The hiring process is just that, a process that we follow in order to find the right candidate to meet the needs of our organization. Sometimes this process, along with many others, fall so much into our ‘routine’ that we forget to challenge them. Why do we have three in-person interviews before putting an offer out to a candidate? Is the test we administer really necessary, or will we hire regardless of the results? Just because the path has been paved for you does not mean you should follow it. In fact, I challenge you to question your hiring process and use those around you to improve upon it.
Who was the last person you hired? Start with this person. What attracted them to your company in the first place? Were there things about the website or social media presence that lured them in? What sparked their continued interest during the interview process? Once they were onboarded did their initial expectations meet the actual day-to-day of the job? These are the questions you’ll want to tackle in order to find the true strengths of your company.
Start With a Conversation
Typically, after you hire someone you’ll check in with them to make sure things are going smoothly, trainings are making sense, and that the overall ‘fit’ is desirable. A big part of engagement comes from employees knowing they matter and that if necessary, they have someone to turn to for instruction. Instead of the standard ‘90 day review’, take your new hire to lunch and get some value out of it - for the both of you.
Making it more of a conversation about why the new hire was chosen and even why they decided to accept the offer will prove to be much more valuable than asking if expectations are met. Start by acknowledging why the employee was chosen from the other candidates. What stuck out to you about this individual? Was it their background? Did they show promise and passion? Remind them of why you offered them the job in the first place, then open the conversation up to why they accepted the offer. Starting the conversation off in a way that makes it about them will help them open up to you about why they ultimately joined the team.
I once had a boss who was not shy in his praises of my experience and background. When talking about upcoming projects he would admit his excitement for the outcome and what I would be able to make of it. This alone made me want to work harder because it showed me that he thought a lot of me and my abilities. It also reminded me of why I took the job in the first place. The company was full of individuals with a ‘start-up’ mentality, which I admired a lot, and knowing they held me in the same regard was the ultimate compliment. You see, just those quick mentions of why my boss thought I was the right person for the job really reassured me that I had made the right choice and reminded me of why I loved that company.
After you explain to your employee why they got the job, solicit feedback from them on why they accepted. Start by asking why they applied for the job and what about the company stuck out to them. Was there anything during the interview process that reassured their expectations of the company/job? What about the company culture stood out during the hiring process? This information will provide hiring managers with a better base of what to talk about during their next interview, or tidbits to add within the job posting.
The more you conduct these one-on-one feedback meetings, you more trends you will see. If every new employee talked at length about the job opportunity and growth, then you know that is a major selling point for candidates. If you want to attract the best talent, you need to put your best foot forward. Use the feedback you’re receiving to continue to bring in new employees and sell your company brand from an employment standpoint.
Make it a Habit
Don’t just do a few one-on-ones and call it good. Continue to meet with your new hires as you grow your team. Even if you suspect you’ll hear the same information over again, it is good to establish a good rapport with your new team members. Sharing information such as why you found someone’s skills to be of value, or why you wanted them to work for you allows for a more open dialogue and hopefully a better relationship in the long run.
A great reason to make these meetings a focus, other than the few reasons I’ve already expressed, is it really allows you to gain perspective from an outsider. Not only that, but it will allow you to keep your company vision in check. For example, we at Dominion really pride ourselves on our open and accepting company culture. I have always felt as if I can come to work just as I am and not be judged by that. If during the onboarding process we find out that new employees don’t feel this way, we know we have some adjustments we need to make in order to get things back on track and realign with our idea of what the culture at Dominion should be.
If you’re serious about selling your company image to possible applicants, the best way to do it is utilizing your existing talent pool. If this isn’t on your agenda already, consider incorporating it into your onboarding process. I would suggest giving the new employee enough time to get settled into their role before bombarding them with such a meeting, but schedule it nonetheless so it doesn’t go forgotten. You might find that this little change alone will make a big difference when it comes to recruiting and your pre-existing employer-employee relationships.
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