Brand – It’s What’s Inside That Counts
In his book Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock, former head of People Operations at Google, talks about a time when employee referrals for new hires at Google went down. This was very concerning, because their greatest source of successful new hires and talent was actually from referrals from existing employees (Bock, 2015). Surprisingly, doubling the referral bonus still didn’t work. Turns out, it was the candidate expectation and experience in the hiring process – Google employees were actually intrinsically motivated to refer family and friends, because they genuinely liked it as a place to work. But they hesitated to refer because Google didn’t have a great process for handling internal referrals and employees didn’t want to put their friends/family through it. When they changed the process to ensure that internal referrals were given a priority vetting process with a guaranteed first interview, the referral rate increased.
There are a few lessons in this that all organisations can take away:
1. Candidate experience matters.
Your talent acquisition process, and how you engage with those who want to work for you (whether part-time, full-time, or contract), is just as much a part of the brand as your logo, website and your social media posts. According to RecruitingDaily.com, your marketing department has a critical role to play in talent acquisition.
2. Employee engagement is more important than ever.
Your brand is either being promoted, or eroded, by the people who come to work each day and interact with your customers and talk about your company to their family and friends.
Janany Janakiraman, Associate Vice President of HR at ADP India, says, “Employee Engagement for me is to give every associate ‘a sense of purpose’ for coming to work every day and engaging with passion in performing his/her work responsibilities. In the truest sense, each of us spends the maximum number of hours in our work environment, more than our personal environment, and giving oneself the reason to come to work and work under a particular brand/leader/team is what clicks biggest for bringing people together and feeling the brand.”
So what makes for an engaged employee? Health perks? Foosball tables? According to research from the ADP Research Institute, these things aren’t bad, but they only complement the actual work experience. New recruits want what you promised. Employees are more likely to stay if the role experience aligns with the expectations set during the hiring process.
It sounds simple, but it means ensuring that those talking to new candidates, like HR (through interviews and screenings) and marketing (through your careers website), aren’t selling a work experience that doesn’t exist. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and will be costly to your business when the people you invest time and training in quickly find somewhere else to use their talents.
We’re excited to share more about our latest research in upcoming blog posts. What lessons has your company learned about talent acquisition and retention? Is it time to try something different?
PS: Paying people correctly is also super important for your brand. If you need more info on that, come over here!