Employee EngagementMeetingThis post has been co-authored by Fran Sardone and Catherine Lyons-Bozzo. Catherine is a recruitment veteran with over 20 years’ experience in hiring applicants your firm already knew about.

From the get-go, companies are missing the point of engaging employees, beginning with the job posting.   Let’s talk for a moment about the wonderful experience your new talented employees have with your applicant tracking system or ATS.  Outside of HR, this expensive tool is commonly known as the black hole.

The black hole is about filtering people out and that’s the way your talent pool first experiences your company.  When posting a job do you share your filtering criteria to ensure job seekers have correct information to make informed choices or are you gaming the applicants?

  • Location limitations – do you only want people in specified commuting range? What’s the range?
  • Years of experience – why do you need the applicant to have 3-5, 5-10 years of experience, please explain!
  • Education – are you biased toward big name institutions? Do you really need every certification under the sun? Which ones are actually required and why?
  • Keywords – “must be a team player”.  All the time?  In every situation? Introverts need not apply?
  • Follow up. Yes, the machine acknowledged receipt of the application…then what? The application is somewhere in the database. Guess what? If the applicant is filtered out 1st, or 2nd round, you can let them know. The courtesy of an email is simply a matter of setting up a bulk reply email.

Now that you’ve turned your potential shiny new human being into a ‘resource’, have you noticed how many times this person has actually applied to your company either through your own organization’s ATS or recruitment personnel? They’re making a big effort to figure out how to engage with you. In the meantime your recruitment arm has engaged a search firm to fill this very role, which is now costing you lots of money. You’ve filtered them out, now you’re paying to filter them back in – Kaching! So if engagement is really Corporate Canada’s #1 concern, then it’s time to rethink business as usual. Engagement means having consideration for your future colleagues and a quality touch mind-set.  It’s past time to put the human back into your resources management.

There are ways to do this right and campus recruiters have the right tactical mindset. How can you take your efforts out into the community?

  • Sponsoring sporting events
  • Host a job fair, local public library or community centres are good choices
  • Summertime: target concert venues and fairs
  • Know the demographics of your community outreach: StatCan can help!

If employee engagement is truly on your agenda, then give your recruitment staff a new mandate focusing on job clarity, justification of your criteria and the means to opt in to your company.