I recently joined FreshMinds and the recruitment industry as Head of Select after ten years in different areas of the corporate world and six as business owner. I have a lot of sector experience in travel and tourism which is as dynamic and fast-moving a sector as recruitment consultancy.
Both industries seem to be populated by a myriad of micro and small enterprises as well as large companies (think Tui, Hilton and Thomas Cook in travel, Reed, Hays and Michael Page in Recruitment). This can have an impact on the customer experience in both areas - you can feel insecure with a small operator or not get good value with a larger one. Working across the travel and tourism industry I encountered many enthusiastic and professional operators, who were striving to deliver excellence and add value to their customers, whether they were booking a low cost all-inclusive week in the Balearic islands or a high value and high margin incentive week for top-billing sales staff. Whatever they were selling, customer service was absolutely paramount.
Excellence in recruitment is based on similar foundations. Since joining FreshMinds I have been greatly impressed with the superior customer service that the team offers to both candidates and clients and with the passion and enthusiasm with which briefs are taken on board and fulfilled. Once again, it is all about engaging with the customers and understanding their needs; personalising the service to meet and exceed individual expectations; saving time and money by focusing on and delivering clear expertise, rather than being all things to all people. It is also about owning the candidates’ network by networking with the top-talent and making your brand a leader in the areas you are recruiting for.
Ultimately, whether we are talking travel or recruitment, these are service industries. People buy from people and will do business with individuals they like, who will deliver on their promises. FreshMinds has long understood this and is quickly achieving ‘category breaker’ status. As for me, if my travel and tourism experience is anything to go by, the recruitment industry might provide just as many happy and fulfilling opportunities.
Alessandra Alonso is Head of Select at FreshMinds Talent