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Tips from Our Webinar with Lifespan and Berger HR Solutions

May 23, 2022

Strategies to Attract and Engage Talent

The “Great Resignation” has had a huge impact on employers. A record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Certain industries, such as healthcare, got hit especially hard, with 94% of surveyed nursing homes experiencing a staffing shortage. Recruiting is also at an all-time high, said Kristyn Berger, founder of Berger HR Solutions.

How can your organization attract and engage employees in this competitive marketplace? That was the subject of a recent webinar hosted by Lifespan, featuring Berger and Astriata founder, CEO and creative director, Aline Lin, who noted, “Your HR strategy and your website strategy really run in parallel with each other.”

Start with people’s basic needs.

Berger suggested that this mass exodus of employees could be reframed as the “Great Re-evaluation.” The pandemic brought layoffs, schedule changes, working from home, and other job changes. “It forced people to reevaluate: What’s important to me in my job? What’s best for my family? People have been in search of more money, more flexibility, and more happiness,” said Berger.

She and Lin referenced Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to illustrate the cognitive psychology behind self-fulfillment and how it relates to job satisfaction and a great website user experience.

On the bottom levels are our most basic needs, which were severely tested at the onset of Covid. “Making sure people have that safety and security is what keeps them in their jobs. Providing them with what’s above that—love, belonging, and esteem—is what keeps them in their jobs long term and keeps them engaged and happy,” said Berger.

In terms of your company’s website, Lin also recommended starting with the basics. At the base of the triangle is the core of your website—content. “You want to make sure your content addresses people’s needs. But equally important is whether they can find the information easily,” she said. Only then can potential employees start engaging with your content and gather the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about whether your organization is the right place for them.

What impression is your website giving job seekers?

Your website is one of the first places people go to look for job opportunities. Your online presence tells them who you are, what you do, and what makes you different. Is there clear messaging? Does the design support it? Does it convey your culture?

“Whether or not you realize it, people make a lot of assumptions about you as an employer, whether positive or negative, based on your website,” said Berger. “So it’s very important to make sure it’s authentic and aligned with the actual experience when a candidate comes in to interview.”

Lin noted that a key part of engaging people with your website is to get to know your audience through various methods like focus groups, card sorting, and task-based testing. “One of the outcomes of all this discovery work is a deep understanding of what motivates your audience, what barriers there are, what their priorities are and what their journey could be,” she said. It’s important to make sure you’re being inclusive on your website and not making assumptions, e.g., that all nurses are female.

Focus on your Careers page.

It’s especially important to reflect your audience on your Careers page. Job seekers will ask themselves, “Do I see people like me on the site?” said Berger. “Videos can really show that.” Clearly outline job benefits and make the page feel active (e.g., include a virtual tour).

How do you know if your Careers page is working? Usability testing. Have people apply for a job on your website and watch what they do, Lin advised. “You only need five users to uncover 80% of the issues that someone’s going to have on your website.” Difficulty finding information is one of the most common issues.

Berger shared tips for attracting the right people, including writing a solid job description that “sells” the position and posting jobs where your ideal candidates will see them. For an administrator, that may be LinkedIn. For an entry-level position, Craigslist or Facebook might be better.

Streamline your interview and onboarding processes.

Next, think through the entire interview process, from the time you post the job to the time you extend the offer. Make sure hiring managers know what they need to do, and candidates know what to expect. Simple tools such as Calendly can be used to schedule interviews, check the status, and send automated reminders. While it’s important to keep the process moving and minimize the time between steps, Berger noted, “What’s more critical than filling a position quickly is filling it with the right person.”

Hiring doesn’t stop when an offer is accepted, however. “In certain industries, you can lose people in the first 90 days,” warned Berger. A solid onboarding process can counteract that. Streamline your new hire paperwork. Make it electronic and easy to complete, ideally before an employee’s start date. “Nothing makes a worse impression than someone coming in excited for their first day and spending hours completing paperwork,” she said.

Focus on making a great first impression when new employees start. Welcome them, give them a tour, and make sure that their technology, uniform, and whatever else they need are ready. “What you’re looking to do in those first few days is affirm for them that they’ve made the right decision,” said Berger. Consider how your website can continue to support employees, added Lin. That could be online video training or continuing education.

Berger shared research from Wharton business professor Adam Grant who found that employees who know that their work has a meaningful, positive impact on others are happier and more productive. Share patient testimonials with employees, and put them on your website. “The best way to engage and retain employees as a business leader is to make them feel known and valued,” said Berger.

Need help making sure your website attracts job seekers and offers a great user experience for candidates and current employees? Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for your organization.

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