Thirty-three percent of US employees are engaged at work and love their jobs, 16% are actively disengaged and miserable, and the remaining 51% are “just there.” It’s the first group that holds the most promise as an extension of your talent acquisition team. Engagement goes beyond satisfaction. Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their workplace, and will go the extra mile for their employers.
How engaged employees benefit your recruitment program
Employee engagement can aid your recruitment program in three key ways:
Engaged employees make stronger referrals
A satisfied, but non-engaged, employee may happily respond to your request for a warm candidate introduction. An engaged employee, however, is more likely to go above and beyond to share jobs with their network connections and make more thoughtful introductions. That’s because they truly love their jobs, and genuinely want to help their employers hire top-tier talent. This is key, as 71 percent of candidates said they utilize referrals from current employees of an organization in their job search, and 68 percent said they utilize family members or friends.
Engaged employees strengthen your employer brand
As advocates for your company, engaged employees actively contribute to crafting a positive employer brand. They will go out of their way to write strong employee reviews, and will want to help produce testimonials that you can use on your career pages and social media profiles. These often balance out negative reviews from disengaged employees, and disgruntled former employees. Seventy-eight percent of job seekers say they are influenced by employee ratings and reviews when deciding where to work, so strong reviews from engaged employees are crucial.
Engaged employees lead better candidate interviews
Interviewing candidates is a two-way street: they are evaluating you as much as you are evaluating them. An engaged employee’s passion shines through during the interview process, which helps you sell your opportunity to the candidates you’re meeting. Many top performers will have several opportunities they are considering, often including their current role, and a gentle push from a highly engaged employee can make a strong impact. Eighty three percent of candidates say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87 percent say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.
How your recruitment program can increase employee engagement
While employee engagement doesn’t necessarily fall into the talent acquisition team’s realm, there are a few things you can do:
Build a great candidate experience
The way you treat candidates during the interview process should be indicative of how you will treat them as employees. Start your relationship off on the right foot with a stellar candidate experience. This includes everything from your application process and frequency of your communication, to your interview process and offer stage. Every candidate touchpoint should help you build a stronger relationship with you candidates.
Only promise what you can deliver
It’s easy to keep a candidate engaged if you promise them everything they’d want in a role, but you’re not going to maintain that engagement if you can’t deliver. For instance, 51% of employees would switch jobs to have flex time. Fifty-four percent of employers say their company offers this perk, but only 44% of employees agree. This may very well be due to different expectations, so it’s important to clearly listen to what your candidates want, and honestly communicate what you can offer. Otherwise, you are sure to have disengaged employees who feel that they had the wool pulled over their eyes.
Ensure a good culture fit
An employee who is a good culture fit will share the organizational values, and believe in the company’s mission. This will usually help them feel that they are doing meaningful work, which leads to employee satisfaction and engagement. For instance, someone who is passionate about the arts would be a better culture fit for a ballet studio than someone who prefers to spend their time outdoors. While the latter could certainly perform well in their job category, they probably wouldn’t be as excited about the role.
Build a strong onboarding program for new hires
Begin onboarding new hires as soon as the offer letter is signed. Send them a welcome letter, and encourage employees to reach out via email and social media to personally welcome them to the team. Help get the new hire settled on their first day, and check in with them from time-to-time to see how things are going. They will appreciate that the person who guided them through joining the company still cares about them once they’re hired.
Employee engagement has many benefits for your recruitment program, particularly if one in three employees is engaged. However, you can always benefit from higher engagement levels, which is why 88 percent of organizations plan to prioritize increasing their employee engagement level this year. Best-in-class organizations have an average of 70 percent of their employees engaged, and 14 engaged employees for every one actively disengaged employee. With those engagement levels, recruiting top-tier talent is sure to be a little easier.