Recruiting & Candidate Development
In my last article, I discussed the employee experience as analogous to building a house. In that discussion, I identified the various HR folks as the architects and planners of the experience, while the first-line supervisors and organization leaders are the builders and construction workers who execute on the plan for a home where employees will want to move in and begin "decorating" to fit their needs and wants.
Making the employee experience enjoyable, satisfying, and rewarding is a collaborative effort that has, at its center, a balance between the best interests of both the employees and the business. In the end, the "house" becomes something that other businesses and other people see as something they want for themselves.
The employee experience is the ongoing relationship people have with their organizations, their co-workers, their job, their leaders, and the various organizational service providers (including HR).
Furthermore, we measure the employee experience by the quality of relationships; in terms of how a person feels about those relationships and how satisfying those relationships are for that person.
The employee experience can be addressed in phases, just like the building of a house from planning and design to permits, construction, changes, finishes, moving in, decorating, and eventually, to remodeling or moving on. Rather than using hammers and nails, however, the employee experience is built with relationships.
Like a house, however, the experience is constructed in phases, called the employee lifecycle. The employee lifecycle is the full set of blueprints that takes the employee experience from applicant to candidate, onboarding, training, development, growth, and eventually, exiting and alumni status.
Last time, I focused on the true start of the employee experience, that of becoming an applicant for a job. This time, I will focus on the next step, that of being a candidate. For the purpose of this discussion, candidacy begins when an applicant receives an invitation to an interview and concludes at the communication of an offer/no offer decision.
If you are in Talent Acquisition, you are the often the face of the company to a person through much of the first two stages of the employee experience and you may even seem like the process. You have the power to form a candidate's perception of the entire company, simply by doing your job.
So, how do you choose to use this power? Of course, you have your processes, checklists, regulatory compliance issues, and maybe even approval matrices but candidates don't care much about your processes or rules. They may understand and even care that you have a high volume of work, but their focus is on trying to get a job. They want to know that you care about their struggle.
How you care for your candidates shows them what is important to the company. What story do you want those candidates to tell about your company and you? I believe the choices you make in terms of how you behave, or interact, with candidates should be a primary consideration when you build your employee experience strategy. Instead of just training for process (tracking systems, interview techniques, various paperwork requirements, etc.), train also for interpersonal behaviors. This goes for people in HR and people in the line who are interviewing candidates.
As you think about what the candidate experience ought to look like, I make these suggestions for anyone interacting with candidates (recruiters, administration, interviewers, line managers, etc.):
- Ensure good interpersonal communications competencies for anyone interacting with candidates.
- Conduct interactive workshops in self- and other-awareness competencies (Emotional Intelligence components).
- Watch for negative stress build-up in candidate-facing teams (high work volume, frustration, remarks about difficult candidates, discord amongst staff members, higher levels of absenteeism, etc.)
- Take mitigating action when stress begins affecting behaviors
Â Allow for private venting,
Â Openly acknowledge the sources of stress
Â Offer opportunities to discuss levels of stress in team meetings
Â Make time to have fun (during work hours)
Â Consider what other stress-busting activities have worked for you and try them
- Make sure interviewers are well-trained
- Debrief regularly with interviewers to address any issues that might affect the candidate experience.
- Be nice to each other
- Build a culture of recognition so people feel valued and connected to each other and the organization.
- Celebrate individual and team accomplishments and milestones.
- Build a team mission statement that incorporates the need for contributing to an outstanding experience for your candidates.
Finally, consider posting at each desk a proverb or quote that reinforces what you value in your behaviors. I particularly like this one from Plato, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Doreen Petty spent more than 20 years in the corporate world as a Human Resources professional, business partner, and leader. Much of that time, she spent coaching other people at all levels of the organization to help them define, and then succeed at their goals. In 2010, she started her own firm doing what she does best - helping people. Doreen Petty Coaching's primary mission is to help business owners and managers succeed, personally and professionally. Through her coaching practice, Doreen helps clients accelerate progress towards goals by structuring an individualized coaching process designed with the client in mind.à —ith a network of specialist consultants, Doreen Petty Coaching's HR consulting helps business owners ensure the best possible work environment for the people who depend on them. By combining coaching services and HR consulting into one practice, Doreen Petty Coaching can support business owners, executives, and managers with ad-hoc services as well as offering a holistic perspective on the leaders and their organizations.
Doreen holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and a Master's degree in Psychology with a specialization in Leadership Development and Coaching. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) with experience spanning a broad range of HR competencies, including coaching, leadership effectiveness, HR program management, compliance training, organization development, employee relations, process development and implementation, talent management, organizational effectiveness, transition management, and more.
Find Doreen Petty Coaching on the web at http://coachingtheboss.com.à ’ead more from Doreen through her Coaching the Boss blog at http://coachingtheboss.com/ctbblog/ and "The Real Job of HR" blog at http://hr.toolbox.com/blogs/real-job-hr. For regular updates, follow Doreen on Twitter, http://twitter.com/pettycache and like her business page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CoachingTheBoss.
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