Engaging Employees Starts Earlier than You Think

With businesses competing for the best staff, you need to make sure your organisation stands out from the crowd. Nicola Kelly-Davies explains how
With uncertainty around Brexit and a skills shortage in the hospitality sector, employee engagement and company culture has become more important than ever. But while making sure employees are happy in their roles and connected with the values and goals of the company is vital, you also need to think about how you engage staff before they’ve joined your organisation. You need to think about applicant engagement.

With businesses competing for the best staff, you need to make sure your organisation stands out from the crowd. Staff are likely to be applying to more than one place, so you want to be their preferred choice to get the pick of the best talent.

This means you need to be different – having a unique brand that applicants are immersed in from the very start. Even the job description should convey the character and values of your brand, not just a bland list of roles and responsibilities.

It’s also likely that applicants already know your brand. Their experience of the recruitment process should therefore align with what they know from being a customer themselves. Anything else will feel disjointed and won’t help you engage your applicants.

When the job seeker clicks through to apply for the role, the same is true. If the site they’re presented with looks the same as everyone else’s then it won’t stand out. Even something as seemingly minor as the wrong font or the wrong colours can make an applicant feel disconnected from the brand. And bring the page to life. Think about the wording you use, images or video content. Everything on that page should be on-brand, making the applicant want to work for you.

And it doesn’t stop there. Think about how easy application forms are to complete and the language used. Think about the style of the emails and text messages you send, and how often you communicate to keep applicants engaged in the process. How easy is it to schedule interviews? How smooth are Right to Work checks? Every stage of the process can be examined to ensure your brand comes through in the right way – that you stand out from the crowd and you’re the first choice for the best talent.

At the end of the day, the more they want to work for you the more engaged they will be from day one. Which in turn means they’ll be more productive and likely to stay longer.

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