Talent Acquisition and the Art of Caring

No, it’s not February or the 14th, but we are definitely going to talk about love. Not the typically romanticized notion, but the love that should be present in a relationship between talent acquisition and candidates and a boss and their employees.

Did you know that making an effort to “show the love” to your employees or potential hires could be the one thing that sets you apart? It’s true! According to Inc, “Neuroscience has proven that employees crave 3 things in their workplace: that they are safe, that they belong, and that they matter. When their workplace addresses these three needs, their productivity doubles.”

So what can you do to show employees that they are safe, that they belong and that they matter? A lot actually…

To Make Them Feel Safe

Of course it’s important to keep employees safe from actual mortal danger by providing a secure and stable work environment, but safety is about so much more than that. It’s about fair pay, the ability to talk to superiors without fear of retribution and of course, the knowledge that a job won’t disappear overnight. This all boils down to trust, and therefore leaders must make an effort foster that bond.

According to Inc, “‘Safe is not cutting people as soon as there is a dip in the economy. Safe is not giving raises to a few executives while colleagues languish with small or nonexistent increases. Safe is not producing extraordinary profits while failing to develop a clear career path and development plan for every employee,' Dame writes in HBR. 'What safe is, is a place where people come to work not worried about whether they will have a job tomorrow, where compensation is fair, where employees feel that they have gotten a little bit better at their job every day, where they feel there is opportunity to advance and learn, and where their bosses treat them like they are important contributors to the betterment of the organization. Safe makes a great company.’"  So, in essence if you want your employees to feel safe, do all of the following:

  • Create predictable and attainable advancement paths.
  • Pay your employees accordingly.
  • Hold onto your employees as long as possible (even in a down economy).
  • Provide learning opportunities.
  • Listen to employee ideas.

To Make Them Feel That They Belong

Helping employees feel like they belong is a team effort, but leaders who embrace that are an important piece of the puzzle. Brene Brown offered five ways that leaders can help others belong including:

  1. Give power away and allow people to take ownership of their work.
  2. Listen and respond to feedback.
  3. Help people understand how their work connects to the broader goals or purpose of the organization.
  4. Appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their team.
  5. Accept people where they are but refuse to let them stay there.

We strongly recommend you read the full article, but basically, Brown made a point of positioning the idea of trust and bond building.

To Show Them That They Matter

This goes back to the point noted in They Belong about connecting peoples’ work to the bigger picture. No one wants to feel like they are doing meaningless busy work. It’s important to show your employees that what they do enables the organization to grow. And, in addition to the company’s growth, emphasizing any mission integration or community impact is a way to help employees matter.

Above and beyond the principles mentioned above, we recommend bonding activities, rewards and a good old-fashioned thank you.


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