When Is A Great Candidate Not A Great Candidate?

What is Employee Engagement

We’re big supporters of employee engagement. It’s a drum we bang regularly, because we believe in the benefits of a happy, motivated and high performing workforce. And we believe that assessing engagement starts with assessing best fit, resulting in the right hiring decisions to suit not just the job itself, but the company culture and environment.

If timing is everything, employee engagement is no exception to that rule. Getting it right from the word ‘go’ is crucial. So here’s some food for thought; why not conduct an engagement survey before people join the company. Find out what matters to prospective candidates, and be honest about whether you can deliver on that. After all, you know how your team dynamic operates. You know what resources you have at your disposal. You know what pressures exist, based on the type and style of work in your organisation. You’re probably prepared to give a little here and there … but you also know what things you just can’t budge on, or will simply never be able to change. What you don’t know (unless you ask) is which of those issues matter most to potential new employees. You can wait to find out when they resign within the first six months. Or you can find out before you even commit the payroll, not to mention the recruitment and training costs.

‘Risk putting off great candidates?’, we hear you cry. But a great candidate for one business is not the same as a great candidate for another. Best fit takes not only the rights skills and experience, but also the right connection and a shared set of values. Trust us (we have seen it time and again) when an employee’s values aren’t aligned with the reality of the organisation, the cracks will start to appear pretty early on. Whether it is performance standards, engagement levels, or ultimately the employment contract itself, these are not the sorts of areas which either party gains from compromising over.

When it comes to finding that ‘unicorn’ candidate, the same frustration will resonate time and again with seasoned recruiters. On paper, you can be looking at a true gem; someone who has all the requisite skills, experience and qualifications to meet the objectives of the role. Where the task and process side of the job are concerned, you can be quietly confident that you’ve hit the jackpot. What’s more, you’ve put them through their paces at interview, maybe seen some work samples, and certainly taken up references. But until they walk over the threshold, how do you know whether they will they sink or swim in your organisation. Will they espouse the values of the business, slide neatly into the team dynamic and become a rising star? Fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed?! If that all sounds just a bit too cavalier for your liking, then you’re not alone. We believe strongly that both employers and employees have a huge responsibility in the recruitment process. The responsibility to be honest, to be realistic, and to properly assess whether entering into the employment relationship will create an emotional connection as well as a practical one. That’s why we’ve developed Connect.

Connect is an engagement questionnaire designed primarily to provide a very different view of people who have applied to join your organisation. In many cases the recruitment process is focused on ensuring that the individual has the skills, ability, competencies and behaviours required to perform “the task” required in post. All of which is perfectly sensible. However, great recruitment decisions also ensure that there is a fit between what is important to the individual and the environment the organisation offers.

Connect is typically used at the final stage of the recruitment process, when you have a number of shortlisted candidates who are all capable of completing “the tasks” required of them. Narrowing the field gets tough at this stage; they are all equally capable, but how do you begin to try and second guess which individual is more likely to be engaged working within your organisation? That’s where Connect comes in; it identifies each candidate’s key engagement drivers allowing you to compare your organisation’s values and practices to the candidate’s needs. Maybe your organisation typically demands longer hours than the standard working week, in which case, understanding that a candidate particularly values work life balance is a very useful part of the final interview stage. Equally, recruiting an individual who feels that learning and development opportunities are critical, into an environment where this is not well supported will potentially result in disengagement or resignation.

Connect will help you match new hires to the environment your organisation has created. It compares the DNA of your organisation with that of your next potential hire. It promotes discussion about the important stuff while you still both have the luxury of choice; the choice to enter into a contract of employment, or the choice to carry on the search for a better match.

Put simply, Connect is the final piece of the recruitment jigsaw puzzle. The picture just isn’t complete without that last piece. And we all know how much that can niggle!

You can find out more about Connect on our website, or you can view an example report.  For a more detailed discussion feel free to contact us directly.

Previous Post
Building A Winning Team Culture: 6 Lessons From The World Of Rowing
Next Post
3 Perspectives On Employee Engagement; And Why It Wins The Day.