Recruiting – A Positive Experience, Or Just An “Experience”?

When was the last time you sat down and really considered the candidates’ points of view during your recruiting process?  Are they treated with courtesy and respect?  Is their time valued?  Do the people that DON’T get the job still have a positive opinion of your company?

I asked my recruiting guru/goddess, Aimee Fahey, to give me her perspective on making recruiting a positive experience for everyone.  And how that can really benefit the organization.

PAM:  Define “recruiting experience” from your point of view.

AIMEE: As a recruiter, I take ownership of facilitating the process from start to finish, and therefore I feel it is my responsibility to ensure a positive recruiting experience.  As a recruiter, I am the face of my company, and work with all parties to ensure the right people go into the right jobs at the right time. To me, the recruiting experience assesses satisfaction from three perspectives – that of the candidates, the hiring teams, and yes, the recruiter.  If one or more are dissatisfied, the process needs to be examined.  Everyone needs to be on board and feel good about the hiring process.

PAM:  How can the recruiting experience negatively affect employee retention?

AIMEE: The hiring process is all about (or should be all about) giving both the candidate and the hiring team a realistic preview of not only the job, but the working relationship as well.  If you’re not focusing on the right areas in your questions, not providing good service, you’ve already started off on the wrong foot.  I’ve been in jobs myself where it’s been a complete 180 from how the position was represented in the interview because the hiring manager was too busy selling the employee – it’s a disservice to everyone.  In addition, employees who are part of hiring teams dealing with poor organization, lack of communication, and/or dysfunctional relationships?  Well, they stop wanting to refer good people – and they start looking elsewhere.  Why?  Because hiring has to be an organization’s first priority.  The people make the product who make the company – people always have to (genuinely) come first.

PAM: How can it positively affect retention?
AIMEE:  A former mentor of mine used to say, “our employees are our best recruiters”.  Give them a great experience and they’ll have a greater trust in you as the employer because you were honest with them upfront about the job, the culture and the team, and because from day one they were justifiably excited.  In addition, as you can imagine, happy employees refer more applicants (because they love it there), and “pay it forward” – giving an honest picture of the environment and the job, as you had for them.

PAM: What do you feel are the top 3 success factors in a positive recruiting experience?
AIMEE:
1. Communication – Great communication among all members of the hiring team – everyone’s got to be on the same page not only with what their roles are, but understanding themselves what the job is, what’s expected of them, and a shared belief in how their company takes care of candidates.
2. Customer Service – Great customer service to ALL applicants from start to finish (I say applicants to include those who do not make it to interview status), from giving them the information they need about the job, the team, and the company; to handling the logistics efficiently; to selling the company throughout the process; to making them feel not just welcome, but respected for their time investment.
3. Content – The interviews have to give a realistic portrayal of the job, ask questions that are not only relevant but help interviewers get a stronger picture of their potential to succeed, and involve the people they’ll be interacting with both on their team and in a cross-functional capacity.

PAM: How have you constructed your business to ensure that candidates have a positive experience, and how does that reflect on your clients?

AIMEE:  For me, I’ve been around long enough as a recruiter and human resources professional to know what does and doesn’t work in hiring the right people (rather than “filling requisitions”).  My reputation is based on the candidate experience, and facilitating the hiring process from start to finish.  When I first meet with a client, we discuss our philosophies around hiring, what we each believe the recruiting experience should look like, and – if that’s a fit – then talk about how I can make their lives easier and get them the people they need more effectively and efficiently by allowing me to guide the process and trusting my expertise and experience.  I rely on them as the subject matter experts on the jobs we’re hiring for and the culture they’ve created, and they rely on me for my expertise when it comes to matching the right people with the jobs, where I find them, and how I partner with their team.  I am always clear about expectations from the beginning when it comes to turnaround time, customer service, interviewing dynamics, and other aspects I think are important in hiring.

Thanks, Aimee!  As always, your perspective is fresh and timely.

So everyone, how does your recruiting experience stack up?

August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Free Tool for Successful Onboarding

How important is a good onboarding plan to your organization’s success?

According to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, it’s critical.

Consider these statistics:

  • 25% of new employees leave in the first year
  •  Only 66% of employers include training in onboarding
  •  Only 41% have new hire workplace meetings
  •  Only 39% include milestones and goal setting

A comprehensive, well-constructed onboarding plan can make a huge impact on the success of your new employees.  That translates to increased productivity and retention.  When you weigh the cost of onboarding with the potential cost of replacing employees, it becomes an easy choice.  Replacing an employee can cost up to twice their annual salary.  Onboarding doesn’t have to be expensive – it just has to be well-planned and well-executed.

Our new Onboarding Worksheet provides you with a template for including all of the critical elements:  training, goal-setting and communication. It’s fully customizable to fit your specific program (but we’ve filled it with examples to get you started).  If you want added depth and strength in your plan, Compass offers Onboarding Services as well.

Additional Information:

Employee Turnover Caused by Bad Onboarding

How a Solid Onboarding Process Can Help You Improve Employee Retention

August 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Compliance Notice – Seattle Paid Leave Law

Employees working in Seattle?  This post is for you.  If you have at least one employee working at least 240 hours in a calendar year, you will have to begin complying with the City of Seattle’s new leave law.  The law takes effect on September 1st.

