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CX Talent execs discuss employer demand and what top candidates really want

360 Magazine 
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CX Talent execs discuss employer demand and what top candidates really want

Despite the ongoing challenges brought on by COVID-19, the demand for customer experience professionals with multi-sector expertise should be able to expect a healthy job market and the prospect of a long-term career progression, according to the founding directors of CX Talent Ltd.

Based in the U.K., CX Talent is a specialized recruitment firm but acts independently,  with key values that include complete transparency and empathy in helping firms find the best hires for specific roles.

Beyond standard recruiting services, the company also focuses on educating the wider market, from a “What Is CX” backgrounder on its home page to a recent blog post that looks at what CX job candidates really want (besides money).

Economic uncertainty amid the pandemic might have been expected to see organizations pull back on CX hiring, but so far there’s been very little change in terms of demand, according to Kate Baird, one of the firm’s two founding directors.

Baird, left, with van Riemsdijk of CX Talent Ltd.

“People have realized they can operate in a pandemic. That actually creates an even greater need to make sure customers are better served,” she told 360 Magazine.

Not surprisingly, Baird said tech has been among the biggest sectors in terms of making specific CX hires. Some of these are described as customer success roles, or user experience design. Generally speaking, roles have been more at the manager level, she added, perhaps suggesting a focus on hands-on execution of a strategy.

This lack of consistency in CX role definition is probably to be expected, and speaks to the need for specialized recruiting expertise, suggested Jo van Riemsdijk, who also leads CX Talent as a director.

“Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to standardize a customer experience manager job description?” she said. “The reality is every company’s a different point on their own customer journey.”

This is in part why CX Talent focuses on developing a network of contacts who may be interested in a new opportunity at any given time, van Baird explained. It’s a relationship-focused model that looks beyond placing someone but potentially assisting them on moving up the ladder.

“They may start as data analyst or insight manager, become CX manager and a then become a head of CX and insights. There’s quite a good career progression in CX,” van Riemsdijk added.

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Part of the way talent is being developed is informed by where CX roles report into today, the recruiters said. This could be the marketing department and the CMO in some cases, while others have CX jobs in more operational areas where the COO is making the hire.

Sectoral specialization can be helpful in regulated industries such as finance, meanwhile, but in others an ability to move from sector to sector can let candidates bring in new expertise, ideas and perspectives for solving problems.

Most critical for any employer looking for CX talent right now is a desire to make meaningful changes and to see them through, even if it doesn’t lead to an immediate bottom line impact. And though the employee experience is important for any staff member, CX Talent believes it’s critical for those in a CX job.

“Candidates can see through if they really mean it, or if they’re just paying lip service,”  van Riemsdijk said. “They want an employer who genuinely gets it and wants to make a real difference for the customer.”

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