The Employee Experience Starts With Your Hiring Process!
The Hiring Process Kick Starts the Employee Experience!
Consultants are telling us that the “employee experience” has a significant impact on an organization’s performance. They encourage us to make every opportunity to create a positive employee experience an organizational priority.
One of those opportunities is how the employee experiences an organization even before they become an employee – when they are a candidate going thru the hiring process. Anyone who has ever been a job candidate know first hand about the impressions that get created simply by how a company goes about finding, evaluating and selecting employees for hire. It’s definitely a first impression that sets the stage for the employee experiences to follow!
In this blog we’ll focus on the components of the hiring process that employees notice and care about most!
Getting Ready to Hire!
The getting ready to hire phase of the hiring process sets the stage for how job candidates (and your future employee) experiences the hiring process. I have to ask – are you doing the homework needed that not only lays the groundwork for a successful hire but will create a positive first impression with your future employee?
- Do you take the time to get clear on work content – what the employee will actually be doing on a daily basis? Have you explored the type of challenges they are likely to face? The dynamics of the team they are about to join? Do you know about upcoming changes in how work gets organized that they will impact the prospective employee sooner rather than later? If you’re simply dusting off an old or outdated job description, reading thru a list of job duties that may or may not describe the actual work, your lack of homework will be noticed by an astute job seeker.
- Do have a good understanding of what type of candidate will be the right fit for the job? The person who will enjoy the actual work, be good at, and get the necessary returns they need for their efforts?
Candidates who know you’ve done your homework, the work you’ve put into hiring right, will see value in their experience as a candidate, and look forward to becoming your employee!
How you approach the candidate marketplace – the messages you send about who you are when you write your job postings, how your recruiters talk to prospective candidates – all of that matters! If you’re thinking that the communication process is just an accurate regurgitation of a job description, or writing a job posting with the right key words, you would be wrong. While there will always be job candidates who only need a job title and a rate of pay to establish interest, serious candidates -your future employees – pay attention to the elements of your posting that uniquely speak to them on a personal level. .
Lesson? Job postings need to be written with your prospective candidate in mind….using words and information that connects with them in an up close and personal way. To kick start the right employee experience, take the time to identify what’s unique about your employee experience and message it wherever and however you can throughout the recruiting process.
While technology has reduced the application process to a few quick clicks, what happens after the candidate submits an application has a big impact on how they will ultimately view your hiring process and their impression of what it might be like to work for you as an employee. They’ll be looking at the fairness of your process, how well its organized and executed, how you communicate along the way, and ultimately how you make decisions.
- Do you take the time to clearly describe all the steps in your hiring process with each candidate?
- If you are using specialized assessment tools, do you explain why you use them and how they will factor into your ultimate hiring decision?
- Do you share the information you obtain in your pre employment exercises that might be useful to the candidate?
- Do you structure your interviews so that all candidates are asked the same questions?
- Do you keep candidates informed of how they are doing at each step in the process?
Making the Job Offer
When its time to extend an offer of employment, how does the employee you selected experience their interaction with you during the final conversations?
- Do you move quickly, no more than 2-3 days from the candidate’s final interview? (Data shows that the longer you wait to make the job offer, the less likely you are to get an acceptance.)
- Do you engage with the candidate on the terms of your offer – collaborating with them on the best possible package of pay and benefits you are authorized to provide?
- Do you make sure that as part of your offer you lay out your long term vision of how you would intend to help them develop new skills or use their talents in new scenarios once hired? Do you make a point of being both honest and optimistic about the opportunities they will have once they become an employee?
- Once an agreement is made, do you memorialize that agreement so that the employee knows you’re a company who avoids employee-employer miscues?
While in today’s marketplace getting a great candidate to accept your offer is a huge milestone, but when it comes to the employee experience it simply sets the stage for things to come. Think of it in football terms – once you get the “I accept” the ball is placed in the end zone with a 100 yards to go before they employee is actually up and running and assimilated into the work style of the company and your team. Each of the hashmarks on the field represent important milestones in that 100 yard journey.
Here’s some onboarding basics…..
- A personal connection between the hiring manager and the new employee – up close and personalized support during at least the first 90 days on the job. In larger teams, where the hiring manager can’t provide daily support, they can assign someone on the team to act as the new employee’s “sherpa” – making sure the new employee always has access to someone dedicated to their success.
- A training process that blends both learning and doing. Too many “read this manual”, “watch this video” can exhaust a new hire before they even get started. A training plan with an optimal mix between doing and learning is a must and managers need to be trained to stick to the plan.
- An onboarding plan with specific milestones – “I’d like you to be able to do ____________– by______________. Onboarding is not a one and done process – it’s a journey that works when there are important milestones along the way.
- At least one team event during the first week of hire to celebrate the new hire and welcome them to the group. Developing relationships with team members is a key component of a successful onboarding process.
- Scheduled conversations focused on feedback – both giving and receiving. Both the employee and their supervisor need a way to surface small challenges before they escalate to larger ones.
And Don’t Forget to Nurture the Talent You Didn’t Hire
The candidates you don’t hire – the ones in second place or the ones who aren’t a good fit for the specific job you’re trying to fill now – are candidates who might be perfect for another role in your company, or a better fit for your team after they’ve had 1 or 2 years experience elsewhere?
Creating a positive experience for the candidates you didn’t hire, is one of the first things you do when you’re trying to leverage your recruiting dollars.
- Make sure each candidate gets a chance to hear your story – what makes you a great place to work.
- Stay in touch with each candidate throughout the hiring process, making sure they always know the status of your recruit and what’s next. If they’re not a possibility, let them know in a positive but straight forward way – letting them know where their skills or experience fell short.
- Put all those candidates who you’d like to keep close into your CRM so that you regularly stay in touch even when you’re not hiring. Candidates are used to hearing they’ll be considered for future openings, but very few employers take the time to circle back, creating a great opportunity to create a differentiator.
- Send them periodic information about your company – achievements, who you are looking to hire, etc.
- Wish them a happy birthday.
- Congratulate them when they land a new job
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 45 years.
A 5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.