The labour market remains hot, with the most sought-after candidates receiving more offers than employers receive resumes, and deciding whether they are interested after just a quick glance.
Some candidates go to so many job interviews that they no longer have the drive or motivation to “sell” themselves. There are candidates who only come to job interviews to check their “worth”.
Today, both sides choose, and employment is becoming a transaction between equal partners – or almost equal, because at present, it is the employer who needs to get the candidates interested and then not let them go.
Job ads – part of a marketing campaign
The form of the job offer has been changing a lot recently. Unlike more experienced professionals, who still analyse the job functions and responsibilities specified and only send resumes where their experience meets the requirements, the younger generation no longer reads job descriptions. They evaluate the company itself and what additional values it offers future employees. The employers who are winning today are the ones who make job ads easy to read and “desirable” to candidates.
However, the best way to attract new employees is nevertheless through various forms of recommendations from existing employees. In this case, the job advertisement becomes just an additional source of information for a potential employee.
Decisions – without any “buts”
There are still employers out there who consider job interviews a one-way examination of the candidate, but for the most part, interviews have become a dialogue where both the future employee and the employer have an opportunity to express their expectations and hear what the other is looking for.
During the first meeting, the employer should tell the candidate about the company’s culture, values, team, ongoing social, volunteering or environmental initiatives, and non-discrimination, equal rights and other policies. During the first interview, candidates should sense whether they can picture themselves in the environment offered by the employer.
Likewise, the employer should get a feel for whether this person would fit in at the organisation. When it comes to making a decision, we should trust our intuition and avoid resorting to compromises. If everything seems fine during the interview, but there is still that deeply unsettling “but…”, or if the candidate raises certain questions about competences or values, but we give in to the circumstances and make a compromise anyway, closing our eyes and making an offer, we will usually end up being disappointed. The same applies to the candidate. Employees who accept an offer even though they have their doubts, can’t relate to the company’s values or culture, or don’t like the manager, usually don’t stay long.
Virtual onboarding does not work
Successful induction and training of new hires leads to successful employee integration and loyalty. This is the most susceptible time for new hires when the environment can inspire them and provide motivation, or the opposite – cause mistrust and spark doubts as to whether the decision to join the organisation was a good idea. And even though the bad first impression is forgotten, the emotion remains.
The induction and training process usually involves more participants, such as personnel and training specialists, but the presence of the manager is of particular importance. It is the manager who must ensure a completely positive experience for the new hire. The involvement of the manager in the onboarding process is directly reflected in the retention rates of new hires and the quality of their integration.
Proper preparation of the induction and training plan and the involvement of all the people participating are also important. At our company, the principle of “go wide, then narrow” works well. New employees are first introduced to the company’s history, organisation, values, culture, services, customer cycle, key annual processes, necessary contacts and main divisions, and only later introduced to their own division and functions.
We meet with all new hires in the first months and collect feedback about their experience which we then use to improve the process. We also hold regular newcomer days, where we present the necessary information, and new hires have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and share experiences.
During the pandemic, most new hire meetings and training only took place virtually – and this did not work. A live connection and real emotions are especially important for new employees.
Probationary period – primarily for the employer
We started measuring the experiences of new hires during the pandemic when we were unable to collect assessments through live feedback. The survey covers two processes – candidate selection and induction and training. It is anonymous, so employees can freely express their comments and rate their experiences.
The first indicator of the level of satisfaction of new hires is participation in the survey itself. Engaged employees are always happy to share feedback and make suggestions. The results of the latest survey confirmed our guess that a structured and transparent onboarding process and plan is important to the employees themselves.
Who is it for? Just 10 years ago, the probationary period was exclusively the right of the employer to check and test the employee and deliver a verdict as to whether the employee and his or her skills were suitable for the job. However, employees are checking the employer and gauging the company, job functions and responsibilities the exact same way. Recently, when I talk to candidates to clarify the reasons behind their desire to change jobs, I see a trend where it is the employees who decide that the company has not passed the probationary period and that it is time for them to go their separate ways.