EmployStream - What the Staffing Industry can learn from ecommerce

Think of the last time you bought a product online from a certain brand. What made the experience memorable for you? Did you walk away having a positive view of the company? This entire process is at the core of the e-commerce model—a system that has be designed to bring in sales since before most Millennials were even out of diapers.

E-commerce, the activity of buying or selling online, has focused on providing a positive shopping experience for customers to entice them to buy. And for Millennials, this model is working. I almost exclusively shop online, and visiting an in-person store happens so rarely that I can’t tell you the last time I stepped foot in a mall. The great shopping journeys that Millennials are experiencing online is leading to increased sales and loyal customers for those companies offering a positive user experience, and it’s impacting consumers’ expectations of other companies, too.

Why not apply this successful model to your staffing process? Here is what you can learn from e-commerce to drive results for your firm.

Brand Awareness

Everyone has their favorite brands for many reasons. Personally, I love Dunkin Donuts because I enjoy their coffee and I like the atmosphere, but above all, it’s a recognizable brand. E-commerce is successful because the best companies do an amazing job becoming messengers of their mission in order to secure sales. By unifying your messaging and focusing on information transparency, you can also turn candidates into brand ambassadors for your company. You want your talent at the end of their hiring experience to recommend it to a friend and talk highly of your company, so don’t waste this opportunity to build good brand reputation.

A 2017 Forbes article explained that the “best brands are those who solve consumer problems before consumers even know they have them.” Millennials want to be able to find important things like applications, mission statements and background information regarding your company at the swipe of their fingers. Make it easy on them and set up your online channels in a user friendly-way, ensuring they can understand and relate to your company easily.

The Journey 

More often than not, when hearing about candidate journey stories from my friends or even experiencing them myself, there is a recurring theme. The people in charge of hiring simply aren’t catering to the Millennial mindset or even utilizing technology in a productive way. For any business—especially staffing—that is customer facing, the candidate journey needs to be carefully designed throughout all recruitment and hiring processes. If you ignore the importance of that journey, you’re simply going to lose out on working with digital-savvy Millennials.

By ensuring your applicants’ discovery, attraction and application phases are engaging and user friendly, you also ensure your talent will stick around. Think of your favorite brand or company: There is a reason you come back time and time again for the same product. If the experience is streamlined, you will continue the process over and over. By integrating engagement—something companies with strong e-commerce value highly—you will win over your talent every time.


The opportunity to give and receive feedback easily is one thing Millennials value about ecommerce, having grown up in the digital age. 84 percent of customers reported being either likely or very likely to do business with a company if it’s representatives  responded via phone in less than a minute, according to a Salesforce Desk infographic. When companies make their customers feel like they are a valued part of the team through constant communication, the consumer is more likely to trust the brand.

In staffing, channel this desire for feedback into positive energy by meeting your talent where they are. The importance of using email communication and social media channels, as well as onboarding software, to keep your talent updated every step of the way is a huge takeaway from e-commerce. In this digital age, we MIllennials don’t want to wait around for slow feedback. We crave that company-to-customer communication… If we don’t get it from you, we will move on.

By taking tips from the e-commerce industry, the staffing industry’s reputation and ratings among customers can be salvaged. Rethink these three key areas in your hiring process and your company will be on its way to creating an amazing candidate experience for your talent. We can help! Take a tour of our platform to learn more about integrating engagement into your process.