Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement – Part 1

First it was called the Great Resignation brought on by the COVID pandemic leading to massive numbers of people leaving their jobs. That was followed by what became known as Quiet Quitting, when employees did only the minimum amount of work expected of them. Both of these phenomena posed a serious human resource challenge for society.

In order to confront these challenges, organizations need to rethink their Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement strategies. This rethinking must begin by accepting the fact that society has changed and employees are different today than in the past.

This message looks at the first rethinking: Recruitment. The reality that must be faced in any recruitment approach is that people look at a job as an integral part of their life and not just a source of income. If a job doesn’t support who they want to be as a person, then it will be difficult to recruit the talent needed.

What this means is that employees are looking for jobs that are personally fulfilling where they can grow and develop their craft skills. They also want a job where they think they can make a difference. And they want a job in an organization where they are comfortable with the values of that organization.

Now think about how these three job attributes are reflected in initial interviews. They aren’t. And what about follow-up steps in the recruitment process, how are these three attributes covered? Generally they aren’t unless the candidate brings them up.

While candidates are looking for insight on the three attributes of most importance to them, the actual interviewing process has become more impersonal. Interviews, in many cases, are virtual. The result is a job selection process that is a disconnect.

After a relatively short period of time, the new hire starts looking for a job opportunity that is more in line with what they are looking for in a career.

There are immense hidden costs in recruitment. What is easy to measure is time spent on job fairs and interview tips. What isn’t measured is the cost of recruiting from the loss of a relatively recent hire. Savings in the hiring process can be wiped out with just a few resignations of new hires.

What can be done to improve the recruitment process? Some of the changes that could help include:

  • Capture the stories of recent hires and how their careers match up with the desired job attributes of the current generation. Use these in the recruitment material.
  • Restore the personal relationship approach to recruiting and forget about the false savings of virtual recruiting.
  • Focus on both a candidate’s qualifications as well as what they want from a job in the interviewing process. Currently the interviewing process tends to be more qualification-focused with less opportunity for the job candidate to evaluate the fit with the company.

Studies have shown that nearly 40% of new hires resign soon after they start their jobs, and another 10%+ resign in the first year. That’s a staggering number and a huge cost. It’s also a number that can be reduced significantly if we rethink how employees are recruited.

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“Time spent on hiring is time well spent.” – Robert Half (Human Resource Consultant)


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