Here are a few highlights:

  • All employers with Seattle employees – regardless of company location – need to comply
  • Employers with all-inclusive PTO plans don’t have to provide additional leave.  (although plans without carryover options might need to adjust)
  • Employers need to post a notice to employees of their rights under the law (a poster should be available prior to Sept, check the Seattle site)

Here is the accrual rate chart.  If your PTO plan already offers at least this much time, you won’t need to change your accruals.

Employer Size Accrual Rate Based on Hours Worked within Seattle, Beginning on First Day Worked Maximum Hours
5-49 full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 40 hours worked 40
50-249 full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 40 hours worked 56
250+ full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 30 hours worked 72

 

Our Resource page has links to both the Regulations and the FAQ sheets.  The FAQ also includes contact information for questions regarding implementation.

Jackson Lewis LLP wrote an excellent article about the law on their blog here.

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Great Song – Fun Movie

Yes, I’m working.  But Otis Redding came on and I couldn’t help but think of this film clip – cracks me up every time…

 

August 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm 1 comment

Learning Opportunities

It’s a busy week at Compass, and one of the things that’s been occupying me is looking over all of the summer learning opportunities.  There are a few that are worth checking out, especially if you’re in the Pacific NW.

  • BOLI (Bureau of Labor and Industries) has their August Event Calendar available.  This is great for HR Managers, or anyone responsible for employment compliance.
  • Oregon OSHA also has summer educational events of various types.  Did you know that organizations with as few as 3 employees need to be OSHA compliant?
  • Idea Learning Group has a fantastic Train The Trainer program open for registration.  If you’re not familiar with them, you should be.  They are fun, dynamic, and very in tune with best practices.
  • Last, but by no means least, is the ASTD-Cascadia annual conference.  The event is back in Portland for the first time in 3 years.  And it’s been re-structured as a one-day event to accommodate all of our busy schedules.  This is going to be one of the best events this year!  Note for HR professionals:  most sessions are eligible for HRCI credit!

That should keep you busy for a little while.  Happy Learning!

August 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

HR Metrics Calculators Available Now

Two of our favorite metrics calculators are now available on the Resources page:

Why do I like these two in particular?  They help HR professionals justify the initiatives that they propose and illustrate bottom-line results in financial terms.

HR professionals should know how much profit is generated per employee.  That’s where Human Capitol ROI comes in.  This metric is necessary when making decisions about adding more employees.  Will a new division be able to make a profit if it employs a particular number of people?  Will laying off part of the workforce really impact the organization’s financial situation?

In order to make the case for employee retention strategies, it’s important to be able to compare those costs against the costs of losing existing employees.  Many leadership teams don’t truly understand all of the costs involved in replacing employees who leave.  Now you can show them!  Use the Turnover Cost Calculator to determine exactly how much it will cost to replace any position in your workforce.

These worksheets are downloadable in Excel format so you can save them on your own computer.  Special thanks to SHRM for making these available to the public.

July 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Kamikaze Day Trips

Aside from new babies and youthful foolishness, there really is no good reason for a normal human being to be awake at 3am.  let alone dressed for success and preparing to board a plane bound for an adjacent state.

And yet, here I am.  headed to a leadership development meeting with a first-time supervisor.  After my meeting, I’ll board another plane and return home – maybe in time to kiss my son good night.

Why do I do it?  Because sometimes face-to-face is the best way to do things.  I think at times it’s too easy for us to fall back on technology and justify the lack of contact by showing bottom-line savings.  But that’s just dollars.  What does it cost us in relationship value?  In morale?  In employee engagement?  In today’s tech-savvy landscape, face time packs an even bigger punch.

Here’s my favorite case-in-point:

Once upon a time, I was HR Manager for a small, growing firm that had just moved its headquarters from Southern California to Portland, Oregon.  We kept a small office in So-Cal, but it was a huge change for them.  Naturally, there was resentment.

Along comes an HR Manager and Finance Manager that they’ve never met.  Via phone and email they find out that we’re changing their benefits and implementing project-based accounting.  Without their active input.  My finance counterpart and I were considered their adversaries.

We tried to be empathetic.  We provided information, listened to feedback, and treated them with genuine respect and courtesy.  They still loathed us.

Finally, I decided it was high time for the two of us to show some sincerity and get our hind ends on a plane.  Stand in front of them and prove we weren’t the devil.

We planned to spend two days showing them the new systems, listening to their concerns and providing them with the context around the company decisions.  We expected to be blasted.

Once we arrived and they saw we didn’t actually have horns and pitchforks, things settled down.  After two hours of talking, most of our issues were resolved.  There was laughter.  We talked about things other than work.  We were able to return home the same day.

From then on, we had truly amazing and productive relationships.  Even some friendships that still exist after we’ve all moved on.

Why?  Because we put our travel expenses where our mouths were.  We acted like we cared.  Every time benefits renewed, I hopped a plane with our 401(k) advisor and insurance rep.  New software implementation?  Plan tickets for me and the trainers.

What did we get in return?

  • Staunch advocates for our initiatives
  • Employees who stayed longer than the circumstances warranted
  • Great morale
  • Total engagement

That’s well worth the lack of sleep and the price of a plane ticket.

July 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

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