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Employers – Have You Lived Up to Your Promises? Part II

Posted on: 13 Nov 2018

For relationships to work, they must be founded on mutual trust. But with fierce competition for suitable employees, it can be tempting to make impossible promises to attract, recruit and retain. And once falsehoods are revealed, belief is shattered. Something that few alliances can survive.

In the first article in this series, we looked at the different types of employment contract. Here, we take a deeper dive into how employers can live up to their promises across the employee life cycle.

Attract Employees With Commitments You Can Keep

With employment rates at an all-time high, organisations must compete to win the best candidates.

A key tool in the recruitment war chest is the EVP (employer value proposition). Part branding, part strategic workforce planning tool, an EVP showcases why your organisation’s work experience is superior to other firms’.

This shifts the focus from compensation as the sole reason to join a business to wider considerations like culture, type of work, personal development and career prospects.

At this stage, the job description is also key in setting expectations as it describes the kind of work employees will carry out. Dress roles up by making them sound more interesting than they are and you can expect lots of interviews and few suitable candidates. Making honesty the best policy.

Resist the Temptation to Over-Promise at Recruitment

As interviews are held, more flesh is added to the bones of your EVP, for example by providing information on company values.

Of course, the decision-making process works both ways and employees will also begin to decide whether you are right for them. Expect candidates to ask questions that probe key aspects of your EVP, like:

  • What makes you proud to work at this company?
  • How does the organisation support your professional development and career growth?
  • Is risk-taking encouraged and what happens when people fail?

Preparing genuine answers, rather than those you think candidates want to hear, is the only way to give an honest reflection of your organisation. By doing so, you’ve got the best chance of finding candidates who will be a great fit.

Onboard With Integrity

Socialising your new hire with your organisation’s way of doing things is another critical part of your relationship.

As you explain the kind of work your new team member will be doing and the behaviours you expect them to exhibit, any deviation from information provided earlier will become apparent.

While it might be tempting to get ahead of yourself by conveying aspirations as reality, you’ll only disappoint employees who turn up expecting one organisation to find something quite different.

Sticking to the facts will protect your brand reputation and help your retention figures.

Don’t Over-Do Your Development Promises

A major part of any organisation’s EVP is a commitment to develop employees. If development tends to be on-the-job, via exposure to projects or through mentorship, be up-front about this at the recruitment stage.

There’s no point hiring someone who wants you to support them through their masters if you have no intention of doing so.

Retention Relies on Consistent Delivery Against Your Pledges

Do your employees feel valued? Are they doing meaningful work? And how would you know?

Making promises is one part of the puzzle. Monitoring how well you’re keeping them is the other. Engagement surveys are a good way of checking in, either with an annual questionnaire or more regular pulse surveys.

Like checking a barometer, these assessments will highlight approaching storms. And the early warning will give you time to respond and maintain engagement.

Keep Up the Good Work as Employees Depart

You might think that your obligations to leavers are few and far between. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

People who’ve worked for you can evangelise about your business or tear you down in front of potential recruits. Just take a look at some of the reviews on employer review site, Glassdoor. Keeping your promises and treating every employee well, right to the end, is as important as impressing new hires.

All relationships rely on making and keeping promises. Break your promises and lose your employees, or keep them and, well, keep them. It really is that simple.

To keep your company’s promises, work with a recruitment partner you can trust. Call We Are Adam on 0207 871 7665 / 0161 359 3789 or at hello@weareadam.co.uk.

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