How to Optimize Employee Engagement in Your Recruiting Processes

Hiring a new employee is a daunting task. Hiring managers, on average, will select only two percent of applicants for interviews because of the massive volume that comes through the door. The interview process itself averages almost 23 days. On average, it takes a company 42 days to fill an open position.

Contributing to an already grueling recruiting process, hiring volumes are on the rise. Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and younger generations make up a majority of the workforce. The average job tenure is down to eight years, and decreasing.

So, how can employers ease the recruiting process? Engaging your employees in the entire recruiting experience can take some of the work off of your hiring team, and also help you make a better hire overall.

Job candidates want the opportunity to interact with your employees. The candidates want a peek into your company’s culture to learn more about where they may be working. They want to know if they’ll be a fit. Forty-one percent of Generation Z, 81 percent of millennials, and 52 percent of Generation X wish to meet, greet, and interact with your team before accepting a job.

How do you not only involve your employees in your hiring process but optimize employee engagement? Here are four steps to follow.


Step 1: Show your employees the big picture

As you engage your employees in the recruiting process, be sure to show them the big picture. Give them insight into future teams and goals. By understanding the company’s mission and goals, employees can get a better idea of who they might need on their team in the future.

When your employees are interviewing job candidates, showing them around the company, or taking them to lunch as part of the recruiting process, they’re able to help determine whether that candidate brings the skills necessary for the company to reach the next level.


Step 2: Foster a culture of ownership and accountability

Participating in the hiring process will give your employees a sense of ownership and accountability around who gets hired. Your employees are the ones that will be working side-by-side with new employees. In the interview process, your employees will want to confirm that they can work with the candidate. Your employees will want to hire people with which they can collaborate on daily projects and tasks.

Additionally, if you have a fantastic corporate culture, your employees will be protective of that culture. They don’t want someone coming in and rocking the boat. Instead, they want new employees to join their team that will add to the culture, not detract from it.


Step 3: Develop a rewarding employee referral program

Your employees are your best brand advocates for your company. By creating a rewarding employee referral program and leveraging these brand advocates, you are able to source top talent through their connections and networks.

Make sure you communicate with your employees on how your referral program works. How and when are incentives given? Which positions are open? What type of employee is needed, i.e., management or high-tech? By understanding the referral program, your employees can help you source top talent that may have gone overlooked by other recruiting methods, such as job boards.

Your employees have a vested interest in your company’s future success. By encouraging your employees to refer talent to your company, you’re creating a referral culture of employees who are focused on the future of the company by helping to build a team of high performers. By recognizing and rewarding your employees who refer, you’re also creating loyal, motivated employees. Getting access to top talent and motivating your internal team? Win-win.


Step 4: Monitor and re-evaluate your processes

Involving your employees in the recruitment process is important, but it doesn’t always go smoothly. Here are some best practices to combat potential employee involvement pitfalls that employers should monitor:

  • Make sure you have a written, established hiring program. More people involved means more opinions. Embrace the volume of opinions – but make sure you have a process for taking them into account. Differing opinions among employees and management can help you parse whether each candidate is a good fit or not. By streamlining your hiring processes and making sure everyone is on the same page, you’ll minimize decision gridlock while getting a thorough insight into the candidate.
  • Make sure your employees understand their roles in the recruiting process. You don’t want your employees thinking they have more decision-making power than they do. It’s important to find the balance between valuing their feedback, and making a streamlined decision.
  • Offer training to your employees on recruiting and hiring. Your culture and talent team has more than likely been trained in this area, but most of your employees probably haven’t. It’s critical that your employees have the tools to participate in the recruiting process. You don’t want them giving a thumb’s up to candidates just because they “like them,”or maybe because they went to the same college. They need the tools to provide sound, valuable feedback on hiring.
  • Implement technology to help you source passive talent. Although it’s great for employees to refer top talent “just like them,” you want to make sure that you’re creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. Technology can help you sift through employee social media connections while looking for specific skill sets. Using this technology, in addition to a robust recruiting process, can help you secure high-performing talent while minimizing inherent biases inevitably found during hiring.

Like any other internal company program, you’ll need to monitor your recruiting process to make changes and alterations continually. Seek feedback from your internal employees and from the candidates that you interview.

Monitoring your recruiting program, seeking input from employees and candidates, and engaging your employees at all levels of the hiring process, will make you more competitive in your talent acquisition. And that’s good for your company’s future success.

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