(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos was named one of the 2017 Best Workplaces for Giving Back by Fortune Magazine in conjunction with consultancy Great Place to Work. Congrats to them! Enjoy the post.)
I know the phrase is well-worn, but the reality is that “the war for talent” is on. Forty percent of employers say they’re struggling to find qualified candidates, according to ManpowerGroup’s most recent Talent Shortage Survey. And while there’s talk about artificial intelligence (AI) helping organizations with recruiting processes, let’s face it, people want to be hired by people.
So, what really helps organizations attract and retain the best talent is having an exceptional candidate and employee experience. At Kronos, they call this WorkInspired. Chief People Officer David Almeda calls it a mutual promise between employees and the company. “Kronites bring their passion, ideas, talent, and customer-first mentality to work every day. In return, the company is committed to providing an engaging, transparent, collaborative, and high-trust employee experience. Being a great place to work is quite literally one of a small number of high-priority imperatives that are communicated to all employees each year as part of the company’s overall business strategy. In other words, being a great place to work is every bit as important as our traditional business priorities as a global software provider, such as application development and migrating customers to the cloud.”
We all know that people are candidates before employees, so I asked Almeda how Kronos brings WorkInspired to the hiring process. “We consider those early recruiting days with a prospective Kronite to be the beginning of an extended, very intentionally created employee experience. Our hiring process is meant to emulate the same WorkInspired experience and attributes that current employees enjoy.”
3 Ways to Improve the Candidate Experience
Make it easy for job seekers to find and apply for jobs. If the company can’t attract applicants, they can’t hire employees. Basic but true. Organizations need to be where candidates are and in today’s world, that’s on social media using a mobile device. Pew Research reports that as of January 2017, ninety-five percent of Americans own a cellphone of some kind and roughly half own tablet computers. Add to that seventy percent of Americans use social media, and it’s easy to see the importance of having a social and mobile recruiting strategy. If an individual isn’t ready to apply, organizations can use talent networks to stay engaged with candidates and keep them informed of what’s happening around the company.
Create a robust internship experience. One of the things that’s impressive about Kronos’ talent acquisition team is their commitment to go above and beyond for candidates and help them find the next best career move, with Kronos or elsewhere. Where you can really see that in action is their internship program. Kronos is committed to giving interns the best experience for their career, which includes participation in an “Intern Olympics” competition between Greater Boston technology companies. The event focuses on networking, leadership, and fun. It’s something the interns will hopefully remember for a long time, especially when they’re looking for career opportunities.
Give candidates a realistic job preview. At Kronos, candidates are exposed to as many potential colleagues as possible so they can better understand the company culture, the work environment, their would-be role, and performance expectations. Recruiters routinely share their expertise with candidates to demystify the job search process and help candidates present themselves in the most genuine and positive manner. Hiring managers are encouraged to make each candidate touchpoint special by demonstrating what WorkInspired means to them by sharing emails, articles, photos, and more to emphasize what it would be like to not only work at Kronos, but on that particular team and for that specific manager.
3 Ways to Improve the Employee Experience
Develop a meaningful feedback process for the employee experience. At Kronos, employees are asked to rate their managers twice a year. The ratings are focused on four key areas of manager effectiveness that they’ve determined makes up the DNA of their strongest people managers. Managers then share their results with their teams along with their plan for developing their areas of opportunities. Managers are also encouraged to share these results with candidates as part of the interviewing process – providing even more insight into what it would mean if they got the job. Additionally, managers are provided with target development goals while at the same time being held accountable to continuously improving their results.
Offer employees a competitive pay and benefits. Almeda acknowledges there never will be a one-size-fits-all benefits and perks program. “Kronites have a number of different interests and priorities driven by factors such as age, location, parental status and many, many others.” so we work hard to research what matters most to our people. We examine the data provided by our bi-annual global engagement surveys, run focus groups, and partner with third parties to develop a well-rounded package of benefits that is competitive, affordable, and appealing to Kronites. These programs fall into four core buckets: Care for Each Other; Care for Our Customers; Care for Our Families; and Care for Our Communities. The benefits are meant to maximize work-life for employees, with a stress on the fact that our families are the number one priority – not work.”
Create a productive office environment. If you’re not aware, Kronos is in the process of relocating their headquarters from Chelmsford, Massachusetts to the nearby city of Lowell. While moving more than 1,400 employees is a challenge, Almeda said Kronos used it as an opportunity for employee involvement. “Our very first action was to assemble a core team of advocates to work alongside our real estate, facilities, and procurement departments to build a new facility befitting our culture and the company we’ve become. The advocates’ responsibility is to act as a conduit between the Kronos design team and their individual departments: providing information and office updates downstream to their colleagues while bringing new ideas and feedback upstream to the core design team. We are also leveraging our internal collaboration platform, Chatter, to post move updates for Kronites, share plans and photos, and run polls to get a feel for what employees want to see in their new space or gather data about a specific design decision.”
Everyone Deserves a Great Manager
Whether it’s candidates or employees, recruiting and retaining the best talent takes great management. Almeda said Kronos is committed to developing Kronites. “We believe that everyone deserves a great manager. But being a great manager is not easy. It takes work. It takes coaching. It takes guidance. Above all, it takes courage. To maintain our success as a company, we know that we must invest in what we call manager effectiveness. A key part of evaluating the effectiveness of our 750-plus people managers around the world is how closely connected their direct reports feel to our overall corporate strategy and, more importantly, can see clearly how they directly contribute to our success.”
Organizations that want the best talent need to bring their recruiting process full circle. Create a candidate and employee experience that’s welcoming and inclusive. Then, inspire employees to drive the innovative ideas that moves the business forward. Ultimately, employees will share their stories. That’s what creating a best place to work is all about.2