Reflecting to Identify our Blind Spots

One of my friends recently called to tell me she was leaving her organization. She was yet another participant in the career mobility trend… What prompted her to leave? Did she receive an offer for more money or did she dislike her boss? We frequently hear about those drivers. Neither pay nor leadership caused her to leave. She missed working in the office with a team of people. She longed for the in-person camaraderie she once experienced. Who knew that she felt this way? Unfortunately, no one in her current organization had checked in to find out what was working well and how she felt about the current environment. There are several ways to capture employee input throughout the week, month, quarter, or year. In 2020 and 2021, many organizations implemented surveys to check on employee comfort levels in regard to working in the physical office, returning to the office, COVID-19 symptoms, or immunization status. Wouldn’t it be powerful to create a listening strategy to continue connecting with team members and strengthening the organizational culture?

I spoke with a Human Resources Manager about her hiring challenges. She was frustrated that no one was applying to the open positions. The vacancies increased over the past couple of years, but the number of applicants decreased. When she met with peer HR professionals, she learned that she was not alone. But what was the root cause of the problem for her organization? I searched the popular job posting sites and couldn’t find any job posts for this organization. Perhaps the posted jobs had aged and the platform “retired” the posts. I quickly discovered that potential applicants were not aware of the open positions because they weren’t visible on the most popular websites. She was following a process that may have worked in the past, but algorithms changed, and it negatively impacted her ability to attract new team members. Are you testing your job posts to ensure they are viewable and searchable?

My friend has a unique and highly marketable skill set. She updated the indicator on LinkedIn, so recruiters could easily identify her as a candidate seeking a new opportunity. The recruiters quickly engaged her for openings they needed to fill. They lined up a sequence of interviews. Each organization expressed keen interest in her ability to perform the work and fit into the organization. They advanced her to the next steps. One organization accelerated the process, indicated they would put an offer on the table, and quickly delivered on their promise. Meanwhile, she continued to receive calls and emails from recruiters indicating that the other organizations were excited to move forward with the interview process and would schedule the next interview as soon as they could align calendars. She told them directly that she was likely to receive an offer in the near term. Those organizations were slow to continue with the next steps and two of them finally requested another interview days after she accepted a competitive offer from a reputable organization. What had the other organizations missed? A window of opportunity was identified, but they didn’t react quickly. Are you nimble and prepared to compete without the burden of an antiquated process?

I met with a job candidate about her recent application experience. Five organizations required her to walk through the Workday application flow. They were all different organizations, but they required duplicate data entry on lengthy process flows. It was efficient for each of the organizations, just like the self-check at the supermarket, but what is the cost? This applicant abandoned the opportunities that didn’t make her short list. She considered the current market demand, her coveted skill set, and the value of her time. If your application process is lengthy, do you have the ability to identify and connect with the candidates that abandoned the process? Is it possible to shorten the application process?

The Head of Recruiting at a large technology firm was excited about the number of recent hires in his organization. Most of them were internal referrals. That was a positive indication that the job applicants understood a bit about the culture and were signing up to be a part of it. The Human Resources Leader acknowledged that he has a blind spot. Their applicant tracking system did not capture and nurture the external candidates that may be a strong fit for future openings. There were hundreds of applicants that expressed an interest and may have fit the ideal candidate profile. Do you have a system in place to create a bench of potential candidates for future openings?

Many seasoned human resource professionals reference the current battle for talent as the worst they recall. As you think through the challenges of hiring and the need to reduce turnover, reflect on current processes, test their effectiveness and weaknesses, and seek new solutions for continuous improvement.

 

2 comments

  • Robert Moutal

    May 11, 2022 at 12:42 am

    Great insights Jennifer!
    It’s amazing how, unlike most assumptions, people are leaving their job, not because of money, not even because of their manager, but rather for the overall culture and engagement of the rest of the team.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Murray

      May 11, 2022 at 1:50 am

      Yes. The drivers have changed. There are solutions to gauge employee satisfaction, engagement, and areas of concern before employees feel compelled to leave.

      Reply

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