HR departments and recruiters are often asked to do more with less – find candidates; make sure they are the perfect fit; ensure they match all of the pre-screening criteria. Now you’re being asked to do all of this faster, with the same attention to detail and quality of work
Accepting and tracking applications in your email client and a newly created excel spreadsheet for every job? Stop! There is a better way to manage your recruitment process, which will save you time without having to sacrifice the quality of your screening methods.
- Increase Speed
Embrace technology – look for an online recruitment tool that:
- Integrates into your current website
- Posts jobs internally and externally
- Manages paperless applications
- Filters all applicants
- Pre-screens automatically
- Tracks test dates
- Creates offer letters from templates
- Uploads background and reference checks
- Exports applicant information into Word and Excel.
- Free up Resources
Get more done in less time. A system that streamlines your hiring process with efficient workflows and tracking tools can help you find the best talent quickly. Managing a large number of applicants can be a breeze with a system that tracks an applicant’s hiring status, applicant details, interview dates and keeps a job applicant database. This database can come in handy for finding a new hire as quickly as possible.
- Improve Quality
You need to shortlist quickly, but you also need quality candidates. Find a system that helps you find the top qualifying applicants with built-in customizable pre-screening questions and lets you integrate background and reference checks with the click of a button.
- Treat every candidate with respect for their interest. Whether you are recruiting inexperienced new graduates or C-level executives, give every candidate the respect they deserve as people. Being honest, open and professional is critical to candidates’ perceptions of your company. Never violate this rule in your talent-finding formula.
- Create a professional hiring process; then follow it. Explain the hiring process to all candidates; follow it religiously. Depending on the authority level of different jobs, you’ll need to vary your process at times. However, to maintain your professional credibility, you must follow the process you have explained to the candidate.
- Design a positive process for candidates that don’t “make the cut.” Have you experienced the horrors or heard about other candidates who were told that they would hear from a company after an interview, only to hear nothing? Employers who practice this “policy” must not realize the damage they do to their reputation and brand. Candidates have friends and family who are also consumers and can refer other talented people. Outstanding leaders develop a formula that offers dignified ways to deliver a professional “no” message.
- Create a hiring formula that gives you flexibility. Your recruiting and hiring formula should recognize that you may sometimes need candidates with unusual educational or behavioral qualifications specific for the job, department or team. A winning talent-finding formula allows you to be consistent, but flexible when necessary. If you want to consistently attract the best talent, make flexibility your trusted partner.
- Create a pleasant “candidate experience” for all job seekers and recruits. You might compare this component to the popular branding goal of creating a positive “customer experience” for all consumers who contact your company. Treating all candidates with respect, keeping your hiring process consistent, and having a professional communication strategy for non-hires increases your probabilities of attracting and hiring the best talent available.
Consider using some or all of these suggestions to create your effective plan and winning recruiting programs. If these features sound like basic human courtesy and respect more than textbook HR principles, you’re right.
Whether you are recruiting for a part-time mail clerk or a Vice President of IT, the candidate will judge your leadership ability—and your company—by the way you manage the hiring process. Your company faces no more risk when hiring a lower-level employee than when interviewing executive suite candidates. Your professional hiring process should be consistent for all candidates.
For example, the inexperienced part-time candidate may have an older sibling or family member who is eminently qualified for an open executive position. Further, lower level candidates may not be shy about telling everyone in sight about the treatment they received when interviewed by you or your company. If it was a positive experience, he or she may sing your praises. Conversely, if it was a negative experience, the candidate may be equally vocal in recommending that family and friends not buy your company’s products or services.
Join the fraternity of outstanding leaders by designing a professional, effective talent-finding formula. Your career and employer will reward you many times over.
Have you participated in the annual “employee engagement survey fail”? That’s where employers conduct yet another engagement survey, hoping that this year’s results will be better than last year’s, only to be disappointed once again.
Paying the Price of Low Employee Engagement
If you can relate to this, you also probably experience the pain of one or more of the following consequences of low engagement:
- Costly turnover, especially the loss of mission critical, hard-to-replace talent
- Employee relations issues taking up managers’ time and energy
- Employees showing lack of initiative requiring managers to “babysit”
- No “We’re all in this together” spirit…which leads to turf battles, silos, and overall lack of teamwork
- Low morale resulting in less-than-stellar customer service
While it’s No Consolation, You’re Not Alone
Despite employers investing tremendous sums of money on improving employee engagement, employees remain largely disengaged across the globe. Very little has changed since Gallup started measuring employee engagement in the 1990s.
From the recent Gallup State of the American Workplace report:
While the state of the U.S. economy has changed substantially since 2000, the state of the American workplace has not. Currently, 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work, and the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is roughly 2- to-1, meaning that the vast majority of U.S. workers (70 percent) are not reaching their full potential.”
How does this happen?
Why, despite all the time, effort, and money invested, does employee engagement not improve? More importantly, what do YOU need to do to improve engagement in your organization?
Four Things to Do Immediately
The following list—while far from exhaustive—identifies some of the most powerful things you can do to increase the effectiveness of your employee engagement improvement efforts.
