Employee Engagement Starts Pre-Hire

January 22, 2020 at 5:06 pm
The word brand with colored letters.

Employer branding is one way to increase engagement before hiring takes place.

When employees are engaged, they work harder and stay longer than when they are not engaged. Here’s the kicker though: employee engagement starts even before hiring takes place.

First impressions can be long-lasting.

The first experience an employee has of an organization takes place long before their onboarding or their first day on the job. The first impression an employee gets of you will be the very first time they hear something about your organization. In many cases, this happens long before they even apply for a job with you.

Employer branding is particularly important for making a good first impression because it gives candidates a positive impression of the brand from the very first time they ever hear of it–which is often long before they decide to apply for a job. A positive impression is the first step to employee engagement.

Sure, your organization can spend a lot of money on advertising and huge charitable gifts. It can make a big deal like Microsoft just did about going carbon negative. But all that isn’t really necessary.

Your potential candidates will be checking out your website and social media pages, so make sure they look good and give the information you want out there. Really, unless you are Fortune 100, these steps along with an employee referral program can be all you need to generate positive word of mouth so candidates will engage in the hiring process and be willing to come on board.

Smiling woman speaking with a job candidate.

Making the candidate experience positive leads to greater engagement.

Candidate experience will create engagement.

Once the hiring process starts, it’s important to continue the favorable impressions so that engagement will continue and increase. A Monster.com survey showed that more than a third of candidates would not take a job if the reception area didn’t look nice.

Other aspects of the interview situation that influence the candidate’s engagement and decision include the manner of the receptionist, how the interviewer dresses, being kept waiting too long, how the interview room looks, and the small talk and handshake of the interviewer. Appearances are important to forming impressions, so make the interview location as nice as you can and train your interview team to be friendly and personable.

Use assessments for prehire engagement.

Another way to increase candidate engagement is to use assessments as part of the hiring process. Assessments create buy-in because candidates perceive them as being an objective, yet personalized way to evaluate candidates. Just the act of taking an assessment increases engagement, and hiring teams can take the time to engage the candidate about the results of the assessment even if they decide against making an offer on that basis.

Let’s face it–there are a lot of jobs out there right now. You really can’t afford to turn off top talent if you want to find and engage the right people. Impressions are made quickly, which in turn will impact engagement going forward.

When a candidate accepts a job with you, it’s because they have engaged in the process and decided that it will be a good opportunity for them. All of that happens before they even show up on the first day.

Want to know more about how to attract and retain great talent? Narish International can help your company build higher-performing teams today.