The U.S. keeps sliding downward in the ranks of the world's happiest nations. What might this mean for recruiting?
By Karyn Mullins
World Happiness Day is today, March 20, and America is in dire need of the movement for a happier world.
The latest world happiness report from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, released last week, ranks the U.S. at No. 18 in happiness, down four spots from last year's report (Finland is ranked the world's happiest nation, at No. 1).
The cause? Many are feeling the repercussions of world uncertainty, widespread economic fears, and general unrest. And the reality is, this lack of trust is spreading into workplaces, impacting retention everywhere.
Now, the difficult task of instilling feelings of respect, trust, and belonging falls on recruiters during the hiring process. However, the end result will be worth it, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management report, which finds there are three factors for creating a workplace that's beneficial to both employees and employers.
Constant accessibility to job-related tasks and emails makes it nearly impossible for employees to decompress. It's not surprising so many feel overwhelmed by the amount of work on their plates. In fact, 38 percent of employees feel overwhelmed by how much they have to get done at work, according to the SHRM report.
When employees feel they're overworked, they're also feeling devalued -- and disrespected. So, they're not looking to move from one overwhelming workplace to another.
Candidates need to feel respected during the hiring process. And if you're not paying attention to how every little detail comes across, it'll cost you. According to LinkedIn's Inside the Mind of Today's Candidate report, 65 percent of candidates say a bad interview experience makes them lose interest in the job opportunity.
Set hiring process expectations before the interview by showing candidates you're focused on and respectful of their time. Start by explaining how many interviews they'll have, when you're available, and who they'll meet. Make sure everyone involved is able to give their full attention while interacting with the candidate.
Then, during the interview, aim to show you respect them as a human being, not just as your 2 p.m. appointment. Ask questions about how they spend their time inside and outside of work. Explain what benefits the company offers to help employees find work-life balance, giving them time to enjoy their families and hobbies.
Trust is hard to gain and doesn't happen overnight. Your candidates are surrounded by political issues and corporate scandals. With such a short amount of interaction during the hiring process, it's crucial you immediately connect with them and build a relationship of trust.
Don't just tell employees the opportunities they'll have at your organization. Instead, show them success stories. Bring current team members in for interviews to discuss how they've worked their way up and are excelling on your team.
Encourage candidates to openly discuss their goals and ask your employees questions about moving up the ladder. Sharing these personal details, and connecting them back to your company, will immediately establish a trusting bond.
Your candidates aren't looking for a clock-in, clock-out type of job. They want a workplace where they belong and feel like they're an important part of the team. Many companies make the mistake of waiting until after someone is hired to form this bond. However, candidates are seeking out that feeling now.
In the previously mentioned LinkedIn report, Inside the Mind of Today's Candidate, candidates cited not seeing the work environment as their top hiring-process challenge. Without seeing where they'd work every day or meeting their potential co-workers, it's impossible for candidates to envision themselves as a vital part of the team.
The report found 51 percent of candidates say they want to learn about your company culture through an office visit. You can do this before a job seeker is even on your radar by creating a virtual reality tour and posting it on your homepage, career site and social media accounts.
During interviews, invite candidates in for office tours, open houses, and even lunches with a few current team members. You can even take it a step further and invite them to complete tasks alongside your team, sit in on training sessions, or even join in on brainstorming sessions.
Multiple studies have confirmed that happy employees are more productive and likelier to stick around. So why not get the ball rolling with an inspiring recruitment experience that will make candidates -- and recruiters -- happier?