By understanding employee motivation, you can improve the way your company works. How? Both parties need to understand each other’s needs and seek to satisfy each other’s expectations. The best way to do this is through genuine conversations that reflect every real-life expectations of work and the wider world.  

Recruitment is transforming away from the transactional view that money is the primary motivator, and from one-size-fits-all products like today’s job descriptions, towards tomorrow’s greater focus on purpose and personalisation. By understanding your employees better, via assessment, listening and training, it is possible to recruit the best available people for the present and the future.  

During the talent acquisition process, potential applicants must be able to project themselves into the team, company and role. There needs to be genuine communication. And, the evolution of the role and the company itself should be visible to engage your candidate pool. “Better than telling candidates what it´s like to work your company, you should show them,” says Joost Fortuin, Managing Director of PageGroup Netherlands. “And what better way to do that than by using your own employees?”

So, how can you use your employees to hire the best available people for any given role? 

Key Insight: When employers understand their employee's motivation and drivers, they can use this information to attract better candidates via their employer branding.

Employee ambassadors offer authenticity  

If you can turn your best employees into brand ambassadors, you help to create an open, transparent first line of peer-review for the company. According to recent studies, 36% of companies use this method to attract managers, helping them find the best available profiles faster. “If your people are proud of the place they are working, they will spread the word across their own network, and connect to people you wouldn´t reach otherwise,” says Bart Klompenmaker, Executive Director of Michael Page Netherlands. 

Using employees to help source candidates leverages your employer branding in a powerful way. Your current employees become ambassadors for the company and brand, and the conversations they have are genuine, from person to person. It allows you as a hiring manager to access wider, more balanced candidate lists as recommendations often come on a personal level, with buy-in from your current employees of exactly what kind of personality will fit.   

This feedback helps drive teams forward, as it gives visibility on any issues the team might have – and what is working well and could be used to help other teams. To be better advocates for the company, employees need to be fulfilled at work. Through feedback, the manager can pre-empt problems if there are any, or continue with policies that help drive employee engagement.   

This has led to an increase in the number of companies using feedback from their employees to better understand satisfaction and engagement, and their level of commitment. This is often done via yearly or quarterly questionnaires, giving the company a barometer on their employee's happiness, helping management to motivate the team.  

Key Insight: By using employees as head-hunters employers create authentic conversations during the recruitment process, giving the potential applicant the ability to project into the team 

Showing examples of personal and professional development 

Giving young adults more skills before they leave education will help them thrive in the modern world. Teaching soft skills and giving training that corresponds to the needs of business is key in helping companies stay competitive in a demanding market. “You see universities already giving more importance to developing the soft skills of their students,” says Steven Houben. Executive Director of Michael Page Netherlands. “I general I would say that new generations are in that sense very well prepared when they enter the job market, which makes it easier to place them.”  

However, for personal and professional development doesn´t stop there. According to recent research by PageGroup, almost 60 percent of candidates are looking for move jobs to develop their professionals and personal skills.  

To convince those potential candidates that they your company takes investing in personal development seriously, it´s best to use your own employees as an example. “I advise clients to include their best employees in the recruitment process,” says Joost Fortuin. “They are the real-life example of how you can develop yourself within a company.”  

Assessing them by using role-plays, scenarios and group work helps to detect people who have transferrable skills and cognitive abilities that may have been missed by looking at the static CV of the present. 

Key Insight: Assessing candidates' skills through role plays and scenarios can reveal hidden depths to their behavioural skills profile, specifically with recent graduates, low-paid workers and seniors. 

How can you attract better candidates?

Employees need to be understood and respected as individuals. They can no longer be treated as an indistinct mass. To recruit the right employees for your business there needs to be a personalisation of human resource management, starting from the job briefing, to the job advert, the process, and into the onboarding and beyond.  

The need to test for skills outside of technical areas is obvious. It opens the field of candidates, helping companies find the best available profiles, people with the cognitive, behavioural skills that will grow with the role and any future one.  

To recruit for the future, hiring managers and recruiters need to form a partnership focused on two key areas: locating the right personalities with a mix of emotional intelligence and cognitive skills, and, through working together, change perspectives on what makes the best candidate.  

Key Insight: Candidates and employees alike need to be treated with respect and as individuals throughout the relationship, starting with the recruitment process through and beyond onboarding. 

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