By understanding what matters to and motivates employees, you can improve the way your company works. How? Both parties need to understand each other’s needs and seek to satisfy each other’s expectations. The best way to do this is through genuine conversations that reflect real-life expectations of work and the world.  

Recruitment is transforming away from the transactional view that money is the primary motivator, and from one-size-fits-all products like today’s job descriptions, towards greater focus on purpose and personalisation. By understanding your employees better, via assessment, feedback and training, it is possible to recruit the best available people for the present and the future.

Melissa Haymerle, Director of Michael Page Austria, about the challenges of this hiring strategy:  

„The challenge is to identify and win talent for the company. When companies know who their current employees are and what motivates them, they also understand who you need today and in the future. Anyone who knows exactly what's going on in the company can simply plan better and that also applies to personnel planning.”

During the talent acquisition process, potential applicants must be able to project themselves into the team, company and role. There needs to be genuine communication. And, the evolution of the role and the company itself should be visible to engage your candidate pool.  

So, how can you use your employees to hire the best available people for any given role?

Key Insight: When employers understand their employee's motivation and drivers, they can use this information to attract better candidates via their employer branding.

Employee ambassadors offer authenticity

If you can turn your best employees into brand ambassadors, you help to create an open, transparent first line of peer-review for the company. According to recent studies, 36% of companies use this method to attract managers, helping them find the best available profiles faster.  

Using employees to help source candidates leverages your employer branding in a powerful way. Your current employees become ambassadors for the company and brand, and the conversations they have are genuine, from person to person. It allows you as a hiring manager to access wider, more balanced candidate lists as recommendations often come on a personal level, with buy-in from your current employees of exactly what kind of personality will fit.  

This feedback helps drive teams forward, as it gives visibility on any issues the team might have – and what is working well and could be used to help other teams. To be better advocates for the company, employees need to be fulfilled at work. Through feedback, the manager can pre-empt problems if there are any, or continue with policies that help drive employee engagement.  

This has led to an increase in the number of companies using feedback from their employees to better understand satisfaction and engagement, and their level of commitment. This is often done via yearly or quarterly questionnaires, giving the company a barometer on their employee's happiness, helping management to motivate the team.

Key Insight: By using employees as ambassador’s employers can create authentic conversations during the recruitment process, giving the potential applicant the ability to understand the team.  

Role playing to discover hidden skills

Giving young adults more skills before they leave education will help them thrive in the modern world. Teaching soft, behavioural skills and giving training that corresponds to the needs of business is key in helping companies stay competitive in a demanding market. Assessment centres help businesses go further in understanding the behavioural skills, motivation and personality of potential applicants.  

Depending on the career level of the candidate being assessed, their creativity, leadership, and adaptability are tested, revealing skills not covered by looking at experience or hard technical skills.  

These assessments are very useful for differentiating between three profiles: graduates with little experience, people coming from low-paid, repetitive work, and candidates with professional experience in a different function or sector. People from these groups need to be assessed in different ways, as their work history is narrow, or their past is viewed with bias regarding their skills.  

Assessing them by using role-plays, scenarios and group work helps to detect people who have transferrable skills and cognitive abilities that may have been missed by looking at the static CV of the present.

Key Insight: Assessing candidates' skills through role-plays, scenarios and group work reveals hidden depths to behavioural skills profiles, specifically with recent graduates, low-paid workers and seniors from other sectors.

How can you attract better candidates?

Employees need to be understood and respected as individuals. They can no longer be treated as an indistinct mass. To recruit the right employees for your business there needs to be a personalisation of human resource management, starting from the job briefing, to the job advert, the process, and into the onboarding and beyond.   

The need to test for skills outside of technical areas is obvious. It opens the field of candidates, helping companies find the best available profiles, people with the cognitive, behavioural skills that will grow with the role and any future one.  

To recruit for the future, hiring managers and recruiters need to form a partnership focused on two key areas: locating the right personalities with a mix of emotional intelligence and cognitive skills, and, through working together, change perspectives on what makes the best candidate.

Key Insight: Candidates and employees alike need to be treated with respect and as individuals throughout the relationship, starting with the recruitment process through and beyond onboarding.

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