The Link Between Customer and Employee Experience (and why I joined C Space)

I recently became a member of the C Space team. A big reason why I got excited about the company and was happy to accept an offer after several rounds of interviews was a little flash of brilliance that the talent acquisition team delivered at the very outset of my employee journey.

Peter Russell

Strategic Accounts Director at C Space

Much like customer experience, these types of memorable employee experiences are rare, especially at that initial recruiting stage. In a prior job, I worked with large global companies looking for international graduate business talent. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly from recruiters, even from top brands.

Why aren’t these types of employee experiences, and for that matter customer experiences, more commonplace? And what made this one at C Space stand out?

I can think of two reasons for the first question. The first comes from Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger (and a terrific President of Babson while I was a student there). He points out that despite all the evidence that companies achieve out-sized returns when they fully focus on all three members of the ”service trifecta” (i.e. customers, employees, and shareholders), most only pay attention to one. (Hint: it isn’t the customer and it isn’t the employee.)

Second reason is that delivering quality employee and customer experiences isn’t easy, and really, it’s the same skillset. Yes, you need to be omni-channel and understand the journey, but those are done right when one party takes the time to listen, empathize, understand, and trust the other. Then, magic happens. You have the space to co-create unique and valuable possibilities with and for each other. This is true whether it’s between support and customer, interviewer and interviewee, leadership and staff, or engineer and app user.

It’s no surprise, then, that a company specializing in customer centricity would come up with this brilliant little employee experience. Here’s what happened:

A former colleague and friend thought I’d be a good fit for the account team. Instead of asking for my resume, she invited me to an event. I was intrigued, RSVP’d, and showed up to a warm crowd the following week.

About 20 invitees and several C Space staff carried a lively discussion from the bar to tables where we broke into small groups for several round robin-style discussions. Employees shared anything and everything about themselves and the company, from the latest research to its history to the challenges and opportunities in the marketplace.

As first impressions go, it was unexpected, honest, dynamic, and fun. A great twist on the recruitment process, which is typically a chest-thumping affair. In terms of building trust and mutual interest, it worked. Really, though, it’s the story of how this moment came to be, the value it created, and the speed in which it was executed that reflects how the event team lived up to its brand’s promise.

With growth on the horizon, C Space needed to hire fast. But the talent acquisition team wasn’t finding people with the right combination of skills and cultural fit from its typical recruitment channels. They sat down to brainstorm with a core group of stakeholders, including members of the sales and account teams, marketing, and the President of C Space. In two short weeks, they had recruited their colleagues to invite potential candidates from their network, and pulled off the fun and engaging evening. In three hours (and over a glass of wine), C Space vetted several high quality candidates. Within a few weeks, I started with two other terrific new team members who had also attended. Three hires from one event… not a bad batting average.

The team behind the event not only created value and practiced what they preach, but they also precisely reflected several of the core values of the organization. They opened up and listened to each other and the needs of the organization. They said “I got this,” and pulled off a great event in record time. It left a mark on me and the other candidates.

That’s the kind of team and the kind of experience I can get behind, and it’s why I am excited to be a part of the team here at C Space.

***

Peter is a Strategic Accounts Director at C Space. Interested in joining the team? Visit our Careers page.

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