Gloria loves sharing her business expertise and hopes to inspire other women to start their own businesses and seek promotions in the workplace. She started WomenLed.org to celebrate the advancements women have made and inspire women to become entrepreneurs and seek promotions in the workplace.
Pub: November 2 2021
Upd: November 28 2022
At Hirebook, we talk a lot about engaging employees through communication, recognition, and clear expectations and OKRs. However, the best employee engagement strategy begins long before a new hire walks through the door on their first day.
Great hires onboard quickly, bring new ideas to the table and align with your company’s core values and mission. Bad hires, on the other hand, decrease productivity, spike churn rates, and lower organizational morale. Not only do disengaged employees fail to meet their own performance goals, but they also hurt the productivity and morale of those around them through negative attitudes and high attrition rates.
To avoid the pitfalls of poor hiring decisions, organizations need to attract, identify, and engage the right talent. What does that look like in practice?
Define Your Ideal Hire
You can’t hire the perfect fit without defining what that means. Pay attention to both skills and personality types when creating your ideal candidate profile.
The ideal candidate has the necessary skills for the job and qualities that align with the company culture. Speak with stakeholders to understand what success looks like for the role in question. Look at the people thriving in your company. What are they doing right? What qualities do they add to office culture? Rather than designing a candidate profile identical to those strengths, identify the qualities of a complementary team member.
Become an Ideal Employer
You’ve set high standards for your ideal candidate. But are you the type of company that person wants to work for? Sought-after employers prioritize training, growth, and engagement. They invest in employee well-being and make an effort to reward and recognize team members. They also offer competitive pay packages including genuine and relevant employee benefits.
Convey Values Through Employer Branding
The importance of branding goes beyond reaching potential customers, but also potential hires. Job descriptions don’t capture everything your organization has to offer. Luckily, top candidates go beyond the job description to research your brand before applying, including visiting company websites and social media pages.
An organization’s web presence should tell its story. Show what it’s like to work at your organization by sharing behind-the-scenes visual content and news of company milestones, achievements, and initiatives.
Don’t Overpromise and Underdeliver
Overpromising and under-delivering is the deadliest recruitment mistake an organization can make. Making promises you can’t keep erodes employee trust and undermines company culture. Set expectations based on a conservative projection of how your company will grow, not the most optimistic revenue forecasts. This guarantees your organization can commit to its operational and staffing plans. A cautious approach is especially important in high-growth periods when optimistic entrepreneurs are prone to over-hire only to cut back staffing when revenue fails to meet expectations.
Create a Positive Candidate Experience
With an authentic employer brand, clear expectations, and a well-written job description, you’re ready to recruit your ideal candidate. However, it’s not enough to convince top candidates to apply. Engagement throughout the hiring process influences whether top candidates commit to an organization or choose a competitor. Prompt communication, an efficient hiring process, and adequate pre-boarding set positive expectations for new hires and encourage a high level of engagement from the onset of the employee experience.
Ask Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interview questions go beyond skills and work experience to understand how a candidate approaches their work. Behavioral interviews measure soft skills like problem-solving, teamwork, conflict management, and communication through specific, open-ended questions. Through listening to candidates explain past experiences and how they’ve managed them, organizations learn how an applicant’s qualities fit into the broader company culture.
Follow Onboarding Best Practices
Onboarding is the final step in recruiting engaged employees. Again, communication and clear expectations are key. New hires should know what to expect on their first day, how to communicate with colleagues, and who to contact with questions. Organizations should also take time to understand new hires’ needs. Ask about equipment and workspace preferences and check in regularly to get feedback and provide reassurance. Demonstrating concern for employee well-being helps new hires step into their roles highly motivated and engaged.
Sustain Employee Engagement
For many organizations, communication comes effortlessly in the beginning but drops off a cliff once the onboarding process ends. Yet the purpose of communication reaches far beyond training. Regular communication keeps employees in the loop so they feel like an important part of the organization. In addition to sharing internal updates, managers should check in with employees to show that their wellbeing is important and their feedback and opinions valued.
An engaged workforce starts with engaged hires. Rather than hiring first and engaging second, weave employee engagement throughout your organization’s hiring and recruitment strategy. When you attract, recruit, and retain not just any employees but the right employees, you build a team that’s empowered, focused, and engaged from Day One.