A happy employee is an engaged employee. Does that mean a happy candidate can be an engaged candidate and become an engaged employee? What do you think?

Candidates will be highly engaged when they get a great candidate experience and what if, you as an organization can continue to provide that great experience even after the candidate comes onboard. Then you will have an engaged employee right there. Below are seven-point where you can make sure you are nurturing your top candidate and help them come in engaged right from job search to onboarding and even after that.

Provide a Great Candidate Experience

Start right at the very beginning by providing a great job search experience with you. If the candidates feel welcomed, well informed and communicated throughout their job search process with you then you are a building a comfort level and trust in your candidates. From the job application process to interviewing and getting offered to onboarding, job seekers make the perception of your company's recruiting and hiring process and make a decision to work with you or not based on how positive their experience was. Influence that perception by making the job search experience memorable by communicating and sharing updates frequently on where they are at in their job search, what to expect next and how they can prepare in order to be successful in their job search. Treat them the way you want to be treated with respect. Once they see a great candidate experience at the very beginning they will be more engaged and exciting coming into your organization.


Engage Your Candidates

Engagement starts with communication at this initial stage. Don’t let your candidates come in and go out with unclear information. Be it your careers site where they seek out information to learn more about you as an employer to the recruiters who can help answer their questions. Do you have enough content online for your candidates to research and learn more about what it is like work with you. If not, you should be thinking about revamping your careers site to optimize your employer brand. Train your recruiters to mentor your candidates and provide an outstanding experience to show that you have a vested interest in their career journey with you. Engage them with information that excites them at every stage of the interviews and even after that. A candidate coming in nurtured with a wealth of information that makes them successful from day one will be an engaged camper.


Show Them the Purpose

Candidates seek out a sense of purpose, feeling of fulfillment and a much more deeper meaning from their employment. It is not a day to day job anymore. It is what makes them happy, do they see a value in it and are they being part of something big. Show your candidates that yours is a purpose-driven company and help your candidates relate to the mission of the organization. Share information on what you stand for as an organization. Entice your candidates with information on not only just mission but your values, culture, products, and services. And show them the big picture in terms of why this position opens, who they will be working with, how would they add value to the customers and to the company and where it takes them in their career as well. That way candidate will get to see where they are at in that big picture and how their contributions will be purposeful. This makes the candidate engaged and internally motivated to bring in the best when they get hired.


Hire for Culture Fit

Instead of looking for trainable skills, look for attitude. Look for the personality that is suitable for your organization’s culture. You can always train someone if they have the willingness to learn. But what if they don’t have that willingness. Attitude and behavior matter more than anything when bringing in a new member to your family. So does in an organization. Don’t make the mistake of interviewing your candidates for job competencies. Rather incorporate behavioral questions like 'Describe a time when you had to...and how did you...' This will help you understand the past behavior of the candidate and how he/she reacted to certain situations and predict how the candidate will act in the future under given circumstances. If you hire a candidate who can resonate with your culture, he/she will be excited to come into work every single day and will be an engaged employee.


Hire for Future Skills

The most successful organizations are the ones who hire talent for future needs. What does that mean is not simply filling a position for the job that is open now. But looking at what are going to be the business needs for the future and looking for that skills set in the applicant pool. If you see a candidate where their skills will help the team and the organization advance to the next step, then you don’t want to lose that talent. Work your way around tweaking your job in a way that fulfills the career needs of your candidates. Make the job a right fit for a great candidate. At Facebook, they created the job around their talent's skills, strengths, interests, and passions; customized the work experiences to motivating and enjoyable. That way employees will get to do what they do best and their job resonated their strengths and passion. This helped their employees to grow and progress in their career path. This is a great example that employees will be engaged if they get to do what they are passionate about. So if a candidate knows that their skills will be helpful for the future needs and organization will let them follow their passion then they will be an engaged employee coming in for sure. The highly successful managers are the ones who see a potential in the candidate where they can not only contribute to the current needs of the organization but to the future needs as well, and hire that candidate and let them do what the do best.


Build a Momentum Between Offer Accepted and Onboarding Experience

Most of the time, there is a gap between the experience the candidates get until the offer is signed and the day they start their job. Make sure that the candidate experience that you provided at the very beginning stays the same throughout the onboarding process and even after that. Send the information to your new hire on what time they need to come in on their first day, who they will be meeting with, what to expect and have a clear agenda in place to have them come in pumped and prepared for the first day. Below are some best practices that you can do to get your new hire excited to come in:

  • Send virtual introduction of the team - a quick video of the team cheering up the new hire
  • Send some swags to the new hire before the start date
  • Send a welcome email to your employees with a photo & brief bio of the new hire so they can welcome the new hire on the first day
  • Let the front desk/receptionist/security know the time she comes in and be there to welcome her
  • Make sure the manager is available on the first day to greet the new hire and if the manager is not available then have a backup plan
  • Be sure to have the access to all the resources and tools on the first day. At least, a computer/laptop, access to the network, know who to contact for what etc.


Set Your New Employees up For Success

You did all the effort to bring in a great talent, provide them a red carpet experience throughout the process and help them get onboard in a memorable manner. Now, what keeps them engaged after that is their relationship with their manager and their colleagues. Set your new hires up for success by letting them know of what is expected of them. Managers should have a one on one with the new hires to discuss and provide a clarity on the expectations.  Make sure the new hire has all the resources that they need to be successful and have an environment to ask questions, make mistakes and learn from it. Meet frequently with the new hire to check if they are feeling comfortable in the new work environment and with the new colleagues. Have informal team meetings, get-togethers, luncheon to make your new hire feel more connected to the team and to the organization. Provide them the environment and the opportunity to do what they do best, recognize their great work that way they will be an engaged employee.

Do you agree that employee engagement starts with recruiting? Share your comments with us!


For more recruiting and interview insights, join us in San Francisco this January 30 - February 1, 2019, at #SRSC where talent acquisition leaders connect to leverage emerging recruiting practices.

Nisha Raghavan is the Talent Attraction and Employer Branding Specialist at the American Heart Association. Prior to this, she worked in the telecommunications and media industry to help attract, engage and retain talent. She writes about her Global HR experiences at her blog Your HR Buddy!! Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @TheHrbuddy