Employee Engagement starts with your recruiting advertisements

I am going to use the analogy of a wedding engagement as I present the subject of employee engagement to you in this series.  Whether your new relationship is personal or business successful and long term results are derived in similar fashions and most people understand what a wedding engagement is and what it means. 

But what is really meant when we say ‘employee engagement’?  I mean you do not want me to give my new employees a ring, do you? No, but it does work to motivate football players during the super bowl. And when does this employee engagement actually start?    In both examples a very serious  commitment has been made. In a marriage engagement both the person asking for a commitment and the person being asked, commit to loving and serving their partner forever and it is assumed the engagement will, someday, turn into a marriage. 

In a new hire engagement the employee is committed to achieving a particular task or tasks  effectively and efficiently every  time performed and they will have a deep and abiding feeling of responsibility to the well being of the organization as a whole for the remainder of their working years.  Likewise, the owner commits to being sure the new hire will always feel this is the best place they have ever worked and they will do whatever they need to do to keep that commitment and so the engagement begins.

But as we all know too well engagement does not guarantee marriage and hiring does not guarantee 10 years, much less a lifetime of working for the same company if all parties making the commitment do not continue to make an effort to keep the ‘engaged’ party feeling like they want to continue their commitment in your agreement.  Engagements are trial periods that can end at any time if one of the parties does not feel the other is engaged in their well being any more.  A 4 carat engagement ring does not guarantee the marriage will take place much less last forever. If there is only a weekly phone call and a monthly bouquet of flowers –this engagement will probably never turn into a marriage.  In like respect, a starting wage of $25/hour for an inexperienced cleaner does not guarantee a long term employee.  An occasional “How are you doing?” in the supplies room will not turn a new hire into a long term employee no matter how much you pay them.  Leaving us with the puzzling question, “How do we turn an engagement into a marriage that lasts?

Before we move onto some possible answers to that question we really need to back up and start at the beginning. The first thing we must do is find and attract the ‘perfect’  person to us. Again, whether you are looking for the perfect marriage partner or the perfect employee there is a good chance you will turn to classified ads for both.  Whether you are describing yourself and listing what you are looking for on Match.com or Indeed what you put in your ad will make all the difference.  They both need to be upbeat and alluring.

I have to ask you, ladies, if you’re looking for a lifelong partner on match.com would you respond to “I am looking for the right woman who loves to cook, clean, pick up after men and will love, respect and obey me for the rest of her life.  The requirements  are simple; must be on call 24 hours a day seven days a week and respond to the bell within three minutes when I ring.”  Again, would you respond to this person or would you respond to the person who writes “I am looking for the perfect woman who likes to be showered with gifts, love, romantic dinners, long walks in the park holding hands and weekly flowers  yet appreciates yourself enough to want to spend time alone as well. Simple requirements; needs to be happy, love life, adventurous and funny.” Would you respond to this person?  Probably, I would.

It is no different when you are posting your position on Indeed or whatever you are using to draw names to your company.  Your advertisement needs to be alluring.  You need to use fun words like “Fun environment. Free snacks. We laugh a lot.”  Safe words like ‘We respect our employees. Great values. Amazing and close teams.”  Tell what is special about your company and your organization’s values but more than that describe in detail all of the amazing things your reader will receive if they just pick you to respond to. 

If you can’t or aren’t luring them into engagement at this point you need to stop right now and fix your ad.  If you are not luring enough candidates to choose from in the first place you will make poor engagement decisions because you are desperate and those decisions will only end up in divorce and break your heart.  Put enough bait out there that you lure in enough fish that you can throw the ‘bad’ ones back in the water.  If your bait is not working you may need to up your game.  You are not going to catch the best and largest flounder if you are still using worms but the line right next to you is dangling fresh shrimp.  If you want a commitment out of the best you need to be offering the best.  Other than full-time or part-time, weekends or not, evenings or not, your applicant pretty well knows what their job description is going to be.   What you need to tell them is what you have that they might be looking for, especially in a tight employee market.

I’m not going to include and employment ad here because there are tons of examples on Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Monster, etc. Read 10 or 20 and take the best parts of all and put them together if they describe your company. Do not copy an entire ad, that’s plagiarism.  Taking a sentence from a variety of ads is creativity.  Be careful with that.  Between today and my next video please take a look at your classified ad and see whether or not it’s alluring.  Would you respond to it? Also be sure that your ‘bait’ is competitive with those posting in your industry and area. 

If you are advertising dollars per hour and everyone else is as well, you might look like more dollars if you advertise dollars per week, but then you need to be sure they will make guaranteed hours. Many cleaners have been lost because they wanted and needed to work more hours and they weren’t available. Many people cannot live on 30 hours per week even if it is $25/hour.  Especially not in NY, New Jersey or Seattle.  Not even Austin, Tx anymore.  Once we engage a great employee we want to turn that engagement into a marriage and that starts with honesty.  If you promise 40 hours to get a great employee you need to give them what you promised or the engagement will not last.

Next I will cover step two of keeping your new relationship alive by luring your new applicant to their first interview. What do you do between the time they posted for your position and you set them up for their first interview?  How do you secure the highest contact rate?  What kind of contact rate can you expect? How soon should you set up the second interview. What percentage of first time interviews will actually show up? Friday I will cover the necessity of engaging the applicant at this point if you want to catch a lot of fish.

Again, before my next video please take a look at your bait and how alluring it appears to your applicant. Also, please take a look at some engaging house cleaning training at housecleanerstraining.com If you need help recruiting I am helping some companies. I screen through your applicants, contact those who will work and set up a zoom interview. For those that show up I record our interview and send qualifying interviews to you. (I do not send the ones who show up in their nightgowns.) I charge $75/hr and it averages $300-400 per applicant. The more you need the less the cost because I can capitalize more on my efforts. I can get you 10 qualified new hires in a month (but even I do need decent bait). sltinberg@yahoo.com 512-964-9750