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Understanding the world you operate in

Feb 05, 2016

Last week I wrote about the importance of understanding your position in the recruitment value chain; as important is today’s topic “understanding the market you operate in”. The external environment is the biggest factor in defining your business success. At Jobsite and now at Talenetic I always tell my people: “You can have the best surfboard in the world, but if there are no waves, you won’t go anywhere.”

Because of this enormous impact on a business’ performance, it always surprises me when companies are only internally focussed. They know every conversion rate on their website, have highly tuned internal processes (and that is really important, don’t get me wrong), but forget to link it to what happens outside their four walls. I had this happen to me, you often don’t notice how your universe shrinks and you need to make a conscious effort to look up, understand what happens outside of your company and permanently adapt how you fit into the wider world.

In last week’s post, I wrote: “Recruitment and job seeking (and finding) is driven by speed and relevance. Job seeking is – for most parts and for most people – a stressful and confidence-zapping experience, as there is limited control over the process and outcome and maximum impact on self-esteem through rejection and probing. A job seeker therefore wants to get over it as fast as possible and this can be done by finding jobs that are relevant on skills, experience and culture.”

Relevance and speed has driven recruitment in the past and will drive it in the future. But the context is changing. So, now let’s put it in context to the world we live in, to the broad behaviours we can observe today:

Frictionless experiences: We are busy. Our lives are full. We want everything within it, all the services and technologies to be as easy and as smooth as possible. In an ideal world, they just run in the background with minimum interference. Take Terminal 5 for example, it is very easy to go through check-in and security, hardly any waiting and only afterwards you notice how easy it was and how all the different little items created an overall smooth and seamless journey. Even leaving feedback is easy and simple via the smiley buttons!

Amazon is another great example: easy to understand and use, accessible everywhere, entirely flexible. No unnecessary actions, as few clicks as necessary, great suggestions (like mind reading at times) and completely reliable at every stage. They make my life easier and that’s what I want.

Mobile centric: Even though we have been talking about mobile for a long time, we are only starting out on the mobile journey and still now there are many companies with unresponsive websites. But that’s not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is using the data that is intrinsic: it knows my location, it knows my address book, it even knows and remembers the languages I use to write texts to specific people. Linking up these data sets is incredibly exciting and users today expect that it is being used to give a more personalised experiences.

Diminishing loyalty:  People are happy to share personal data, login by Facebook, try new apps and website. But if it doesn’t work as promised, if it uses your data for something else than stated, they abandon you and won’t use you again and to top it all off: they tell the entire world. Loyalty has to be earned through every interaction, every single time. This is especially pronounced with younger generations such as Millennials, but now seeps through everyone, as we all have learned the hard way that most companies don’t reward loyal customers but just chase new ones.

People expect a tailored experience that works around their busy lives, uses all the available information to make decisions easier and faster and communications with them in an honest and authentic fashion. Use my data and deliver me the best solution, don’t bother me with having to make unnecessary steps. How this translates into the job board and talent acquistion world, I’ll explain in another post.