- Examine whether you are making the four “failure guaranteed” mistakes employers make, despite knowing better:
- Not reporting the results of your survey
- Not reporting the results in a timely manner
- Not making any changes based on employee feedback
- Not explaining the reasoning behind why some input was not acted upon
- Identify if you are guilty of the “employee engagement deal killer”; mistakes that lead to low engagement, along with a resentful, cynical workforce, such as:
- Employees don’t understand the big picture—Research shows that only 4 out of 10 employees know their employer’s goals, key initiatives, and other aspects of the big picture. How can we expect employees to be engaged, if they don’t understand what they’re contributing to?
- Employees don’t understand how specifically they contribute to the big picture—When employees don’t understand how they matter, and what they can do to make the biggest difference, they don’t have the passion and commitment of those who have a line of sight between their actions and the big picture.
- Employees feel unappreciated—This is one of the biggest sources of employee disengagement and low morale, and one of the most easily solved problems, and it costs nothing.
- Managers are unresponsive, teaching employees not to care—Unresponsiveness takes many forms, including not responding to emails and voice mails, not responding to requests, and not indicating they received time-sensitive material they had requested from a direct report. This last form of unresponsiveness—and thoughtlessness—is especially off putting to the employee who moved mountains to make the deadline and is now left wondering “Did they not get it? Do I follow-up and seem like a nag?” Unresponsiveness leads to the attitude “If you don’t care about me…why should I care about you?”
- Stop treating employee engagement as an aggregated statistic, and learn how to individualize the employee experience. This could be a game-changer for your organization. While it’s important to understand overall engagement levels in your organization, in the end, employee engagement is an individual experience.
Just because your organization—or a department—receives a particular score on an engagement driver such as “My opinions and input matters”, doesn’t mean it’s true for an individual employee. When that employee is a high value, hard-to-replace employee, this distinction becomes even more critical.
At the micro level, employee engagement being an individual experience means that each employee has their own “engagement recipe” of drivers and causes of disengagement. Boosting engagement requires understanding each employee’s unique recipe and then co-creating a work experience that satisfies those drivers.
When this happens, not only will employee engagement levels rise, but each employee will be far more productive and will generate far greater economic value.
Reducing employee turnover is a primary goal for almost every human resource professional. By reducing employee turnover, organizations save money on recruitment and training, as well as encouraging a stable, experienced workforce. Efforts to increase employee retention start with improving the recruitment and training process, but continue on to providing challenging, interesting work, a cooperative work environment, and comparable compensation programs. Additional factors that contribute to reducing employee turnover include opportunities for professional growth, additional training, and organizational stability.
Turnover is understood by human resource professionals to be the rate at which an organization’s workforce terminates employment and requires replacement employees. In other words, employee turnover is the ratio of vacated and refilled job positions compared to the total workforce of the organization. Certain industries, such as food and beverage, janitorial, and retail, have statistically higher employee turnover rates than others. High turnover rates in such industries typically relate to low pay, a young workforce, high stress, and poor opportunity for advancement.
Improving or reducing employee turnover first requires assessing the reasons why employees leave. Increasing pay rates, for example, may not reduce turnover if the majority of employees leave because of poor work conditions or lack of opportunity. The best tip for reducing employee turnover then is to first determine its cause. Absenteeism rates, productivity levels, and employee complaints are a good place to start when evaluating the reasons behind high turnover. Personal interviews, especially for exiting employees, provides additional insight.
Changes in recruitment and employee training programs can also lead to reducing employee turnover. When candidates are better suited to a particular job role, whether by virtue of past work experience, personality traits, or future career plans, turnover rates are typically not as high. Proper training to prepare candidates for new job roles likewise lessens turnover. Additional training throughout an employee’s tenure provides opportunities for professional growth the employee would otherwise need to fund out of pocket, which can increase loyalty and retention. Cross-training employees for additional responsibilities likewise increases each employee’s perceived value, as well as providing opportunities for new and interesting challenges.
Organizational culture is also an important factor in reducing employee turnover. Cooperative environments, team work, supportive supervisors, and clear communication of expectations all contribute to a stable, encouraging organizational culture. Studies show that organizational culture and workplace environments are two of the most often cited reasons why employees choose to leave a particular job position. Employees who feel empowered, supported, and valued typically report a higher sense of job satisfaction and, therefore, are less likely to pursue other employment opportunities. As such, instigating changes in managerial hierarchy, employee accountability, establishing open door policies, and similar efforts that bring employees into key decision-making roles typically reduce turnover.
Numerous studies regarding employee turnover and job satisfaction place compensation and benefits far below other factors that contribute to turnover. Although most employees report workplace environments, personal motivation, and challenging opportunities as more important than compensation, it can be a factor in reducing employee turnover. If an organization’s base pay and benefit package is not in line with other organizations in the same industry, employees will leave to pursue better opportunities. Periodic review of common industry practices regarding pay and benefits ensures an organization remains competitive and loses fewer employees.