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Innovation is important.

Innovation is necessary.

Without innovation, a company is almost certainly doomed to compete primarily on price.

However, innovation is also overrated.

Innovation is overrated because many companies, in my experience, aren’t even getting the basics right.

Qantas is a classic case in point.

Yesterday, the announcement of the annual Choice Shonky Awards saw Qantas top this year’s list of worst products and services.

As The New Daily reported: 

“Choice said Qantas had disappointed its customers on almost every front: Unusable flight credits, delayed flights, lost baggage and endless call wait times. 

“If there was ever a company that appeared to deliberately be going out of its way to win a Shonky Award, it’s Qantas,” Choice travel expert Jodi Bird said. 

Choice said that Qantas has made it difficult and confusing for its customers to use flight credits for cancelled travel. 

And if you want to reach Qantas by phone, forget about it. 

Research conducted by Choice showed customers were, on average, waiting on hold for 21 minutes before their calls were even answered, with some waiting on hold for up to 50 minutes.”

Yes, earlier this year, Qantas was soaking up resources reannouncing their Perth to London direct flight.

When thousands of loyal passengers can’t even count on the airline to depart on time and arrive at the destination, complete with their luggage, what’s the point of reannouncing a (not really) new route?

There are a myriad of vendors pushing their innovations to recruitment agency owners and executives, covering bots, assessment and payroll technologies, ATS/CRMs, metrics and the list goes on.

Before significant resources are invested in any of these things I would respectfully request these leaders undertake an audit of the following areas, and what to look for, to ensure the basics of their agency’s operations are effective.

  1. Sourcing: Are your recruiters, primarily, relying on a cold candidate approach similar to “You look great for a job I am recruiting. Let me know your number so I can call you to discuss”?
  2. Phone screening: Do your recruiters know the most important motivation and assessment questions to ask or are they simply asking the candidate to “Tell me a bit about your current role”?
  3. Interviewing: Are your recruiters skilled at asking difficult, but necessary, interview questions?
  4. Database compliance: Are your recruiters consistently entering into the database all the interactions they have with candidates, clients and prospects?
  5. Terms of business: Can each of your recruiters accurately and immediately recite the key points of your company’s terms and conditions of business, when required (and also effectively respond to requests for discounts)? 

The upside available in each of the above areas is, almost certainly, significantly greater than the upside (and at far less cost) than the investment of time and money required for any shiny ‘innovation’ that the vendor’s salesperson is currently pitching to you.

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