It seems nearly everyday we’re hearing about the latest National – “fill in the blank” Day. For example, for those that were not aware, just the other day it was National Cheese Lovers Day. There are practically national days of recognition every day of the year. (For the historians in the crowd – In the USA, we can track the tradition of creating national days of recognition all the way back to July 4, 1777 – to the first organized celebration of Independence Day.) While not all days of recognition have equal significance or are tied to such an historic event, the fact remains that these days of recognition give us a chance to pause and reflect. And – in many cases, these days create the opportunity for us to both elevate the purpose for the day as well as to make further commitments to support the ideals and objectives that the day represents.
Back in 2020, The Talent Board initiated the first Candidate Experience Day. It was a brilliant idea to tie the kick-off of the 2020 CandE Benchmark Research program to this special day. Each year since, The Talent Board has been “hosting” the Candidate Experience Day as a cornerstone event that both announces the findings from the previous year’s research as well as serving as the opening of the present year’s research program. While the exact day for this has slightly varied over the years, the intent of the day has remained consistent – i.e. for Recruiting Teams to come together to honor the candidates that take the time to opt-in to participate in their recruitment cycles and to recommit to doing everything they can to create a positive experience for those candidates.
More often than not, discussions about the “Candidate Experience” center around the negative – i.e. all the reasons for rising Candidate Resentment. Candidate Experience Day 2023, however, is an opportunity to celebrate – Celebrate the candidates, and celebrate all the techniques being deployed that are having a positive impact,
3 Reasons Why You Should Plan to Celebrate Candidate Experience Day
While there are a myriad number of reasons why celebrating Candidate Experience Day should be high priority, those reasons really all boil down to 3 core topics.
1 – Mindset Matters!
Would anyone argue that we should NOT think about the candidate experience? Do you know that purposely plans and designs a poor candidate experience into their process? Of course, the answer to these questions is, “No.” And yet, despite all the long standing evidence and the clear convergence that an improved candidate experience is important, creating a meaningful, consistent, and lasting candidate experience continues to be aspirational.
As with anything worth achieving, the journey always begins with deciding that the pursuit is worth dedicating yourself to. Mindset is critical. There will definitely be times during the journey when you will question whether the commitment is worth the continuous effort. Candidate Experience Day 2023 is an opportunity to surround yourself with others who are traveling a similar trail as you. It will be a day of positive storytelling from others who have found success. What better way is there to stay motivated and committed that to surround yourself with others who have a similar mindset. Their stories and specific suggestions will serve as great inspiration to stay motivated to keep to the plan.
2 – Recruiting Outcomes Matter!
Improving Candidate Experience is not a fluffy, nice to think about business issue. Not being able to achieve hiring goals and overspend on recruitment marketing are just two examples of what happens when your employer brand has a poor candidate experience reputation.
As noted above, though, no one means to purposely create a poor candidate experience. The primary root cause of this is that too often recruiting teams are overwhelmed and overburdened. They are expected to be experts on a large number of skills – i.e. Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing, Copywriting, Sourcing, Labor Market Intelligence, Sales and Negotiation just to name a few. They are expected to navigate and use a large number of systems and tools – many of which are not integrated. And, of course, the biggest challenge of all – is that recruiters are expected to carry an inordinate number of requisitions. As Josh Bersin famously said, “Recruiting is much harder than it looks” – which is why the vast majority of recruiting teams under-perform.
I’m not saying that participating in the Candidate Experience events will cure all your issues. What I am saying though, is that collaborating with other employers who have the same mindset as you and learning from them as to what has been successful should be a strong element to your strategy. This is a great way to learn the skill sets and toolsets that others are leveraging to get to the ROI from investing in improving the Candidate Experience
3 – Your Job Satisfaction Matters!
In all my years of working in the talent acquisition industry, I’ve never met a single recruiter who stayed in the business who wasn’t passionate about the work they were doing. The satisfaction that a person can get from being knowing they are the engine that enabled individuals to get jobs that fulfill their career aspirations is indescribable. Couple that with knowing that your efforts play a role in the productivity and profitability of the business, and you have a killer combination of reasons to want to improve the Candidate Experience.
