By: Bobby Baker, VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, Corvirtus, BLLA Supplier Member
In order for a brand to come alive in the eyes of customers, two primary factors come into play when it comes to hiring: 1) employees working in the business must be able to competently perform within their functional roles, and 2) the roles employees fill must be crafted to deliver the intended brand. Most businesses concentrate predominately on the first factor; that is, most businesses ensure that their employees can perform their jobs competently. Unfortunately, far fewer businesses understand that such functional competence, by itself, is simply not enough to create a truly memorable and resonating experience with customers.
Employees (and managers) must be both competent and brand-focused. Of course, it is up to the leaders in the business to establish a brand-focused culture and to create overt processes and procedures supportive of the brand. All too often, an essential procedure that is neglected when it comes to this leadership responsibility is hiring. Most businesses are simply not brand-focused when they hire new employees and managers. Predominantly, businesses focus solely on functional job performance. This is especially true when it comes to the use of hiring tools, particularly assessments. In fact, the majority of hiring assessments found in place today are based on overt knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics intended to predict a job candidate’s potential for functional job performance success.
Functional competence, on the part of a business’s employees and managers, is absolutely critical to long-term success. However, a quarter of a century worth of applied experience partnering with successful brand-focused companies has taught us that functional competence is not the only factor critical to success, especially when it comes to authentic brand delivery. A business actually hires its customer’s experience when it hires the people who deliver it. Employee attributes and behaviors should always be considered within the context of the business’s intended brand. More specifically, a business’s hiring processes should include assessing job candidates for their brand delivery potential on top of functional competence. Employees need to be engaged, positive and receptive while managers need to be direct, open and caring. Many, if not most businesses fall short in hiring these types of people (which is almost immediately recognized by customers).
Creating a remarkable customer experience is how today’s best-in-class companies differentiate themselves from their competition. In order to create such remarkable customer experiences, businesses must start by hiring the right people to deliver them.