In our previous post, my colleague Susan Rice and I spoke about how financial services organizations can use creative, more human-centered ways to find and attract top talent. But how do you keep candidates engaged during the recruitment process?

How can you be a different kind of employer?

Start by seeing the world from your potential employee’s perspective. You were also once a young, ambitious job-seeker and you’ll remember how you were treated in the process.

We tend to feel anxious and nervous when applying for a job. Often, employers don’t make enough contact to lessen the anxiety and we end up feeling stressed and making knee-jerk decisions—like choosing a different employer that’s better at communicating.

People lose faith when there’s not enough contact—you need to keep them engaged or they will take the next-best offer.

So, what can you do differently?

There are so many ways to engage potential employees; for example, sending text messages to reassure and keep candidates up to date with the process. To get candidates to accept an offer, you could also accompany it with a video of managers welcoming them to the team. It’s all about making the potential employee feel special, valued and part of the family.

Even if you don’t end up hiring someone, you still need to engage them and make them feel valued. They may not be the right fit for the job right now, but they might be perfect for future projects or roles elsewhere in the organization.

To ensure the best candidate experience we need a complete overhaul of how we do recruitment—before, during, after and long after the recruitment process. People will remember how you treated them, so treat everyone you meet with kindness and compassion—like they do at Karmarama.

Karmarama—it’s about culture

Accenture Song acquired indie creative agency Karmarama in November 2016 to create an “experience agency of record”. The agency has been named one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For six times overall—consecutively over the past four years. Karmarama’s Dreamcatcher initiative also won a special award for learning and development. For the initiative, staff members send a dream to the Dreamcatcher team as a way to encourage employees to experience and learn something new. The winner receives £1000 and a week off to make their dream come true. In 2017, the company also won a special award for “Innovation in Employee Engagement” for its “Good Works” culture.

Karmarama CEO Ben Bilboul ascribes the company’s success to its culture, which is based on four core values: care, candor, collaboration and character. The company’s website describes its culture as follows:

Why are we talking about Karmarama?

The recruitment process is a window into the entire organization. It’s often a prospective employee’s first experience with the company, and your company culture is strongly felt during that process.

Karmarama does amazing things like the Dreamcatcher Initiative that makes employees feel important to the brand. This culture is contagious and felt at every level.

You must put the candidate at the center of the recruitment experience to show them that even before they start working for you, they are already part of your brand. These candidates become part of your talent pool even if you don’t hire them—they might be suitable for a different role later on.

How to engage new hires: a case study

Once you’ve attracted and engaged top talent, the fun doesn’t stop there. Onboarding is another vital opportunity to show your new employees what your business is made of.

Accenture UK designed an onboarding program in response to the question: “How can you strengthen relationships and build engagements with new hires in 30 days?” The program helped new hires to become familiar and comfortable with the culture of the company and to learn and practise new behaviors and habits related to: learning and collaboration; health and wellbeing; and finding and maintaining the right networks. Read more about Accenture UK’s innovative onboarding program here.

In the next post, we’ll talk about how recruiters can use digital tools and technologies to attract top talent and keep them engaged. To find out more about digital HR in financial services or to join us at the Change Directors Forum and People Innovation Forum in London, contact Nicole Knott here or on Twitter @knott_nic. For more on transformative recruitment strategies, contact Susan Rice on LinkedIn.

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