Is your talent strategy a house of cards? Part II

I didn’t really intend to write a part II to my first post, but as I continue to watch Netflix’s House of Cards, it occurs to me what really makes it appealing to me – aside from good, old-fashioned backstabbing politics. It’s the insight provided by the internal dialogue.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I really wish I knew what he/she was thinking?” When dealing with recruiting and HR in general, that kind of insight would be invaluable to say the least. Is the person really engaged? What is this new employee thinking? What do they really think about our company?

In House of Cards, when Kevin Spacey speaks to the camera, you get the full story on what he is thinking and what he is doing. I’m sure there are those in the television industry that think this type of blatant exposition is trite or just a gimmick, but it’s funny, engaging and provides another facet to the character and the storyline.

But getting back to talent strategies and recruiting; how great would it be to hear what candidates and employees are thinking? I think we might be unpleasantly surprised in some cases.

Here are some examples of what I would be interested in hearing during a quick turn to the camera like Kevin Spacey does in House of Cards:

What would a candidate say to the camera after they talk to a recruiter or as they walk out of the interview? Did they get a sense for the company culture? Today recruiters need to be part salesperson, however if they get too salesy it turns off many candidates. Ideally, the recruiting experience and process should be efficient (nobody likes a complicated or unprofessional process), but it should also reflect the kind of culture they can expect.

What would a candidate say as they start or finish the onboarding process? Would you guess that they are impressed or depressed? Sometimes we think that just because they took the job, they are already engaged and it doesn’t matter, but it does. I’m sure there’s a study out there that says you can lose people on the first day with a bad onboarding process. Do that too many times and you could lose your entire company culture.

What would your employee say (to the camera) when asked by someone how it feels to work at your company? Are the supporters of your culture or bucking against it? The idea of a good “fit” is hard to pin down, but it really comes down to the culture you are trying to create. As I mentioned in my first post, your talent strategy needs to support and be consistent with your culture. If not, you may not be hiring the right people, they probably won’t stay or you won’t have the culture you thought you were creating.

Ultimately, the question is – what would you think if you went through your company’s recruiting or onboarding process? I know there are HR people who apply for their company’s jobs to see if they get a call back or to see how they are treated, but I’m talking about the whole process. It’s the first exposure an employee has to your company culture. It should be positive and reflect the kind of culture they can expect when they are sitting at their desk. The same goes for onboarding. Lose them the first day, possibly lose them forever.

Building a company culture is a long, hard road. Don’t start to build it on a talent strategy that doesn’t take into consideration how recruiting and onboarding affect your culture.

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