To an outsider, their perception of your company is the sum of their interactions with you, your staff and word of mouth. Every point of contact between a candidate and a client is a potential magical moment…or another opportunity lost.
I experienced one of these special ‘wow’ moments on a trip to Pittsburgh (highly recommended sites including The Andy Warhol Museum and tailgating parties at the Steelers game).
It was a lunch visit to a Pimanti Brothers restaurant. They’re a fixture of Pittsburgh in serving French fries with, as well as in, their sandwiches. The place was hopping and the lunch showed up late and a bit cold. It wasn’t the server’s fault, but we let her know. (It may be just me, but I sincerely feel it’s worthwhile making a service-based company aware of your pleasure or displeasure. This is their livelihood!)
We figured that our complaint would be duly noted and forgotten. To our surprise, a few minutes later a young manager (no more than 27 or 28) came by the table. He bent down to so he was at eye level with us, and let us know how sorry he was about the service. He then proceeded to ‘comp’ us the entire meal for four of us. That was about $85 US worth of food and drink.
Now, I’ve been to some very fancy restaurants and the most I’ve ever been comp’d has been a free dessert or an aperitif. The management of this organization had clearly provided carte blanche flexibility to their people to go above and beyond the call of duty to make it right with their customers… no questions asked.
Well, let me tell you that I’ve told this story to literally dozens of people and you know for a fact, that when they go to Pittsburgh, and are looking for a lunch place, they’ll be going to the Pimenti Brothers.
Technology companies aren’t service organizations like a restaurant. They do, however, interact with scores/hundreds of prospective brand ambassadors through their recruiting process. Their ‘Moments of Truth’ occur when prospective candidates come in contact with their firm through a resume submitted, a phone call made/or received, an interview carried out or an offer proffered or refused.
So what would a Pimenti Brother ‘Moment of Truth’ look like to an outsider?
When a candidate saw a job description it was clear and concise. It had an overview of the company, how long it had been in business, how many people it has and what awards or significant accomplishments it had. It included a list of must have and nice to have skills and also what deliverables were expected in the first six months and one year on the job. What it didn’t include was a laundry list of skills that only a superman would be able to respond to.
When he/she sent in a resume they got an email back saying something like this:
‘Thanks so much for forwarding your resume to us. As you can imagine we get a lot of interest in the jobs that are posted but, by necessity, we’ll only be able to respond to those that we feel are a strong fit to the role.
That being said, we are committed to hiring great people at any time. We’ll keep your resume on file and will be in touch with you if your skills match other roles which we feel potentially might be better suited to your background.
We really appreciate your interest in (company name here).
When someone contacted you to do a phone screen, they actually sounded excited about the company and what they do. They thanked you for taking the time to have the conversation. They came across as knowledgeable about the industry and truly interested in what was important to you as a potential employee.
When you were called in for an interview, the office was bright. It had testimonials on the wall and up-to-date magazines, rather than ones from four months ago. What if the receptionist greeted you by name and mentioned that the interviewer was excited about meeting with you?
The interview was professional and respectful. You were told the process and timelines for next steps. The interviewer had obviously read your resume and the information from the phone screen had obviously been passed on to the interview. The second interviewer that day didn’t ask the same questions but delved into a different part of your background.
The timelines provided for the next steps were actually adhered to, and the process moved along as described.
After you had been told you were not chosen, they gave you feedback from the interview that could actually help you do better for your next interview.
The recruiter who you had spoken to in the beginning called you a week later and asked how your experience was and if there was anything they could have done better, even considering the fact that you weren’t chosen.
Would you be willing to mention that company to other candidates? Would you be willing to pass referrals on to that organization because of the great way you were treated?
As an organization, by doing what you said you were going to do you’re in the top 20 percentile of companies hiring talent. By going above and beyond the call of duty, you’re in the top 20% of the 20%. That’s Pimenti Brother Territory!