Leadership Matters

Perspectives on the key issues impacting senior leaders and their organizations
November 27, 2018

It's a Candidate's Market Part 3: Blueprint of a Great Candidate Experience

It’s A Candidate’s Market Part 2: Making CPG Cool Again

We can all describe in detail how we felt when we encountered a great consumer experience. There are many that have served as an inspiration for me, but one less-expected example stands out.

St. Paul’s Chapel, which stands in the shadow of ground zero in Manhattan, was untouched by all that tumbled around it on Sept. 11, 2001. The church, which dates back to 1766, quickly became the hospitality center for the first responders who toiled in the rubble next door. They came in for food, drink, sleep, medical care, consolation, a hug.

And the abiding principle that shaped every action over the next nine months and beyond — advocated by the church’s chaplain, Rev. Lyndon Harris — was the notion of radical hospitality. Whatever the need, they would try to solve for it. The answer was “yes” before even knowing the request.

Over time, thousands of volunteers flocked to St. Paul’s to help. Physicians provided their services in one pew, chiropractors in another and grief counselors were stationed in every corner. Lawyers, judges, soccer moms (and even a search consultant or two) made coffee, offered blankets and pillows, and served more than half a million meals. No one counted all the hugs.

What emerged was a virtuous circle where people modeled the behavior, and everyone tried to emulate and outdo the other in service to one another. No one said “no.” They only thought about “how?” This is the essence of radical hospitality.

So, are you curious? What does your candidate experience communicate?

In Part 4, we dig into what a great candidate experience looks like.

Art Brown is a member of Spencer Stuart's Board, CEO, Consumer, Private Equity, and Marketing and Sales Officer practices. He concentrates on the consumer sector, advising on talent and leadership. Reach him via email and follow him on LinkedIn.