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How’s Your On-Boarding Brand?

September 22, 2017 Veronica Chimney

After the housing bubble burst, Mary Beth found herself without a job for the first time in 27 years.  She had worked for a family owned company for the last 11 years as Assistant Office Manager.  Unfortunately for Mary Beth, this family owned business built moderately priced custom homes and saw their market reduced due to tightening of mortgage underwriting.  Only family members’ jobs were retained as the company cut back to weather it through the market downturn.

Traumatized by the abrupt loss of her stable job, Mary Beth went to the online job boards and applied with a couple of businesses hoping that something would materialize quickly.  To her relief she was immediately contacted by a financial services company interviewing for positions within their internal call center.

Even though Mary Beth felt that she was probably over-qualified for the position, she went to the interview in her best business attire with resume in hand.  She hoped that her considerable skills and professionalism would be readily apparent and she would be directed to a management level job.

She arrived at the appointed time to find a very busy receptionist who waved Mary Beth to a sign in sheet as she handled a phone call.  After signing her name, Mary Beth located a chair and sat.  She sat, and sat, and sat.  Finally, she was directed to a small room to take several pre-hire assessments.  Even though she was nervous, Mary Beth felt confident that she had scored within an acceptable range to proceed to the interview.  She returned to the same chair and sat, and sat, and sat — all the while, getting more anxious about her test scores.

After more than 30 minutes a young man with a pony tail arrived to lead Mary Beth to a work cubicle.  Mary Beth wondered if this was the interview or if she was going to learn about her test scores.  Handing the young man her resume, Mary Beth was disappointed to see him lay it down on the table without so much as a cursory review.  He didn’t introduce himself but immediately launched into a series of interview questions.  Without ever looking her in the eye, Mary Beth quickly went through an interview session of no more than six questions.  The only emotion she seemed to get from the interviewer was when he asked her about her availability to work nights and week-ends.

He said something about training and sent her to HR to finish the rest of the paperwork.  Mary Beth was not totally sure but thought that she had been offered a job – even though she didn’t know what the job was or when she was expected to start.  However, she was starting to get confident that she had passed her tests.

Surprised, she discovered from the HR Assistant that she was actually starting her new job the very next day. Unfortunately, the HR Assistant couldn’t explain exactly what the job was, other than it involved a telephone.   She told Mary Beth to ask her trainer to explain the job to her.

So, Mary Beth was hired and the financial services company would begin investing in her development.  She still wasn’t sure what she was hired to do and based on this questionable experience wondered how secure this job would be.  She would definitely continue looking for a “real” job.

If this scenario is making you feel uncomfortable you may be one of many in the customer engagement industry that has a “branding” problem with your hiring process.  No doubt that Mary Beth would have been the type of employee you would want on your staff – good work history, professional and mature, desiring career advancement.  However, based on her initial experience would anyone be surprised if she left as soon as she found another job?

Here are some easy tips to improve your company’s brand with applicants going through the hiring and on-boarding process:

  • Train your receptionists on how to greet visitors and job applicants. They should understand how valuable each job applicant is to the company.  Every candidate who interacts with your company should walk away with a positive story to tell – even if they didn’t get the job.  Word of mouth branding is crucial – make it a good story!
  • Make sure that everyone in the process has a written description of the job you are hiring to fill. From the receptionist through to the HR Assistant, each individual who interacts with job applicants should be able to explain the job.
  • Include the basics – training start time, date, location and length of training. What would you want to know before accepting a job?
  • Only certified interviewers should be allowed to interview candidates.  Certification programs vary but usually include classroom, observation, and demonstration.
  • Make sure that there is good communication with those who are conducting interviews. Pulling an operations leader off the busy production floor to conduct an interview at the last minute could result in a poorly executed interview.

Conducting a post hire survey is a great way to assess the impression your company is giving to job candidates.  This feedback will help you identify any gaps in your process.

Whether you are located in a major metropolitan city or a smaller more rural town, you are spending money to generate applicants.  Protect your resources by shoring up your on-boarding processes and establishing a positive brand with job candidates.

This blog was written by Veronica Chimney for Etech Global Services. If you would like to learn more about Etech and how to develop a socially enabled call center, please contact us at info@etechgs.com.

Veronica Chimney

Veronica Chimney is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and a 20 year veteran of the contact center/BPO industry. Veronica leads the global HR team at Etech to reinforce a strong company culture. She is responsible for global labor relations, employee engagement, leadership development programs, benefits, diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, and human resource strategies that support the achievement of Etech’s business goals and objectives. Veronica is an active member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Management.