Ivan Harding, Co-Founder & CEO at Applaud, explores why delivering a consistent employee experience is key for recruitment during a time of uncertainty
The pandemic has brought about an unprecedented amount of change within the business community this year. It’s been particularly challenging for HR departments tasked with making crucial and difficult decisions for the safety of staff and survival of the business. Decisions from how to move to an entirely virtual workplace and recruit and onboard people online, to how to provide a good remote employee experience.
According to research we conducted with YouGov, 45% of HRDs think the biggest challenge of delivering a good employee experience in the coming months will be making sure that all employees are receiving a consistent experience regardless of whether they’re remote or office-based. This is followed by creating a strong company culture (43%), maintaining transparent and clear communication between the business and its employees (40%) and delivering a positive and seamless onboarding experience (24%). As the pandemic has turned remote and hybrid working into the norm rather than the exception, it’s important that these challenges are addressed. Especially because having a good digital employee experience will not only help create a more productive and engaged workforce (wherever they are based) but impact businesses’ ability to recruit new talent and retain existing talent in the future.
Despite the negative impact of the pandemic, it’s also had the positive effect of accelerating workplace changes that had been promised for years – including greater flexibility. In order to accommodate this shift towards hybrid working, businesses are starting to prioritise spending their resources on digital environments, rather than physical ones. In fact, according to our research, 29% of HRDs intend to spend more on their digital employee experience rather than their physical one. This is good news given that now more than ever, talent will gravitate towards an employer that embraces technology and offers a digital employee experience that mimics the one they have in their personal lives.
But as we move from a temporary shift to remote working towards a permanent shift to hybrid working, there’s more that still needs to be done. There can no longer be the distinction between the physical and digital employee experience that was pervasive prior to the pandemic. In order to create a consistent employee experience both now and in the future, organisations have to focus on breaking down technology silos and creating employee journeys that bring the physical and digital together.
Virtual recruitment and onboarding
Recruiting and onboarding virtually is a great example of where the pandemic created an opportunity for innovative companies to create a digital process that is consistent with or better than their physical one.
Over 70% of online applicants never receive a formal reply after a job application (Forbes) and online recruitment experiences have largely been characterised as impersonal and numbers focused.
In fact, data from the Human Capital Institute found that 20% of new hires leave a job within the first 45 days after a bad onboarding experience. So, ensuring that a new employee feels welcomed ahead of their first day, and has a positive first few weeks, is key. While this may seem more difficult to achieve without physically being together, there are many things that can be done to give them a great virtual start throughout the recruitment process and up until their first day at your company. Some things to consider include:
- Involving your existing employees in the recruitment process, not just your managers. Create opportunities for candidates to schedule video chats with team members from other departments to get a sense of ‘real-life’ at your company
- Personalise your recruitment process building in flexibility and agility so the best candidates aren’t ruled out due to a prehistoric company policy (e.g. no college degree)
- Enable your candidates to check which stage of the recruitment process they are at, so they know what’s coming up next, who they’re going to meet and how best they can prepare
- Sending the new joiner a ‘get to know you’ survey which covers a range of topics, from hobbies and pastime activities to their ideal home workstation set up. The information gleaned from this survey can help an organisation tailor their welcome packs
- Home delivering welcome packs either before or on their first day. This can go a long way to making a new employee feel welcomed and add a more personal touch. The employer can decide what to include in the pack, but it could range from branded company merchandise to a voucher for their favourite coffee shop
- Making sure that a new joiner feels connected to their team and managers, without being physically present in an office environment. Group video calls with the whole team or smaller breakout groups is a good way to ensure they have a chance to get to know everyone they’ll be working with
As businesses embrace a hybrid style of working, the digital employee experience they are able to offer is tantamount to its success. Businesses that leverage technology to create a personalised and seamless digital employee experience will be ahead of those organisations who do not. Those that integrate seamless technology experiences from day one – ensuring the entire employee experience is innovative, personal and built around their needs – will not only entice new recruits but be better placed to retain staff as well.
Editor's Recommended Articles
Must Read >> The future of recruitment and remote hiring
Must Read >> Recruitment during COVID-19: Managing your resources