Topic: Engagement, Interviewing, Recruiting and Retaining People

The February 2015 IFMA Tulsa meeting speaker was Russ Knight with Career Development Partners.  Russ was a last minute replacement for the scheduled speaker, Cynthia Simmons with Family and Children’s Services.  The title of Russ’ presentation was “Engagement, Interviewing, Recruiting and Retaining People.” Russ began his presentation by asking, “Would you recommend your current employer to your closest friends or a job seeker that you meet?”  If the answer is yes, why would you recommend your workplace?  What makes it a great place to work? ENGAGEMENT Employee engagement isn’t being “happy at work.”  It’s about an energy and willingness to serve the broader goals of your company and understanding how your role fits into the bigger objectives of your company.  Gallup reports that 70% of all employees in the U.S. woke up this morning as something less than fully engaged and excited to come to work.  So statistically, that’s more than half of us that are less than engaged at our job.  There are few jobs available today that let us spend our days fishing, drinking beer or posting on Facebook all day making it hard for us to find something that aligns our work with our passion, right? Employee engagement, like most things, is a two-way street.  So, what can an employer do to make each job in the organization better and what can the employee do to make their own job a better experience and help the people around them have a better experience?  If you were in charge with unlimited resources, what would you offer? Some of the resources you might consider include: • Increased pay • Improved communication • Clear vision/mission • More tools to get the job done • Role clarity (communication) • Alignment of word/deed INTERVIEWING What is the goal of the interview? Even before the interview, what are you looking for?  What do you ask for in the job description? Are each of the point on your job description in support of the exact, results goal?  Asked another way, what is the difference between someone with 2+ years’ experience vs. 20 years’ experience – is that a relevant criteria? Russ asked the question, “What is the best question you have ever asked or been asked in an interview?  One Facility Manager said that she was doing a different job and had applied for the FM position at her company.  She was asked, “How will things change for you as an internal candidate if you are not offered this position?” DIY RECRUITING How does a job get filled?  Who do we know?  Who do our friends know?  What contacts does HR have in their database?  What about posting online? What can you do to promote a job?  You can use social media.  You can tell your friends.  You can utilize LinkedIn, Facebook and any other outlet that gets your job opportunity out there to your audience.  Word of mouth can be a great way to attract candidates. MOTIVATION/RETENTION You want to be part of making your company a great place to work.  You should provide ongoing training that leads to employee’s obtaining additional skills and development opportunities.  Training should be more that helping your employees learn to work with difficult people as some companies do. When thinking about employee motivation/retention, that about companies like IBM and Xerox that are known for their employee retention.  Do you have fun at work?  Is your company a fun place to work at?  What can you do to enhance a fun culture at your company? Thanks to Russ for stepping in at the last moment.  Russ had two handouts entitled, “LinkedIn for HR” and “CAUTION: 13 Tips before you start a Job Search.”  If you would like to obtain these handouts or other similar information, you can contact Russ at