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  • Writer's pictureJosh Levine

Employees are the new customer.

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Who will win the war for talent after the Great Resignation dust settles? I've got a hunch: it will be the companies who invest in the acquisition and retention of employees with the same focus and intent they do customers. Much like the consumerization of enterprise software finally brought great design and function to corporate applications in the early 2000s, we are about to see a huge investment in (and jump in quality of) the design of the employee experience.

There's a number of implications I'll explore in the near future, but let's start with what this means for recruiting.


If you're on the front lines of hiring talent as a consultant or at a company, you know that candidates today look for more than pay and benefits. One of the most important of those? Clues that they will be treated as more than an asset. The Great Resignation has underscored this expectation. New data from the Pew Research Center reports that 50% of employees left organizations because they felt disrespected or weren't given opportunities to advance in their role.

It's a job seeker's market, and when employees have the power of choice, it takes more than money to land top talent. A lot more.


Leading brands like Airbnb, Apple, and others have conditioned us to expect excellent user experiences at every interaction. The result? Poorly designed services, whether online or IRL frustrate us. We know damn well it could be better. That includes the experience of looking for work.

Confronted with inconsistent communication, an unclear process, slow responses, and thread bare of information they want, digital natives will get frustrated at best, or at worst abandon the process entirely.

Ready to create a candidate experience as seamless as your product or service's UX? Start here.👇

1. Define Your Hierarchy of Talent Needs

I'm not just talking about 'pay'. If an organization wants to have any chance of landing their next hire, they need to have a compelling answer to each of the tiers on the hierarchy of talent needs: Package, Potential, People, Purpose, and Perception. These are the 5 P's and they are where we start when creating Employee Value Propositions for our clients. Learn how you can too, here.

2. Find Out What They Want

Now that you've defined your 5 P's it's time to get your candidate's attention. But which message do you start with? Learn what the type of people you are targeting most likely need from a job (or career). New university grads might likely want hands-on mentorship, mid-career subject matter experts might value flexibility. Research is one of the most powerful tools practitioners in the field of User Experience have brought to bear over the last two decades. Why not take a page out of their research notebook to make sure your pitch makes a mark?

3. Map That Journey

From brand awareness to 'offer signed,' look at your candidate's experience from start to finish. Journey mapping can be a powerful tool for understanding the steps someone has to take from their point of view. Where on their path will the person experience a moment of frustration you might be able to alleviate or a positive emotion on which you can capitalize?

No matter how you contact your ideal candidates to make your case, don't make it about your company, or the role -- make it about them. If you want to get someone's attention, understand who they are, what they want, and make it easy for them to say yes every step of the way.

Will it take time, energy, and money to create a compelling candidate experience? Definitely. Will you secure more of those talented employees? Also definitely.


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