An often-heard expression in HR circles is “ there is a science to People-Management too”. More often than not, what follows next opens up a sea of discussions and then this very thought is a lost ripple.
After one such HR panel discussion, I caught myself reflecting. I retracted one notch in the same train of thought and realized that this science has a lot to do with the impression that HR teams leave on a candidate’s mind.
That gets me to our today’s discussion – what should you be looking for in an employer when evaluating the ‘business case’ for buying into the virtues of an organization ?
Candidates are attracted to an organization for wide ranging reasons. Since I have been recruiting for the past 17 years, I have analyzed FIVE essentials that candidates value most, putting together a definitive checklist of what you should evaluate as you consider the move to a new organisation.
Firstly – It is the “vibes” that you as a candidate pick up about the organization that strike you first. There are subtle messages being conveyed when a recruitment consultant picks up the receiver and speaks to a candidate for the first time. The way the job role, the company’s business and its brand value are explained go a long way in creating that first impression. It is here that you either make or break it. As a candidate you need to be excited about this new dream that you wish to chase; an employer needs to be a lighthouse and let you know that you are doing a good job by thinking about joining this company.
Secondly – The strategic aspects of an organization establish a connection with the candidate. It is important that the hiring team takes time to explain the vision, mission and key objectives of the organization. It is important that there is sync between individual goals and organizational goals, only then will there be harmony in achieving business objectives in the long run. It is important that the organization’s values and ethics are communicated to help you better see how you will fit in the ecosystem and evolve as a true professional. This is what will keep you motivated to work with a positive mindset once on-board.
Thirdly – A company’s performance is an important determinant while evaluating a job opportunity. Clarity in this aspect often helps steer one to a definitive decision. Candidates that I have interviewed have explored details such as the products/ services, type of market and clients served, business potential and financial details such as turnover, profits. You may want to know the growth potential of the Industry and the Company you are applying for. Candidates usually give a lot of importance to organizations in growth stage, where they feel they can contribute and grow with the organization in the years to come. Many of you will connect to your peers and gauge the general reputation of the brand in the market.
Fourthly – Clarity in job role is one of the biggest influencing factors when scrutinizing a job opportunity. It is important to know what the role offers in terms of learning and upgrading skills/ competencies. It is also important to understand the growth potential associated with the role in the future. Every employer should provide a clear job description, including responsibilities, for the opening being discussed and be honest about the prerequisites and expectations associated with the role. Besides skills, it is important to discuss what will be expected of you on a day to day basis once you have joined the organization, what your responsibilities would be and how will you adapt to the role in consideration.
Last but not the least ; you will also want to consider an organization’s policies to get an idea of the prevalent culture. You need to know about the ecosystem you will be a part of. What will be the framework for you to conduct your routine jobs and dispense your responsibilities? Will you get help to strike a work life balance? Will your new organization value meritocracy and have good performance management, reward and recognition policies? Organizations providing opportunities for professional development and career growth, and promoting a culture that nurtures innovation and meritocracy are much sought after and influence many candidates while choosing employers. Companies with a diverse work force and strong associate (employee) engagement initiatives are always rated high.
For example, we, at Fiserv India, have a special focus on designing associate (employee) friendly policies that help maintain a work-life balance, which results in high productivity. Considering the fact that we have a significant Gen Y population, we have various associate engagement initiatives that can foster a feeling of value and association among associates with focus on their professional development & career-growth.
Initiatives such as Career Management Program, Mentoring Program, Internal Job Postings, Rewards & Recognition Programs, Associate Wellness Program, Initiatives specifically designed for female associates and fun activities help engage resources optimally and attract prospects.
While you know that candidate’s fitment will be assessed, you equally need to evaluate one employer vis-a-vis others. At the end of the day, there is as much as stake for you as there is for an organisation and you need to research the “Employer-Brand” & “Employee Value-Proposition” too !!