We all have guests or are guests at one time or another. We should share a mutual feeling that our clients and guests are #1 and should be treated with friendly hospitality, professionalism and prompt attention.

When guests are made to feel unwelcome or are not attended to promptly, what is the result? They do not return, hence a negative reflection on both the respective department and the company as a whole. We must also remember that this guest experience can be shared by word of mouth. In reading the recent AMEX 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer, Compared to last year, on average consumers tell significantly more people about their customer service experiences, both good and bad. On average, they tell 15 people about their good experiences (up from 9 in 2011), and 24 people about their bad experiences (up from 16 in 2011).

Managers, Leaders and Human Resources professionals alike have another kind of ‘guest’ to serve. They are not looking for a product or service or value for price paid. They are looking for employment, a means in which to obtain all of the above. As ‘guests’ applicants should be treated just as any other guest or client of the company. They should be treated with friendly hospitality, professionalism and prompt attention. If prospective employees are not treated in this manner, you run the risk of losing your next star, dedicated employee or even senior leader. Just like guests will tell about their poor experiences, so do applicants. They will tell their friends about the lack of response from your company, lack of a returned phone call when promised or the length of time they waited for you to meet with them for their appointed time.

You may think there are plenty of applicants out there but the candidate with the skills and qualifications you are seeking may have just had a bad experience as your applicant and they just might tell their friend (that applicant with the skills and qualifications you are seeking) “Oh… you don’t want to work there…they don’t treat applicants very well they…so they probably don’t treat their employees any differently!”

So, when you get that opportunity to meet with an applicant that may well be your next employee, don’t view it as a burden or chore but think of that candidate just as seriously or importantly as you would that potential guest or client. After all, it is truly finding that special guest that will help you attend to your special guests and clients.