Boise State on Business by Gundars Kaupins: Touchpoint mapping helps polish recruiting process

GUNDARS KAUPINS, professor of management, College of Business and Economics at Boise State UniversitySeptember 10, 2013 

Gundars Kaupins

Sounds like great customer service — not. Basic Recruiting 101 says that any recruit coming to your door should be treated with attention, respect and courtesy. Eye contact, a handshake, a “how may I help you” and listening are elements of great personal contact.

That visit to room 426 may have been the fifth contact the recruit has had with your company. The first contact was the ad. The second was a desperate search for parking. The third was the nail-filing front desk receptionist who was not sure where room 426 was. The fourth was the mail clerk on the fourth floor who rudely said turn left, then right then left to get to room 426. The fifth was room 426.

Touchpoint mapping is about finding the critical interaction points with job candidates. That jobseeker in room 426 has even more interaction points with the company ahead if he or she is still interested: interviews with the recruiter or search committee, various email contacts indicating the status of the hiring process and requests for more information, tours of the facilities, contacts with key individuals, pamphlets and websites about the company, gifts, parking passes and meals. Application forms, background checks, credit checks, drug testing and other requirements also are critical interaction points.

In touchpoint mapping, companies find out what is the most effective contact, what can be improved, what key points are missing and how they can be sequenced. A way to do this analysis is to provide a questionnaire to successful job candidates or even recruits in the late stages of the recruiting process. Phone interviews and direct personal contact also are effective.

Through the surveys, the company finds out whether parking is difficult, the front desk does not know much, casual employees show some rudeness, the human resource manager needs better customer-service skills or company pamphlet and website are too wordy.

The next steps would be to try to find more parking or provide recruits with designated parking spots, train or replace the front desk worker, train employees on better customer service and make the company materials more readable. It is important to follow up to see if the changes are successful.

Along with touchpoint mapping, there are various popular metrics that can be used to see how effective your recruiting has been. Cost per hire, average time it takes to hire an applicant and how many applicants, company visits, job offers, and hires each advertising method yields are among many ways to analyze recruiting in the short term. Benchmarking these statistics with the best practices of related companies would be helpful.

Don’t forget the long term. One scenario: That recruit who got the bad treatment in room 426 was interested in your company after you advertised in the bottom-feeder job website, and your company certainly got a bottom-feeder because that recruit-turned-employee ended up embezzling thousands of dollars from your company. In the long term, it would be best to measure the performance of hires, turnover and absenteeism.

In summary, touchpoint mapping, short-term metrics and long-term metrics can help companies improve their recruiting efforts as long as they learn from the measures and make appropriate changes.

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gkaupins@boisestate.edu

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