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Want the best UX candidates? Then improve the CX of your hiring process

If you want the best UX-ers then provide the best CX (customer experience) within your hiring process, else you risk ending up with who’s left over and damaging your brand experience at the same time…

UX as we all know, has boomed and with that boom has come an influx of newly reformed UX candidates as well as jobs, however, finding pedigree UX folk is still hard enough to keep guys like me in a job, thankfully. Making that match between the requirement, the company, the candidate and the timing often takes more than just spinning and serving plates at the right time.

The permanent UX market from mid-senior level upwards is definitely in favour of candidates at the moment. Many of those looking for a new permanent job with a good level of focussed and commercial experience, are on and off the market within about 2 weeks, if that! Crazy but true, at least within the London market.

Freelancers/contractors, given the nature of that type of work, are often not on the market for very long either.

We’ll often get urgent requirements for a top notch UX-er and will frantically begin making calls or sending emails to the professionals we think would fit the bill before submitting them and waiting to hear more….and waiting….some more waiting….still waiting….nada! Bearing in mind how quickly things can move with other opportunities from a wide range of competitors, days or even weeks in some cases to feedback on profiles just won’t lead to the ideal candidate being placed because they’ll have been placed elsewhere by then. It leads to dealing with who’s leftover (not always bad mind) or even having to start the search all over again.

Never mind the frustration recruiters get (bearing in mind most of us work for free till you actually hire someone) but the lack of communication means we can’t let the candidates know where they stand. Even to tell us there’s no news is still useful and gives us something to update with.

Of course I’m aware there are many internal or external changes that can alter timelines or cancel a need altogether, but at least let us know so we can protect your brand and keep everyone concerned in the loop with what’s happening. It’s the same for any other service. If you’re kept up to date even to say your product or service isn’t ready, you’re that much more satisfied compared to being left in limbo.

If a candidate mucked around with their availability to interview I’m sure there’s a chance they’d go on the naughty list of people to avoid for future hires. Similarly, if a client provides a poor hiring experience there’s a good chance the candidates involved will want to avoid any further developments (short term or long term) with that company, especially whilst we’re in a market where there are plenty of opportunities to choose from. Worse still, they may even be put off your brand (as a consumer in the real world) and tell their network about their experience.

If you find a profile you like, do what you can to get through their interview process as quickly as possible. If someone’s away then see who else you can get to cover and give as valuable an opinion. If possible, don’t just wait for them to get back from holiday in 2 weeks time. The candidate will either not be available by then or they’ll at least be at 2nd or final stage somewhere else.

I’ve also had clients who’ve been desperate for the right hire, then find someone they like, but can’t at least do a 1st stage telephone interview for half an hour that one afternoon the candidate’s free (bearing in mind lots of the best candidates are in full-time jobs whilst looking for something new) because of reasons I can’t help but think don’t justify the delay sometimes. If you want the best guys you’re really going to have to make the effort and be flexible not to mention think of the potential long term time you’ll lose if you don’t sacrifice some time short term. Don’t be too quick to just ask for a later slot if there’s a chance you can make the current one happen.

There are some good recruiters out there, trying to secure the most suitable talent and protect their client’s brand…. but you need to listen to them and not assume that we are pushing for things to happen because we are greedy salesmen trying to line our pockets. Good recruiters think about relationships long term and genuinely have the client and candidate’s best interests at the heart of what they do in order to secure that future.

At the same time, as recruiters, it’s all well and good moaning about clients who don’t provide us with feedback on CVs, interviews etc for a day, a week or a month – but have we communicated what we deem to be acceptable in terms of timing over feedback during the initial brief? If not, we can’t assume a client to know what our expectations are.

We’ll often ask a client how quickly they expect CVs to be submitted, often 24 hours for freelance or 72 hours to a week for a permanent role – so a good recruiter worth their salt should be educating clients that service levels work two ways and our expectations are that they work to those same deadlines.

Most importantly, don’t forget, we’re all potential users/customers at the end of the day! Communication is key. Whether you’re dealing with a middle man or not, ensure the people who want to work with you keep that feeling in mind whatever the final outcome.

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