In the realm of marketing, companies have worked hard to define their culture and are always creating experiences for their customers and prospects. They seek to woo them with delight, increase loyalty and inevitably grow their revenue.
In the modern workplace, we are seeing the lines blur between human resources, marketing, and customer service to create a workplace culture and develop experiences designed to delight and woo candidates and retain employees. They are using technology increasingly in a process that is being called HR consumerization.
The Candidate Experience
The change isn’t a complete surprise since recent findings show that with 60% of all job seekers having had what they term “a bad candidate experience,” and 72% of them admitting to sharing that experience online; something had to give. This can both make it more difficult for a business to fill positions, but also leave those with a bad candidate experience at the mercy of varying levels of unemployment help in each state.
The reasons set out for poor experiences by candidates vary. However, one common complaint on Glassdoor is directed at employers who fail to notify the applicants of the status —or even receipt of, their application.
It doesn’t take much to discourage prospects from applying for jobs with companies who are not attentive to their needs. This severely limits the talent pool, leaving many businesses struggling. But wait, there’s more; a bad candidate review can also turn away potential customers which impacts the bottom line directly.
Who is Doing it Right?
Sir Richard Branson’s mega-corporation, Virgin Media, has created an attentive candidate experience for the many thousands of people they do NOT hire. Out of the 150,000 applicants, the company hires roughly 3,500 people each year. They recognized that this large segment represented not only disappointed applicants but also customers, future-former clients, and even prospects.
They saw an opportunity to reverse a loss-making situation while also easing the blow. After market research had suggested which tactics to use, they created a robust experience, investing over seven million dollars into a program that put their rejected candidates first.
Not every company has millions of dollars to use this way. However, there are plenty of attentive gestures that go a long way in improving a candidate’s experience. Considering the complaints on GlassDoor, one way would be to implement an application tracking system, mobile app, or directly contact, by email, letting a candidate know you have received their application along with the expected timeline.
Employee Engagement and Retention
Aside from placating candidates, employee retention and engagement are some of the most important issues in HR. Top talent has many options for employment. This generation of workers do not become immediately loyal to their employers and revenue lost due to disengaged employees is nearing half of a trillion dollars each year.
In a national Workplace Trends survey it was discovered that 83% of companies rated “employee experience” as critical to their business’ success. To enhance the employee experience,
- 56 percent are investing more in training
- 51 percent are improving their employee’s workspaces
- 47 percent are giving more rewards and recognition
Who is Doing it Right?
Tech giant IBM is using their Watson AI in HR to decrease attrition and prevent burnout. Through predictive analysis, they continuously evaluate “retention risk” for key job roles. When the algorithm flags an employee —after certain behaviors, managers are notified and begin mediation to keep the employee satisfied. The company reports the measures have saved IBM $130 million dollars so far.
You don’t have to use advanced technology to know when your employees are unhappy, however. There are many other softer methods of keeping your employees engaged and happy.
3 Simple Tips to Increase Engagement and Prevent Burnout
1. Create a More Supportive Environment
This can be as simple as reacting with positivity when an employee needs to take time off from work. Be proactive by encouraging your employees to take breaks and look after their well-being.
2. Utilize Rewards and Recognition
Without excluding others, find opportunities to recognize each employee for the precise value that they bring to your team and company. Let employees see their place in your organization as important, regardless of their job description.
3. Create a Culture of Purpose
Evaluate what your business does to serve all its stakeholders not just your customers. Encourage and participate in community projects. This will invigorate employees and stimulate loyalty.
Employee turnover is a costly problem, as is employee disengagement and lost revenues due to decreased productivity. It is essential to utilize the principles of HR consumerization to engage employees from their recruitment and throughout their tenure actively.
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About the author:
Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer