November 22, 2013
In my new report, "How To Hire And Onboard Customer-Centric Employees," I describe how companies can transform their hiring processes to ensure new employees are customer-centric. CX professionals must partner with their HR department and hiring manager colleagues to change the way they screen, interview and onboard new employees. The report describes specific ways to make each step in the hiring process more customer-centric. For example:
- Get customer-centric applicants into the hiring funnel. A customer-centric hiring process starts by attracting the right kind of applicants and filtering out the wrong kind. The careers section of a website provides an opportunity for companies to tell applicants what they value in employees. For example, The Container Store's website describes the company's commitment to putting employees first and draws a clear distinction from other companies that focus on shareholders first. Contrast that first impression with the careers landing page on Bed Bath & Beyond's site, where the opening sentence talks about stock performance and its expansion.
- Focus the interview process on candidate storytelling. When candidates reach the interview process, it's time to vet their customer centricity by getting them to tell stories: Have them describe specific examples from past jobs where they exemplified a particular trait or competency. Companies should infuse their interview guides with questions that provide insights about core customer experience competencies. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) focused on three core competencies of its eight-competency model — customer-driven focus, accountability, and teamwork and collaboration — that it believed were the most important markers for its interviews.
- Reinforce key behaviors with customer-centric onboarding. It's not enough to hire people with the right mindset. Companies also need an onboarding process that creates clear linkages between individuals and their role in delivering the right experience. Enter learning maps: visual representations of existing or desired states that facilitate training and coaching sessions. They can provide a framework for customer experience training and empower employees with enough understanding of the experience to make their own decisions and adjustments. Barclays Africa worked with consulting firm Trainiac to create large-scale visualizations that are part of the onboarding process.
For more ideas about how to hire and onboard customer-centric employees, read the full report, or join us on December 12th at 11:00 a.m. ET for a Forrester Webinar: How To Hire Customer-Centric Employees.
What is your company doing to ensure that new employees are customer-centric? Share your thoughts below.