration that you care. I don’t ask for a lot but I certainly do place a high value on the “human experience”.
One of the things that I value when working for an organization is having a personal connection to the organizations’ product/service. I need to like and appreciate it, even be a customer myself, or align with the mission and vision of the organization. During the recruitment process, I like to touch and feel what the company does and stands for. For example, if you’re a company that builds a B2C mobile app then I want to immerse myself in the product experience. Show it to me. Give me the demo and allow me to gain an initial perspective of how great it is. If you’re an animation company then show me a sample clip of some of the amazing work your firm has created. If you are an architecture company, take me on a journey of a project your firm completed and explain why it’s a special project. Whatever it is, the small stuff matters.
While I love technology (anyone who knows me well can attest to this) I also know and appreciate that technology can never, and will never, fully replace the human touch. Technology can’t shake your hand and ask if you would like a cup of coffee before your interview. Technology can’t introduce you to a select group of employees from different departments and engage in a light-hearted dialogue about the work they do. You get my point. The small stuff matters.
The small stuff matters and makes a HUGE impression on me when it comes to my own experience as a job candidate. When an organization makes it a priority to do the small things well it shows they care about me. Regardless of whether or not I get the job, the fact that I had a positive experience will stay with me. I may even end up being a customer if I’m not one already. The small stuff matters, and it matters a lot.