Over the past two or three years no concept in HR has been more hot than Candidate Experience. It’s not like anyone is against Candidate Experience - it’s an easy concept to fall in love with and support. It’s like “saving puppies!” Do you know anyone who wouldn’t be for “Saving Puppies!”?
Of course not! Everyone loves puppies! We would all want to save puppies. That’s Candidate Experience. We all agree that candidates should have a wonderful, positive experience when they apply for jobs at your company.
You want to know what’s more important than Candidate Experience, yet most organizations put almost zero thought into? Employee Experience.
Employee Experience is exactly what you think it is - it’s the experience your employees have while working for your organization. Just like the candidate experience, except these people actually bought into your story and work for you! They make the donuts. They turn the lights on. They are responsible for all that profit you report! Candidates are basically meaningless as compared to employees. I can live without candidates. I can’t live without employees.
So, why is it that most organizations put almost no effort into defining and improving their employee experience?
It’s the same reason we stop paying attention to those we love the most. Well, I talked her into marrying me, the hard work is done. “Oh, really?” I’ll be married twenty-five years in 2017 and asking her to marry me was the easiest part of marriage by far! Keeping her tricked that I’m the one has been the hardest part!
That’s what we have to do in HR. We have to keep working at making our employees believe the choice they made to come to work for us was the best choice they ever made, and we have to keep doing this day after day, month after month, year after year!
Candidates are easily fooled. A nice website. A sappy video. A fresh bottle of water during the interview and you’re golden. Employees begin to see our flaws. The weight that is creeping up on us. The scars start to show. The old car we drive starts to show its wear.
Creating a great Employee Experience will be the single hardest thing you’ll do in HR. That’s why we don’t focus on it and put resources to it. It’s also the reason we focus so much on Candidate Experience, because it’s easy. It’s easy to make candidates happy and satisfied.
A great employee experience doesn’t have to be overly difficult. It starts with you and your leadership team defining what you want your employee experience to be. This will be the hardest step. Then it’s up to you and your leadership team to make that happen. The hardest part of that will be the follow-through and consistency, but that’s what HR is actually really good at!
If you want to set your HR team up as a strategic partner to the organization in 2017, begin the conversation around Employee Experience. The easiest candidate to recruit is the one you never have to because you never lost the employee who was doing a great job in that role. That’s smart. That’s strategic. That’s a valuable asset to give your organization.
I’m a 20 year HR/Recruiting Talent Pro with a Master’s in HR and SPHR certification, currently residing in Lansing, MI. Currently the President at HRU Technical Resources – a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. Prior to joining HRU, I was the Director of Employment at Sparrow Health System, Regional HR and Staffing Director with Applebee’s Intl., Retail Health Recruiting Manager and Regional HR Mgr. with ShopKo Stores and Pamida respectively. I’ve split my career half between recruiting and half between HR generalist roles – also split half between the HR vendor community and Corporate America – So, I think I get it from both sides of the desk.