Take time to learn from your newest employees

August 3, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

We’re often so caught up in preparing to train new hires and teach them how to be successful in our organizations that we don’t consider what we might learn from them. For The Organized Executive’s Blog, Editor Catherine Ahern wrote the following piece about tapping into new hires’ insight. It’s a great piece on how new employees can improve your hiring process.

Tap into new hires’ insight

A new employee who’s young might have useful knowledge about social media, the latest technology or the newest trends popular among your youngest customers. A new employee who’s been in the working world for a while might have wisdom about your competitors’ strategies, alternative methods for common tasks or more efficient programs. You certainly want to make the most of that knowledge and wisdom, if it’s there. But don’t forget to seek out the insight that all your new employees will have: insight into the hiring process.

According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2012 the average duration of unemployment was 41.4 weeks, or just over 9.5 months. Although the job search period is shorter for those who are employed while searching, it still takes a while. Your new hires probably have all had plenty of time to develop some expertise on the subject of hiring processes. Pick their brains to improve your organization’s methods.

Through informal chats or anonymous surveys, discover answers to questions like these:

  • Which organizations’ application or interview processes stood out to you? Why?
  • What was the most frustrating aspect of our organization’s application/interview/hiring process? How would you improve it?
  • What do you think are the best ways to reach the strongest potential hires?

Before I was hired for my first teaching job, I was selected as a “Teacher of Promise” by the University of Virginia and invited to attend a two-day event of workshops and recognition. At the event, some county school systems were out in full force, courting and recruiting the attendees. It felt pretty good to be sought after like that, because unlike in some fields, it’s pretty rare in the teaching world. Ultimately, however, I signed with a county that wasn’t well-represented at the Teachers of Promise Institute. I really wanted someone in my county to ask me what advice I had for their hiring process, so I could tell them about that missed opportunity and a few other ideas I had, but no one ever asked. As a first-year teacher, I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to the human resources department with an unsolicited suggestion.

That’s probably how many of your new employees feel too. They don’t want to be seen as pushy or as touting other organizations’ methods. And they shouldn’t have to. Show new hires that you value their ideas by asking for them.


Entry filed under: Employee Engagement, Employee retention, Recruiting. Tags: , , , , .

Does what you do cause friction or flow? Attract top-tier applicants

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