The Competitive Landscape

The Competitive Landscape

Learning & Development can be guilty of being too tech focussed. Although if you look at the way HR Tech market has developed over the last couple of years you’d be forgiven for thinking that HR is also now obsessed with technology. In the HR Technology Market 2019 ‘Disruption Ahead’ by Josh Bersin, you can see just how much technology is impacting every aspect of the employee lifecycle, with so many solutions available, many organisations are struggling with ‘technology fatigue’.

It’s prompted me to think about technology and what if we didn’t have the latest and greatest technology solutions in place. This tweet caught my eye this with by Neil Morrison.


I’ve written recently about L&D being slow to adapt and the brand of your team and whilst technology has a role to play undoubtedly, one thing that doesn’t require an API or a plugin or huge investment and sign off - is a smile. OK ‘cheese alert’ is sounding now but bear with me.

OK not just a smile but good, wholesome, friendly, customer service. Making people feel like human beings, making them feel welcome, respected and included and helping them when they need help and supporting them when they are at that point of need.

It’s putting the customer first rather than process and the customer first before tech. yes tech can improve some processes but it should NEVER be the sole focus and a magic bullet. In a recent post I talk about data and analytics and asking the right questions. Again, this is part of providing a good service, putting the customer first. Too many teams hide behind technology and processes and as Neils’ tweet alludes to, fail at the basics in treating people like people rather than a number or a service ticket or ‘talent’ or a candidate or just an employee.

Recruitment in general, do seem to have developed a reputation over the years as being a little bit heartless and the ‘war for talent’ seems to be raging still. Thinking about the brand of your recruitment team could be a useful exercise – getting feedback from those who aren’t successful as well those that are, could open your eyes to the experience people are getting from your ‘talent’ team. I imagine many people who apply for a job in organisations don’t hear anything back at all.

The practices from recruitment teams coupled with real challenges in attracting and keeping the right people has shifted to a candidate driven market, meaning that employers have to work harder than ever to attract and retain their employees. Gone are the days when potential employees will take what’s on offer first time round and now consider many other things, with salary no longer being the most important thing, Instead, things like a sense of purpose and flexibility being considered more important. Organisations need to adapt, but not just in recruitment across the whole employee lifecycle and I think in order to adapt we need to look at the competitive landscape.

Look outside of our own teams, departments and industries to truly see who is adapting, evolving and providing the best service and experiences.

These experiences as a consumers, make us spend more money, buying goods and services whether it’s ordering online and fast delivery, great customer service in store, dealing with a complaint quickly and effectively, interacting on social media, sales people who genuinely want you to get the right product not necessarily their products. The competitive landscape is important to keep your eye on and whilst the focus here in on ‘consumers’, I genuinely believe the principles here need to apply to our internal thinking and how we approach delivering the services from HR and L&D to create great employee experiences.

You can look at what forward thinking organisations are doing in terms of delivering great customer experiences here

Just remember it’s not all about the technology.

I’d love you to look through the list and think about other organisations that are providing great experiences.

What can we learn from them, how can we apply them to what we do and how we do it?

What organisations have you experienced great service from recently and remembered the experience?

Let’s see if we can share some ideas  

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to create those connections and experiences whether there are original or ‘borrowed’ and developed from somewhere else.

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Ady Howes - Community Manager, DPG

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  • From a candidate journey perspective, I'm job hunting at the moment and one company has been head and shoulders above the rest so far, in the end I didn't get the position but they ended up putting the whole process on hold for the time being. However, their communication throughout was the best, I received an email or telephone call when they said I would, and even updates on where they were in the process outside of that, when I went for the interview the entire team were welcoming and friendly, and I was left with a great impression of the company (and they don't have an HR person, that's the role I interviewed for, lol).There was one person who was the dedicated point of contact (with name, position in the company, email address and mobile number provided) throughout the process, which I thought was amazing, because regardless of the outcome relationships were being built from the get-go and the successful candidate would already be well on the way to having a familiar face to link in with when starting with the organisation.

    They offered feedback at each stage, and very much gave the impression that this is a company that I would really like to work for, why? I think because of the excellent communication throughout, which suggests that communication within the company is spot on.

    The thing that really irritates me is when you take the time to apply for a position and you don't even receive an acknowledgement, even an automated email to say that they've received your application would be better than silence!! 

    I think, yes automation has its place, but key relationships still need to be built in order for an organisation to run effectively, I hate it when you telephone somewhere and you've got to go through about 6 different menu's before you get to speak to a human being, or they make you listen to a blurb about where to find information on a website... NO, I JUST WANT TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE PLEASE, I'VE ALREADY LOOKED AT YOUR WEBSITE AND CAN'T FIND WHAT I NEED WHICH IS WHY I'M CALLING IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    I'm not sure we need techniques, theories or formulas though, I think we need to just make the connection that what irritates us or puts us off a company either as a potential team member or as a potential customer, probably irritates others too, so using our own experiences is a good first step, and asking ourselves "if I was in the other person's shoes, what would I expect".

    I am using all of this constructively though, and from a job hunting perspective have started to build an ideal candidate journey based on my own experiences.

    Not sure if this is the kind of feedback you were looking for, but hope it helps!


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