As noted above – no one purposely works to design a poor candidate experience into the process. At a minimum, it is frustrating to every day feel like it is all you can do to keep up with the candidates that are moving forward. At worst, it is demoralizing and contributes to job burnout. The largest population in any recruiting cycle are the candidates that do not get hired. All too often, this is the group of candidates that do not hear back – which is one of the key reasons for the growing levels of candidate resentment.
Participating in Candidate Experience Day – and for that matter, Candidate Experience improvement activities and events throughout the year, is truly a way that you can take control of your own work experience. Not only will your efforts make life better for the candidates and improve the business results of your organization, but you will also be improving your job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is the feeling of fulfillment you receive from the work that you perform. Zeroing in on the meaningful aspects of your work is critical to job satisfaction. Identifying areas of the process that you can improve upon to produce better and more valuable outcomes for your candidates and hiring managers will not only add to your job satisfaction – but will also ultimately improve your work-life balance and reduce your work-related stress levels.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 is Candidate Experience Day. While it is a specific day being set aside to share stories, posts, quotes, pictures, memes, videos, etc. It is important to remember though that, Every Day Should Be Candidate Experience Day! And, while the title of the day only refers to the Candidate, the reality is that making improvements in the experience will actually create amazing outcomes for both the business your recruit for and for yourself. Improving the Candidate Experience is a journey – not a destination. Embarking on this journey means that you are adopting this as a mindset and that you are continually striving to learn new skills and tools to further this pursuit. Surround yourself with others who have also adopted this mindset plays an important role in that continuous learning. Just remember – your candidates will appreciate it, your business will gain value from it, and your job satisfaction will increase.
Wishing you a productive Candidate Experience Day and a full year of related activities to come!
Since the pandemic, employees have been given the choice of working in the office or from home at PivotCX. The Indianapolis Star interviewed CTO Mike Seidle, Software Developer Ana SerVaas and Client Success leader J’Nay Wiley and visited Pivot to see just what a hybrid workplace is like in this front page Sunday feature and video. Find out how Indianapolis based Pivot is leveraging flexible working arrangements to be a better place to work and get a competitive recruiting advantage against Silicon Valley rivals.
Watch the Full Video on the IndyStar: https://www.indystar.com/videos/news/local/2023/01/17/hybrid-workspaces-help-employees-company/11058879002/
In this Pivot2First episode, Mike and Traci Chernoff consider the secret sauce to employee retention and productivity. How to optimize the recruitment process by bringing people, technology, and businesses together. They also cover why peer interviewing is a great idea. The four pillars of employee engagement, and the interaction between AI-powered and human-powered HR.
Where did we all go wrong? It seems like HR is about humans. How do we get to where we need to be to bring the humans back?
Although it’s good that we’ve optimized and focused on efficiency, innovation, and technology, we’ve lost our way a little bit in the age of technology. Streamlining, operational efficiencies, labor operations, labor efficiency optimization, and bringing people back into the equation is not an all-or-nothing game. It can all happen together at the same time. While we focus on optimization and efficiency, we should simultaneously focus on the people who make all that happen. Something operators and C-level executives forget is that employment and sales are relationship-driven. They get the sales and marketing piece right, but the HR part wrong. Approaching employment and hiring with a relationship-driven mindset starts with the people in Hiring management positions (whether they’re C-suite, executive/director level) focusing on creating a specific culture or product to solve a problem.
By bringing thought leaders, people with different levels of emotional intelligence, and others committed to giving workers a good experience, we can create initiatives that support that goal.
Happy employees create happy customer experiences. When you focus on building a happy employee experience and giving them an environment that allows them to be more productive, where they want to get to know the product better, and where they want to make the customer experience exceptional, you don’t have to think about the bottom line because it positively unfolds for you.
Many companies have spent a lot of time and money automating. Where did we all get it right?
It’s a myth that “if you pay people right and give them good benefits, they’ll stay forever,” people want more than that. 58% of Americans who are eligible to work are hourly. There’s much vulnerability based on pay, benefits eligibility, and being full-time vs. part-time. The truth is that employee engagement is not just about Pay and Benefits.
At Legion we think of The four pillars of Employee Engagement:
- Employees, as people, want flexibility and predictability:
Employees want the opportunity to decide what their lives look like. They want to know they’ll get 40 hrs/week of work. However, they want the flexibility to determine what those 40hrs look like and have the ability to switch shifts or work a different schedule.
