Hiring is like dating

Hiring is like dating

We find “the one”, we woo them, lavish with wine and chocolates, change our status on FB.  And then, the stars align. We ask them to go steady. They say “Yes!!”

But what happens after that? What happens to our candidates after the wining and dining and wooing and hiring? How does employee engagement and onboarding tie in?

We just did a webinar with our partners over at JazzHR on this, and if you have an hour to spare, I highly recommend checking it out. Otherwise, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Your target: The amazing new candidate you saw at that hiring event last week. Can someone say perfect fit?

Your goal: Get them to say “yes” and make sure that yes stays a yes throughout their hiring and onboarding process.

If it does, you will have an engaged employee who is happy to be part of the team and productive. This is where your investment in them turns into the positive investment for the company as well!

Here’s where things heat up. Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report states that 33% of employees in the US are engaged at work. That means that 33% of your workforce:

Of course your candidates feel that way!  NOT!  If the above is true and 33% of employees are engaged, then that means 67% of your workforce isn’t feeling the love.

Employee engagement starts with recruiting and should continue consistently throughout the employee’s journey with the organization. If it doesn’t, then you’re essentially having a fantastic first date, then not calling, texting, tweeting or otherwise acknowledging their existence and expecting them to still like you for the rest of your relationship.

Hint: they won’t still like you.

So, let’s fix this! We have three recommendations to help improve consistent engagement throughout the recruiting and onboarding process.

1. Examine how you connect and communicate with recruits and new hires.

Whether you’re calling, texting, wining, dining, emailing or tweeting are you giving them the same message? Do you live up to promises made during those first few dates in the recruiting cycle? Do you continue to respect their time and attention, or do you leave them hanging, waiting on a call Buttercup style once they’ve accepted the offer?

If you find that things taper off once the decision to hire has been made, then focus on adding personalization and warmth into the onboarding process. Our onboarding experts have some great ideas on how to do that, so click here if you’re interested.

If recruiting promises and communication are your weak point, strip the marketing fluff from your messaging in the recruitment phase and make the conscious effort to actually call when you say you’re going to call post-offer. Don’t ghost and pray they’ll still be there and pining for you next week.

2. Develop a cadence for communication that goes from initial contact through their first week on the job.

Anyone in a committed relationship will tell you that communication is key. If you want to keep your new hires interested in you and not the shiny new object trying to woo them away, then it’s time to step up your game. Both JazzHR and Click Boarding noticed that bringing in the reinforcements (aka the friends and fam) makes a huge difference.

Having hiring managers, mentors and even team members reach out, introduce themselves, and check in between the first date and the “I do”, shows that you’re invested in this relationship, and gives new hires a chance to learn more about the team they’re about to be a part of.

3. Arm them with information to reduce stress and anxiety.

Story time. When I was in college, a guy asked me out. He told me that he’d plan the whole thing and he’d pick me up on Friday night. No matter how many times I asked, he didn’t give me hints to where we were going or what to wear. Which explains how I ended up in a classy restaurant, my hair a (controlled and casual) mess, wearing jeans with holes in the knees and listening to the lady two seats over running snarky commentary like E! during awards season.

If I’d know we were going fancy rather than casual-cool, things would have been different. Don’t do that to your new hires. Cover the basics.

  • Where do they need to be and when?
  • Who will they be meeting with and what can they expect during those meetings?
  • How are they going to fit in the organization, their department, and their team?

Do all of this before their first day and new hires show up eager, engaged and ready to contribute.

These three things help build the foundation that allows new hires to feel confident in their decision to work with you, comfortable with their team and expectations of their role, and cared for as they begin their journey with your organization. Continue to build on them by frequently checking in and keeping communication open and honest throughout their tenure to create long-lasting and meaningful relationships.

Engaging Experiences