Many companies are now facing the challenge of having to fill open positions quickly while ensuring that the quality of the new hires is high enough and they’re a good fit for the organization. With such a tight labor market, companies must resort to unusual sources for candidates—including their own customers. This solution has become increasingly popular as it only makes sense to hire people who already love the brand and feel personally connected to it.
So, don’t think of your best customers as a source of income only because they purchase your products or use your services. If you turn them into employees, they can help you improve your business in various ways.
First, your customers are already familiar with your business and like your product or service: this not only ensures that they’ll be enthusiastic employees, but it may also mean that they’ll require less training, which will in turn result in quicker productivity. Moreover, because your customers admire your company, they’re more likely to be in alignment with its values and mission, which will make them more committed workers and more convincing ambassadors of your brand.
Other than admiring your products (or services), your best customers have been using them for a while: their practical experience can help you figure out shortcomings you were not aware of, or it can suggest ways to improve the product and make it more appealing to the public. Plus, your best customers may have used your products in ways you have never thought about. Taking advantage of their creative insight and fresh ideas could hugely benefit and regenerate your marketing strategies.
A company that aims at success should be listening closely to its customers’ needs and feedback, and should try to satisfy them. Having an “insider” on your team allows you to take advantage of their point of view and tap into their understanding of customers’ thought process anytime you need to. If you hire your customers, they will allow you empathize with the general public, hence to better understand—and sometimes even foresee—their needs.
Plus, reaching out to your customers is easy and may decrease your time to hire. You can recruit customers through the same channels you’re using to advertise and sell your products; for instance, you can directly give customers a flyer advertising open positions at the moment of the purchase. And enticing your customers to join your company is also relatively easy as they will be attracted by the offer of a discount on the products you sell.
So, if you’re in need of filling key positions within your organization, think outside the box and look inside the pool of loyal customers who love your brand and have long been supporting it.
Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.
This article was written by Alex Cherici.
Alex Cherici is a PhD candidate in Chinese Linguistics at Indiana University. She’s currently writing her dissertation and teaching undergraduate courses. Before resuming her academic studies, she has worked as a language teacher and school manager for eight years.