Carmen Bryant, Director of Americas Employer Insights at Indeed, discussed how employers can connect with job candidates throughout the hiring journey during her presentation to Argyle's CHRO membership at the 2017 Human Capital Leadership Forum: Fall Event on September 14 in New York City. During her presentation, "The Human Side of Hiring," Bryant explored how HR professionals can use the human connection to bridge the gap with job candidates.
Bryant focused on three questions in her presentation:
1. How important is the social connection in the workplace?
Studies have shown the social connections that employees build with their work peers can have long-lasting benefits on a company and its workforce. Yet few companies understand the value of social connections, and as a result, fail to use social connections to develop employee trust and loyalty.
"I think more than any other business function, recruiting is absolutely built on human connection," Bryant noted.
How a company fosters collaboration in a workplace may dictate its immediate and long-term success. If a business develops programs that foster social connections, a business may be better equipped than rivals to engage its workforce.
"Employees want to believe in what they're company does. They like the feeling of community."
Conversely, a company that cannot engage its workers may struggle to optimize its productivity and efficiency. This business also may find it difficult to keep its workers happy for an extended period of time – something that may cause this company's employee turnover rates to rise.
"There is a significant impact to not having social connections," she pointed out. "On the flip side, if social connections are there, they can have a positive impact on a business."
2. How do we leverage what recruiters are great at – building relationships – to make our organizations more socially fulfilling communities?
Purpose and human connection play important roles at every stage of the hiring process, according to Bryant. As such, how an employer empowers its workforce may have far-flung effects on a business' success.
A company that trusts employees can put its workers in the best position to succeed, resulting in a satisfied and engaged workforce. Comparatively, a business that fails to connect with its workers on a "human" level likely will fail to generate interest from top talent.
Furthermore, human connection drives trust, Bryant stated. If employers can build a human connection early in the hiring process, they can increase the likelihood of consistently attracting top talent.
"There is a significant impact to not having social connections. On the flip side, if social connections are there, they can have a positive impact on a business."
To drive trust, employers must view a job candidate's application and learn about the applicant "as a whole person," Bryant said. With this approach, an employer can foster meaningful engagements with employees that deliver long-term benefits.
3. How can we build talent communities that are more connected, engaged, productive and successful?
Transforming a workforce into a community of employees can be difficult. But if companies can develop employee communities, they could differentiate their businesses from the competition.
"Employees want to believe in what they're company does," Bryant stated. "They like the feeling of community."
Bryant offered the following tips to help companies foster employee communities:
- Help current employees build the right community for their future colleagues. Job candidates want to be happy in their day-to-day work. If employers understand what makes their employees happy, they can build successful employee communities.
- Respond to job candidates as if they are your most important customers. A top talent application often proves to be more valuable than a sales lead. Therefore, employers should prioritize job candidate satisfaction and ensure applicants feel comfortable at each stage of the hiring process.
- Let recruiters be advocates for talent. Providing job candidates with interview details in advance can improve the interview process for both employers and applicants.
- Design the recruiting process to maximize the chance of authentic human connection. Employers should explore ways to ensure the human connection begins from the moment a job candidate contacts a company.
- Use data to relentlessly optimize the human connection. The only way to build a human candidate experience is to measure how candidates respond to the people and activities in the recruiting process, Bryant said.
Ultimately, the human connection can make or break a job candidate's decision to choose one company over another, according to Bryant. If an employer allocates the necessary time and resources to understand a job candidate's concerns and questions, this company can boost its chances of generating interest from top talent. Over time, this business can reap the benefits of an engaged, high-performing workforce, Bryant noted.
Building a human connection will drive improved employee retention and loyalty, Bryant stated. It may lead employees to advocate on behalf of a business and provide positive reviews about a business, leading top talent to select one business over another time and time again.
Carmen Bryant is one of Indeed.com’s go-to people for telling their story to the market – on stage at events, during industry-wide webcasts and in conference rooms at the largest companies. As both a product and customer expert, Carmen also works closely with Indeed’s sales force to help develop effective account specific go-to-market strategies. Carmen was previously at NBC Universal where she led the trends and insights practice for the Content Innovation Agency including oversight of The Curve, a trends and insights brand that examines consumer culture. She has also held positions at Essence, L'Oreal USA and Philip Morris USA.
She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her family.