Article Contributed by Allison Ebner
OK, yes, I’ve been watching too much Yellowstone on TV. I love it because it’s the perfect blend of Dynasty and Bonanza. And come on – The Rip Wheeler style of leadership is interesting. If you mess up, they just take you to the ‘train station’.
But seriously, during these times when employers are facing the great demographic draught of workers, it can be tempting to let our recruiting practices lapse a little (or a lot!) and consider ‘a pulse’ as a qualifier for a job in our organizations. Being agile and flexible in our consideration of potential new employees is NOT the same thing as letting down our guard or abandoning our best practices. In fact, now is the time to solidify our processes and get everyone involved on the same page.
What’s the first order of business?
Make sure your interviewing team is trained to do the job
Lots of organizations have a team-based approach to interviewing and hiring new staff. It’s a great plan to help gain multiple perspectives about a candidate’s fit and skill set and it can help you avoid unconscious bias and blind spots. However, it’s typically non-HR employees that are joining these interview panels and in most cases, they don’t have a lot of experience knowing what to ask or more importantly what NOT to ask! It’s imperative that we are training and coaching these staff members on interview DO’s and DON’T’s to avoid unlawful and discriminatory questions. Be sure that they understand the expectations around outcomes as well. Talk them through some pointers and make sure they understand the behavioral style of interviewing where the candidate speaks directly about their ability to handle different scenarios in the workplace. Coach them on why they should want to be part of this process in the first place – what’s in it for THEM? Screening potential new hires is time consuming and they may be questioning whether this activity is worth their time. Help them see that this is a good investment of their time and talents.
Next up – Sit in the seat of your interviewees!
Are you interviewing live or via zoom? For in-person interviews, is a tour part of the process? Tell-show-do is a powerful way to convey job expectations to a potential new employee and showing them the workspace and how things are done can be really helpful in identifying issues or concerns up front. If you’re interviewing virtually, make sure you outline the technology required to successfully participate for both your interviewers and your candidates. Help create a seamless experience by sending out a best practices checklist for a successful virtual meeting before the interview date. Also – how easy is it to apply for a job with your organization? Is your application process streamlined or redundant? How quickly are you responding to candidates that apply and setting up interviews? Once an interview takes place and you’re interested, move quickly to let them know about next steps. And if you know you want to hire the candidate, be ready to make an offer FAST! Many of our members have told us that they are positioning offers at the end of interviews in order to try and lock in the talent.
Onboarding new staff
This is where you really want to SHINE! Once candidates accepts your offer, stay in contact with right up until their first day. They will likely have other opportunities coming at them and you need to be sure that they stay engaged with your organization. Sending a card from staff welcoming them to the team, mailing them some company swag or a small gift, providing them with an onboarding schedule and training plan ahead of time…All of these things signal to a new hire that you are ready for them to start and are excited to have them join the team. During their first 90-days, we recommend that you have a weekly check in process where HR or a member of leadership is reaching out to see how things are going. Are they finding friends or mentors on their team? Have they been welcomed by other staff? Participating in company benefits and events? Tying them to the culture of your organization right from the start is KEY to retention and engagement. Be sure that they understand the mission, vison and values of the company and how their role ties into the big picture. And be sure they are familiar with your handbook and policies.
Finally – Be sure that your Managers and Supervisors are fully trained to support new staff in their roles with the organization
We say this a lot around here…Your Managers will make or break you. If they don’t understand how to successfully integrate new staff onto the team or how to enforce policies and performance standards, you run the risk of losing both new and long term staff members. You are working hard to find new talent and upskill them into productive members of the team. An untrained or uncaring manager can quickly undo all of that hard work and create chaos and turnover. Carefully outline your expectations and create objectives and key results that reward your managers for successfully executing on their roles.
Our team at EANE knows a thing or two about creating empathetic, accountable Managers! Give us a call if we can help you craft strategies that move your recruiting and employee retention plans from GOOD to GREAT!