Q&A, Recruiting

Recruit Stronger by Prioritizing Belonging

Quiet quitting, bai lan, and anti-work are some of the trends currently demonstrating that employees are unhappy with poor workplace cultures that fail to keep them engaged. To get ahead of these problematic trends, HR leaders and organizations must build and cultivate cultures that prioritize belonging – making employees feel welcomed, known, included, supported, and connected. 

Recent research from Achievers Workforce Institute found that employees with a strong sense of belonging are not only more than twice as likely to be resilient, but alsonearly three times more likely to say they are highly productive at work. Furthermore, the research found that engaging and retaining current employees aren’t the only benefits of centering belonging. Organizations can also build more attractive cultures for potential hires and attract talent that is a great fit, not just fast fits.  

We recently connected with Achievers’ Chief People and Culture Officer, Hannah Yardley, to find out how HR leaders can recruit smarter and focus on making new employees feel valued and welcomed from the onset of coming on board.

Here’s what she had to say.

What do you mean by fast fit vs. great fit?

HY: There is a tradeoff that organizations must explore in their choice between fast fit versus great fit. Historically, great people planning would suggest that when you hire someone, you’re looking at their ability to grow and develop into their next role at the organization – i.e., seeking someone that is a GREAT fit.

However, given the global tenure rate continues to drop, we need to find ways to help employees become integrated, contributing members, more quickly. This is where fast fit needs to shine. Maybe it’s time to also focus on how to get the quickest development and growth of our employees, because usually, they have a retention timeframe of 18-24 months.

What’s your advice on finding an employee that’s a great fit for the company, the open position and work culture?

HY: It’s important to remember that each employee is seeking a different workplace experience and to ensure it’s a good long-term fit, recruiters should set expectations from the very beginning. For instance, if employers expect workers to come into the office every day, they should set this expectation in their job posts.

However, at Achievers, we believe that employee-defined flexibility is the future. To gain a competitive edge, retain talent, and ensure a good fit, leaders should ask their workforce to self-select what work model best suits them. In doing so, employers won’t just keep existing employees happy, but also improve recruitment outcomes.

To help our people choose what work looks like for them, Achievers has created a simple system that encompasses employees’ typical working behavior with the four personas model:

in-office, hybrid, remote-by-choice, and remote. Although the personas themselves reflect the culture and needs of our colleagues, it’s the consistent habits built that are the true impact. By “signing up” for a persona you are creating habits and behaviors that align to your style of working.

What are the differences in approaches to a great fit versus fast fit?

HY: There are opportunities to make a great fit and a fast fit. Below are some general guidelines on the tradeoffs for making a choice, when hiring.

Great Fit

Scrap the job description: Allow flexibility in the role, focus on outcomes rather than the tasks and allow the employee to have greater flexibility in the journey of how they get to those outcomes.

Show them the future: In 2022, opportunities for promotion and growth were the top reason employees planned to job hunt. Communicate paths for advancement early in the interview process, get a competitive edge in the short term and happy employees in the long term.

Train for future skills: Invest in skills of the future, things that will continue to be of interest professionally and benefits the organization’s growth.

Target passive talent: Find the best in class. Take the time to identify and nurture candidates who meet more of your long-term objectives.

Fast Fit

Get ultra-clear on the role and expectations: Accelerate their time to impact to make sure they know their expected outcomes and you’re getting what you need faster.

Show them the money: Make it easy for them to say yes with a competitive salary.  Quickly follow with a clear understanding of what outcomes and success measures are expected.

Train for the now: Invest in what is going to make them better today. Help to onboard faster by developing the knowledge to enable their skills for this current role.

Target ready talent: Move fast on talent. Target those actively seeking change and open to role opportunities. Don’t waste time and resources trying to nurture someone that may never want to join.

Is there anything you can do to get both a great fit and fast fit?

If you’re really looking to optimize for both fast fit and great fit, there are three practices paramount to the process.

First: Pay Transparency

Interestingly, advances in government employment policies, like pay transparency, are enabling great fit and fast fit. Across many of the states, sharing pay range enables employees to understand future career growth opportunities and where they sit on that growth trajectory. The side benefit here is that pay transparency helps to fast-hire too, as you’re weeding out candidates that wouldn’t otherwise take the role due to pay or drop out during the process when pay transparency becomes more available.

Second: Build Recognition Culture

Recognition is not just about building goodwill, but provides employees with stronger clarity on what outcomes are most valued and appreciated by the organization and their peers. This is so critical to building the right habits for great fit and for fast fit employees who need immediate feedback on where they are being successful.  On top of this, recognition has other protective factors. In the AWI 2022 State of Recognition report, two-thirds say feeling recognized would reduce their desire to job hunt and 46% of respondents who were recognized weekly reported to be more highly engaged and more likely to recommend their company to others.

Third: Belonging

Belonging will take on a new meaning as the distance between office, life, and our social environment shrinks. Employees are seeking a sense of community- and ultimately, more than just a great job. Corporate action around building relationships, becoming known, feeling included, will all keep employees on the roster. It not only aligns with investing in great fit and talent but improves productivity and resilience which is so critical to fast fit hires. Belonging drives three times more productivity, engagement, and job commitment, making it the North Star for organizations and HR. 

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