- Employees want to feel connected to the bigger picture through culture and communication:
When employees feel connected to the bigger, they feel connected and grounded in the purpose and mission of the organization. Having tools for frontline communication with employees makes a huge difference in the way they connect with the purpose and mission of the organization. An engaged workforce will do a better job. They’ll be happier and more likely to stay than to churn.
Why do companies process candidates like chickens instead of building relationships?
Sometimes companies aren’t clear on who they are. They sell blue skies because that’s what they want from the company, but it’s essential to be super transparent about where you are today and what you want your future state to look like.
Additionally, companies, hiring managers, and people assigned to recruiting, are not hiring for diversity of thought. They aren’t hiring people different from them, who think differently, who have other priorities. Bringing people onto a team who present and represent different ways of thinking and priorities creates a more comprehensive team environment. In this kind of environment where ideas are challenged, individuals have more growth opportunities.
What do companies get wrong before someone becomes an employee? How do we improve employee engagement?
When we think about what we’re expecting from candidates, there’s an imbalance in expectations and what’s reasonable. We shouldn’t bring just anyone, but there’s a way we can think about candidates differently, getting a little bit more humanity to the interview process.
As we have experienced throughout the pandemic, the way we interview has changed. Instead of asking the same questions from a candidate over and over, candidates can go through the PivotCX process to screen them for the basic qualifications of the role. Hiring managers can then focus on asking pointed or challenging questions to figure out if a candidate is a good fit for the job.
Not having peer interviews is also a big issue. Knowing how a new team member will interact with the group is absolutely critical. The reason people stay even when you see manager turnover is because they love their peers and the group of friends they’ve made at work. If we know 50% is employer-controlled (the way we expect people to work) and the other 50% is whom we are working with, then we should place our intention and energy into listening to peer feedback. Involving peers and giving them the psychological safety of expressing their opinions when deciding who to hire will strengthen the bond between the employees, other stakeholders, and the organization.
About Traci Chernoff
Traci is a self-starter and entrepreneur with a passion for people, strategy, and innovation. She is host of one of the most interesting HR-focused podcasts: “Bringing the Human back to Human Resources.” She has been an HR Manager, Trainer, and Director of HR and is now Director of Employee Engagement for Legion Technologies, an AI-powered workforce management company with a mission to turn hourly jobs into good jobs.
Book that changed your life: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (reading it in high school allowed me to find my own power and know it’s okay to be exactly who you are), the Nightingale by Kristen Hanna (Historical fiction novel set in France WWII. It awoke my spirit and soul).
Favorite Saying: “Every problem has a solution.”
Your favorite movie: the Harry Potter series (growing up before the films came out was great!)
Final Thoughts: I appreciate you listening at talking about all the things that make me excited and passionate about HR. Let’s continue to talk about why bringing humans back into business is a great mission to have.
Traci’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/HRTraci
Podcast: Bringing the Human back to Human Resources https://hrtraci.com/
Learn more about Mike and PivotCX:
Mike’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/indymike/
In this podcast episode, Mike chats with Jo Dodds, host of the podcast Engage for Success and a leader of the employee engagement movement.
Ever since the Engaging for Success was published in 2009, Jo has been at the forefront of advocating for best practices in employee engagement. Employee engagement and success have grown into an important cornerstone of a successful company. While hard to define, employee success can be considered as people need to have something meaningful about their work to do the best job they can. Employee experience is the next step forward.
With the Great Resignation, people are shuffling across companies but not everyone is finding that they’re getting what they signed up for. Companies lose good people because they are not talking to everyone. Start out with the supposition that ALL CANDIDATES are good people to talk with and you’ll do a much better job with recruiting.
Important to a successful employee engagement strategy is to focus on the 4 enablers:
1. Strategic Narrative – Visible, empowering leadership providing a strong strategic narrative about the organization, where it’s come from, and where it’s going
2. Engaging Managers – who focus on their people and give them scope, treat their people as individuals, and coach and stretch their people.
3. Employee Voice – Employees are seen not as the problem, but rather as central to the solution, to be involved, listened to, and invited to contribute their experience, expertise, and ideas.
4. Organizational Integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day-to-day behaviors. There is no ‘say–do’ gap. Promises made and promises kept, or an explanation given as to why not.
Learn more about Jo Dodds and the Engage for Success movement here: https://engageforsuccess.org/