Author: Laura Mazzullo
We can all agree that hiring top HR talent continues to prove to be a difficult process, and we feel a great sense of joy and accomplishment when the right person has been identified and hired! All involved parties (Recruitment, Hiring Manager and Candidate) feel an exciting state of happiness that the time-consuming process is over and that the right match has been made! Everyone feels pumped about the start of a new and exciting chapter. This ‘honeymoon’ phase lasts strongly and for a while, until real life sets in….
Hiring Managers sometimes forget how important it is to check-in with their employees, to continue to court them, and to build the relationship after their new-hires start. Yes, all their stellar work around Candidate Experience and engagement during the hiring process begins to fade away. Why? They don’t mean it, they just may not realize it’s still important. They get busy. They mistakenly think the ‘hard work is behind them’.
I always assume good intentions, and imagine that hiring managers don’t even realize how crucial their involvement in retention is…yet, it is SO important. The Hiring Manager is the most important person who can make or break an employee’s experience with the organization.
All of the hard work completed during the recruitment process can be unraveled really fast if we don’t consider what needs to be done after the hire starts.
Let’s break it down into a few key components so that you aren’t only Recruiting the best talent, but most importantly, retaining and engaging them.
Candidate Experience now becomes Employee Experience During the hiring process, you were conscious of how you were treating candidates. You were ensuring they had a positive experience and you were present and available to answer their questions, get to know them better, and show them why this role would be a great opportunity for them! Why should that stop after they start? Think of the Candidate Experience continuing, now as the Employee Experience. Employees never stop wanting that level of engagement. They still want to feel heard, valued, appreciated and looked after. Don’t lose that level of kindness you worked so hard to master during the hiring process. No one wants a kind, empathetic hiring manager during the interview process only to see ‘that persona’ fade away after they’ve joined the firm!
One-on-One Conversations Matter When HR pros in my network share their frustrations with me about work, many start with ‘my Manager doesn’t even meet me for one-on-ones anymore”. They crave it. Employees want this time with you. Why? They want to ensure they are doing a good job! They want your feedback. They want to give you feedback. They want the relationship between you and them to be strong, trusting and supportive. The only way to nurture this is to do it without distractions-just two people in a room, or on a video/phone call (if need be) connecting, asking, sharing, and being candid with each other.
Bravery and Vulnerability Many of you know my passion for Brene Brown and her research on the topic of vulnerability. If you haven’t read Daring Greatly or The Gifts of Imperfection, I highly recommend you do! Daring Greatly and Rising Strong are particularly relevant for bringing bravery into the workplace. HR Hiring Managers/Leaders: You are going to have to be brave to lead well. You’re going to have to share your own vulnerabilities and ask for help. You’re going to have to share when something an employee is doing can be improved. You will have to avoid gossip, and be brave enough to talk to someone directly. It’s hard. It takes practice. You’ll be a better HR leader, personally and professionally, for being brave and vulnerable with your employees. At the end of a hiring process, it really boils down to you and your employee. Take that responsibility seriously and make the most of direct and candid discussions.
Listen more than you speak I love the quote that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more than you speak. Employees, especially new ones, have a lot to share. They have ideas for improvement, they see areas of weakness, they know what they need to be successful, they see things from a fresh perspective. They have feedback for you, as their leader. Are you listening? Do you want to listen? Or, are you in those one-on-ones dominating the conversation? Try to ask a few questions and then actively listen. Really. See what you’ll learn.
Always assume someone else is courting them In a market as competitive as this one, assume your new HR hires are still getting calls and emails from Recruiters/Hiring Managers. They are. If you wanted to hire them, you weren’t the only one. Are you taking this fact for granted? What are you doing to ensure they aren’t tempted to take those calls? How are you connecting with them so they feel safe, valued and happy at work? You have the power to decide if they step out for those calls or politely decline them. But, never make assumptions that they’re already saying no. Be the kind of leader that makes your HR employees feel joyful to be working there.
Stay interviews are more important than Exit interviews So you’ve gone through a multiple month hiring process to find your ideal candidate! Now what? Are you asking them why they joined? What they like about working there? What they need from you? Are you asking them how their first 1, 2, 3, 4, 18 months are going?! Or, are you waiting until they ‘resign’ to get the scoop on how they really felt?
I know. You don’t mean any harm. You’re not trying to lose top talent. You’re just busy. You just forgot to check-in with them until it was too late. I get it. It happens too often. No one is blaming you. But, I challenge you…
Push yourself a little here. Can you improve in at least one of these areas? Is it important for you to retain your talent? Do you want to be an incredible HR leader? Do you want your employees to feel engaged at work? Do you want strong retention on your team?
I hope these pointers show you a few ways you can improve. Start somewhere. You deserve it! Your employees deserve it. Make all your hiring efforts worth it. Recruit…and Retain.
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