Creating and maintaining the digital experience from recruitment to retirement

Talent managers must develop an innovative recruiting approach and carry the same strategies and tools through the entirety of the employee life cycle.

What does your recruiting strategy say about your company’s culture? A lengthy and text heavy job posting may not inspire excitement for what could be an otherwise innovative, fast-paced position. Likewise, the use of a generic inbox to accept and answer candidate questions might not truly reflect your employee-centric and collaborative work environment. In a competitive job market, employers should embrace the recruiting experience as their first opportunity to set the stage for what the employee experience is really like in their organization. 

To further add to today’s recruiting challenges, current workforce demographics are shifting, so recruiting strategies need to follow suit and adapt to the needs of this next generation of workers. Millennials and Gen Z account for almost half of today’s full-time workforce. Paired with a chronic engagement problem, COVID-19 has uniquely impacted these groups in a way that is strongly dictating their apathy toward work. According to a Gallup poll, half of millennials do not plan to stay in their current jobs a year from now and only 29 percent report feeling engaged in their work. 

At first glance, this may make it easy for employers to discredit an approach that caters to Millennial and Gen Z experiences. However, as the proportion of workers from these generations continues to grow, retaining them will be key to employers’ overall success. Significant amounts of time, money and effort go into recruiting top junior performers. But how do you keep them once you hire them and how do you increase the likelihood of them finding job satisfaction once the excitement of the recruitment process dwindles and the day-to-day grind sets in? The key lies in developing an innovative recruiting approach and carrying the strategies and tools used through the entirety of the employee life cycle. 

Candidates will expect the speed and innovation displayed in the tools and technology they experience during recruitment will also be utilized to enhance their experience once onboard too. Companies should use this demand for technology and innovation as an opportunity to shift away from a “recruit to hire” approach in favor of a “recruit to retain” mentality.

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Human Capital Trends Report, employers are commonly tempted to minimize investment in employee retention due to a perceived abundance of available labor. However, the United States unemployment rate fell from nearly 15 percent in April 2020 to 5.8 percent in May 2021, making every retention dollar count. Below are three elements to consider when creating an innovative, “recruit to retain” strategy that maximizes return:

Ensure consistent messaging of company values from recruitment to retirement

Companies go to great lengths to ensure their mission and corporate values are woven into their company culture. Integrating these pillars should begin even before a candidate enters on day one. For example, if your company is dedicated to continuing education and training for employees, you might consider including elements of learning into the recruiting process so candidates can learn about your company or even about different functions or expectations of the job. 

On the flip side, if you have a strong brand and a well-defined recruiting approach, analyze and identify the most successful elements and consider incorporating those experiences and tools into the employee experience. Glassdoor even reports that almost 30 percent of job seekers have quit within the first three months of onboarding, showcasing the importance of consistent messaging from recruitment to retirement in increasing engagement and retention as well. 

Leverage innovative and intuitive tools to set your company apart

Similar to weaving consistent company values into the recruiting experience, the same approach can be taken with technology. In fact, incorporating innovative technology into the recruiting experience and throughout the entirety of the employee life cycle can have multiple benefits too. Creative tools can help companies stand out by offering candidates a memorable and unique experience. Also, if candidates experience the same tools they will utilize in their everyday role, the early exposure will help increase use rates and overall comfort with the tool. Thirty-five percent of polled corporations in Deloitte’s 2021 Human Capital Trends Report rate “implementing new technologies” as one of the most important actions they are taking to transform work, making user adoption a critical factor to a company’s overarching success.

The application of innovative technology recruiting strategies is endless. A company that uses gamification to attract candidates and guide them through the recruiting process could use that same technology for other areas, such as professional development. Similarly, an organization that utilizes speech recognition to facilitate interviews and screenings, might leverage those same tools to answer employee questions about benefits or payroll. 

Whatever the tool or technology might be, it should be intuitive and easy to use. Overly complex systems may confuse candidates and deter them from even applying, negating the strategy to begin with. When implemented correctly, this approach can also lead to cost savings – by using the same technology in multiple facets.

Customize the user-experience to meet and exceed expectations

It is important to remember that you now have two customers with specific needs: the candidate and the employee. Consider what each group needs to ensure you are selecting the strategies and technologies that can be utilized by both. Especially important in today’s COVID-19 environment is considering your customers’ needs as it relates to in-person versus virtual work expectations. LinkedIn indicates that 87 percent of employees prefer to remain virtual at least half of their time, and as a result 70 percent of recruiters anticipate virtual recruiting to become the new norm. 

Additionally, candidate and employee needs will be dictated by the industry you are in – so best to understand current trends and expectations to customize appropriately. Nonprofits and government agencies could focus on inspiring excitement for their missions to draw candidates in, and then further ensure employees feel connected to and engaged with the mission throughout the entirety of their career. 

Likewise, for-profit companies may consider incorporating recruiting strategies that showcase certain products or services, building excitement for the role in which the candidate is applying. Being industry-specific will help your organization meet and exceed expectations, cultivating an engaging employee experience and retaining top talent.

Across industries, organizations are grappling with this rise in expectations for a digital recruitment experience driven by the desires of today’s workforce and the realities of virtual recruitment and work in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the vast amounts of time, resources and funds dedicated to recruiting new and top talent, companies should ensure that they are recruiting to retain for the greatest return.