At the start of January we held a half day strategy session to set out the key priorities for Mason Alexander for the year head. The three key priorities we set out were:
Becoming a data centric organisation to drive everything that we do while ensuring individualisation.
As we set about to grow and expand – ensuring that we communicate as a team to continue to deliver exceptional customer service.
3. Customer Experience
Every service organisation will claim to provide the “best” or “market leading” customer service – we want to measure it, to prove that Mason Alexander is the best.
It is that third element that we want to share more insights with you. Since January we have set out to measure the customer feedback through “Candidate Experience Surveys”. For every candidate that goes to an interview with a client of Mason Alexander, we have surveyed them on a number of key items:
Their experience of the process with the MA representative from beginning to end
Their experience of the client side process, the people they engaged with and the interview process
Their likelihood to recommend Mason Alexander – an NPS
As a business, we have long taken pride in the quality of the service that is delivered by our team – and we still do! But some of the results from January’s surveys provided some clear learnings for us to ensure that complacency around our service delivery never sets in – a relentless focus on ensuring consistent levels of service every single time.
The biggest driver of this was feedback – consistent communication with the candidates throughout the process and in particular post interview. It was also clear that we had work to do with our clients, not only were our candidates marking us down on post interview feedback, they felt that adequate feedback was not coming through from our clients. It’s imperative for companies to provide feedback as the whole experience is essential for hiring, not just for an individual role that’s open at a point in time but for all future hires. Everyone likes to talk, to share experiences and even more now is going online through reviews and social posts, the last thing you want is your company’s hard earned reputation let down by a simple task of providing feedback.
As the conduit between a candidate and a hiring company, recruiters have a responsibility to ensure that that candidates receive, at the very least, an adequate level of interview feedback. Candidates can spend hours preparing for an interview, feedback, constructive or otherwise, should always be given. We have exceptional clients at MA but some of them do not have the formalised and disciplined structures that would result in quality candidate feedback being provided and we recognise our responsibility in getting that for our candidates and working with and helping our Clients deliver it.
When hiring and working with a recruitment partner, it’s important for both sides to remember that it is a two way street and we wanted to make sure we captured that when hearing from candidates. How was the experience on the client side. Many recruitment firm/client relationships are assessed purely on the conversion metrics such as candidates interviewed to placement. How can this capture critical questions such as the influence of interviews, demonstration of culture and strength feedback and engagement?
We are setting out to supplement the basics of the relationship with qualitative and industry benchmarked insights. Almost 80% of our clients are at or above the average rating for client side experience – testament to the quality of clients that we work with.
As part of our surveys we request a likelihood to recommend MA or an NPS – Net Promoter Score. At a very high level, an NPS is broken down as:
Promoter – 9 and 10 ratings
Passives – 7 and ratings
Detractors – 6 or below rating
i.e. 0 is very unlikely to recommend and 10 is very likely. In order to get to your result, Passives are ignored and the percentage number of Detractors is deducted from the percentage number of Promoters.
In January, our NPS score was 42. While its generally considered that a number in excess of 30 is good, 50+ is considered excellent and we were determined to ensure we were in the 50+ category as a minimum.
It has been pleasing to see our NPS continue to rise over the past few months and in April our overall NPS had risen to 62.
Our team are listening to and learning from our candidates and it shows. To give you a flavour of how we are benchmarking our NPS internally the below illustrates our position. It’s important to call out that we realise we are not yet of the scale of Apple, so while these might not be completely like-for-like, we’re committed to a strong NPS result.
In short, we have only just begun on direct follow up engagement with the people that we work with. We are continuing to strive to ensure that our NPS remains consistently above 50 every month and ultimately over time.
As Niamh Cornally joins the team as Client Partnerships Director, our focus will also grow to ensure we are capturing client side opinion but importantly, that we begin to share the knowledge and feedback we are getting from candidates on their interview processes and how we can work together to ensure that client branding and reputation is not being let down by hiring and interview processes. The days of assessing client/agency relationship simply on the conversion metrics are over.