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By David Harder on May, 1, 2015

The Shocking Truth About Employment In 2015 (Part Two)

Pre-Boarding and On-Boarding workers have become tony business processes.

But, the vast majority of employers are doing a terrible job in presenting their brand and creating goodwill during the hiring process. Many of our individual clients are looking for new jobs and they bring back war stories that are simply jaw dropping:

  • One senior executive with solid skills applied and interviewed with eleven organizations. He made it to the final rounds with five of the companies. One got back to him with an offer. The others didn’t send notes or return calls. In two cases, he had invested about ten hours of interview time and found out he didn’t get in by calling the recruiter.
  • Recently, a senior executive was rounding up offers. The one she most wanted led to a verbal offer from the man who would have been her boss. She verbally accepted the position and never heard from him again.

This past month, I interviewed several business leaders directly involved with talent acquisition and none of them were surprised with these stories. Speak to virtually anyone whose gone through the interview experience in the last five years and they will give you the name of the companies that treated them without a modicum of respect and the one or two organizations that provided a superior experience – even if they did not get the job. These impressions are lasting and create a word-of-mouth that is either positive or poisonous.

Maya Angelou said,

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Good engagement philosophy suggests that employers treat their workers with the same degree of respect as customers. That customer experience and the beginnings of engagement begin before they are hired. Create a great experience throughout the acquisition process. You never know when you will need that individual who didn’t get hired as well as the community around them.

This past month, personal income started to grow for the first time in years. The only reason this is happening is because employers have reached a turning point in competing for talent. Survey after survey indicates that over 60% of Americans plan on leaving their job as the economy improves and many are resentful of their past treatment.

Why are the practices I’ve described become so prevalent?

It is because more than not, CEOs and business owners have not taken charge of their culture. It is because talent acquisition is a human resources process. It is someone else’s job.

CEOs at organizations such as Apple, BMW, Google, Tesla, HBO and other iconic brands recognize that talent is number one and the quality of talent and engagement determines their success. Culture is more than HR. It requires the involvement of every leader in an organization. Relegating culture to HR means that you dismiss its importance. Consequently, building a strong employer brand and world class engagement will be impossible, a bit like pushing an egg up a hill with one’s nose.

If any organization seriously wants to compete in this landscape, Angela Gardner from Hedrick and Struggles has a sound point-of-view:

When she built the talent acquisition department at Fox, her team conducted marketing surveys with everyone that had been hired as well as not hired. They want to understand their experience. Angela turned the hiring process into a marketing process. The end result was a respectful, expedient, communicative and effective experience. The customer became #1.

Many organizations, if they are to compete in the talent war ahead, would do well to follow suit.

Perhaps it is time for CEOs to really go undercover and apply to their own companies.

For a moment, they might decide to work someplace else.

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