#NZLEAD PREVIEW: Introduction to engagement

I remember when I got engaged to be married, an ex-colleague likening it to the concept of engagement at work. When you really are engaged at work you do it because you really enjoy it, you give your all and you, hopefully, love what you do. Your work relationship is not just transactional when you really are engaged. Hopefully most marriages are also like this. It’s a rather romantic notion of engagement don’t you think? I do have to point out that this ex-colleague was saying this rather sarcastically because he was an engagement sceptic.

I used to be a sceptic too and I still am to some extent. I’m slowly, getting convinced that there is a link between engagement and performance. But I have not yet seen enough evidence of this to fully convince me. Much of the evidence there is comes from consultants who, I believe, have a vested interest in selling this fact. I also believe it is very difficult to link engagement to performance when there are so many other variables at play.

One of those variables includes how people define engagement. It seems that most consultancies have different ways of doing this and one consistent term is a slippery concept.

Furthermore, the engagement survey measures the outcomes of engagement, usually at a single point in time. I think that part of the problem here is that engagement is highly contingent on a feeling. Theoretically, you should be able to measure the outcomes of a feeling, but how do you truly define and measure what goes on within people’s hearts. How do you know it until you’ve felt it?

We will be going into a whole lot of facets of engagement in the month of July. I hope you can join us on the engagement journey. To start us of, the questions for this week are:

Q1) How do you define engagement? What does that actually mean?

Q2) Do you think engagement and performance are linked? Why? Why not? Do you have any examples?

Q3) Can you truly measure engagement through a survey? How could you do this differently?

Q4) Why is engagement such a compelling topic? Or why not?


#NZLEAD RECAP: Recruitment Processes – Are they still working?

So this week was about recruitment processes and if it really is necessary that a recruitment round takes so long. Recently I was interviewed and formally offered a position within 7 days (incl the weekend). It was painless, easy and quick. So my question out to the #NZLEAD community was if all the time usually spent is actually necessary?

Thursday’s chat was very intense. There was a lot of feeling expressed, especially from those who are recruiters, but then some controversial ideas thrown in the mix about how recruitment is different for different organisations and teams. To get the chat started I asked whether recruitment processes still work, the responses were varied:

I think the crux of the conversation came back to the quality of your recruitment processes. If you are open, honest and transparent with your recruitment process and especially timeframes, candidates are more willing to be patient. I applied for a role in March, received notification it was delayed for 2 MONTHS after I applied, another notification of delay 1 MONTH later and since then, nothing. I constantly followed up because I was keen to work for this company. In the end I just gave up. I didn’t want to work with a company who cared that little about the experience I was having as a candidate.

For most in the #NZLEAD conversation, it came down to the quality and agility of the process and how it is managed. Shona makes a good point:

It’s not just about the speed of recruiting someone, but the quality. Fiona Harland – Recruitment Consultant made a good point when speed comes at the expense of a good quality and timely hire:

At the end of the day, the processes are there for a reason but organisations have to work harder at being more agile and efficient. I believe that working in a speedy manner, while following all the steps of your processes can still enable you to make a good hire. I think it also comes down to the experience of the recruiting manager as well. If they know exactly what they are looking for and they express this to the market, they will get the right people – in this case, it won’t hurt to work quickly but effectively.

Organisations need to plan their recruitment, they need to be clear about what they want and put that out to the market.

RakshaHR makes the perfect statement about this.

This balance is the aim for all organisations, but work needs to be done to ensure you have the right balance that works for your organisation and your candidate pool. Recruitment will be around forever, but the way we manage and run recruitment will need to improve and adapt with the changing world of work!

#NZLEAD PREVIEW: Recruitment Processes – Are they still working?

During June, #NZLEAD has been discussion various topics around recruitment such as headhunting and sourcing, I wanted to talk about the actual recruitment process. Is it still working? Does it need to change? How should it change? Or is it just fine?

I recently went through a recruitment process which was actually the best one I have been through in a long time. From the day of my interview to the day of my offer it was exactly 7 days. This included my behavioural based interview, my reference checks, my verbal offer and my final offer. It was painless. So from a candidate perspective that was great! But I don’t want to focus on the candidate’s experience. I want to focus on the organisations process and how they go about recruitment.

In my experience this is the recruitment process used:

  • Job Advertising (2 weeks minimum)
  • Short-listing candidates
  • Offer top 3 or 4 an interview
  • Develop a behavioural based interview (mostly using previous interview questions or standard organisational wide questions)
  • Conduct the interview – using the “tell me about a time when you have used this competency” method
  • Contact the preferred candidates and notify of reference checks and psychometric testing (verbal, numeric and personality testing)
  • Have a meeting with the interview panel and decide who to offer the role to
  • Provide verbal offer to the preferred candidate
  • Negotiate (if needed)
  • Write up the contract and send the employment pack
  • Receive employment pack
  • New candidate/employee commences work

Now, that is a long and gruelling process. No wonder the cost of recruitment is so high and managers HATE doing it, especially when it has to be done often in a high turnover environment.

Some of these steps are definitely required – such as short-listing, reference checking (which SHOULD by done by the appointing manager), and the face-to-face interview. But I am wondering if the way it is currently done still works?

Does behavioural based interview questions really tell us if the candidate can perform the job? Does reference checking really give us a good objective picture of the candidate? Is psychometric testing really worth the money? Does that information actually tell us if the candidate can do the job or not? Which ones have stood the test of time and which ones need a re-think with the changing world of work?

So I want to ask the HR Practitioners out there and the Managers, Employees, External Recruiters and Consultants out there these questions:

Q1) Does the current recruitment step process work? If yes, what are the successes? If no, why not?

Q2) Could or Should it be improved and how would you see that improvement?

Q3) Have you used an alternative to the above mentioned process?

Q4) Can we make the process more streamlined, simpler, easier, less time-consuming and cheaper? If yes, how?