Why recruiting top talent shouldn't be the first priority

27 May Why recruiting top talent shouldn't be the first priority

There are two ways of looking at human behaviour: that is people generally have good intentions or those intentions and are bad. If we assume the former and employ a recruitment process that gets to the heart of a person’s engagement drivers and selects them accordingly, then it’s fair to say that new employees come into an organisation as highly engaged talent.

Highly engaged employees are the holy grail based on the three S’s of employee engagement: Say, Stay, Strive – engaged employees say good things about the company – they are a potential referral base, they stay longer avoiding the cost of attrition and most importantly they strive to deliver ‘plus one’ discretionary effort – the ‘plus one’ makes a significant impact on positive customer experience.

Research shows that highly engaged employees deliver 45% higher job performance yet only 20% of employees in most organisations are highly engaged. Furthermore close to 10% are actively disengaged and 70% are neutral – those who are neutral are average performers who fly under the radar however they also represent the biggest opportunities for managers. Imagine if we could move even half of our ‘neutrals’ to highly engaged – we’d need half the number of people to get the same outcome!

It is interesting to note that highly engaged employees also represent the greatest risk to an organisation – they deliver the most and offer the greatest potential but if disengaged can cause the most damage. A good analogy is high performance race horse spooked at the starting gates.

However, the point is that our new employees come in as highly engaged. Our job as leaders is to ensure we keep them that way. Engagement is about culture and leaders are culture in action – ‘people leave managers not organisations’.  In the contact centre, team leaders are culture in action – the new employee’s experience of the organisational culture comes via their immediate manager – and is often their only experience of the organisations culture.

The relationship the team leader builds with their new employee and the culture they foster within their team is the key to maximising employee engagement – of existing employees and the fresh new talent that joins with hopes and aspirations. Team leaders must be involved in the recruitment process of new employees: to understand engagement drivers and ensure they deliver on the promise the organisation makes when attracting talent. This is the key to reducing the very costly early stage attrition and driving long term retention.

The priority before recruiting top talent is ensuring your team leaders can deliver on brand promise and engage those new recruits.

Ensure your team leaders know how to recruit and keep highly engaged employees.