Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Employee Engagement and Hiring

Within employer branding, there are countless touch points—across the entire employment experience lifecycle—that influence a person's decision to choose, stay or leave an employer. In this week’s update, we share five articles addressing how to shape the candidate experience and retain best-fit talent.

1) How Escape Rooms, CSI:Labs, And Comedy Can Train Staff To Be Better At Their Jobs from Fast Company

Workplace training often feels like something to check off a to-do list. Companies spend about $130 billion each year on corporate education, according to a study by Bersin by Deloitte, yet research has found that the average adult forgets 40% of what they’ve learned after just 20 minutes and 64% by the next day.

Four companies have adopted some unusual ways to train employees on everything from technology to culture to get a better return on the investment. From comedy to DIY, these unique methods get employees to expand their skillsets while having fun.

2) Three Things Leaders Can Do to Help New Hires Start Strong from DDI

Organizations today are becoming more aware of the costs associated with the time it takes for new hires to reach full job proficiency. These include the costs tied to recouping the organization’s investment in the new hire, including hiring costs, training costs and the costs (which are often overlooked) the organization incurs by paying a full salary to a person who is not yet performing at an optimal level.

But they also include the costs tied to the low employee engagement and turnover that occurs when new hires grow frustrated with the time it takes to get fully up to speed and contribute at a level commensurate with their more experienced coworkers.

3) The Employee-Engagement Imperative: Understanding Your Employees As Well As Your Customers from Forbes

First, the good news. According to Gallup’s latest report on employee engagement, less than a third (32.6%) of American workers were engaged with their jobs in June.

Yes, that’s the good news.

The bad news is that number is actually on the high end of scores reported since Gallup began tracking employee engagement five years ago, when the number of workers who described themselves as engaged hovered near the 25 percent mark.

The statistical quantum leap over the past five years can be explained by growing awareness among corporations that employee engagement impacts the bottom line –  across all industries, and across a multitude of metrics, including customer loyalty, productivity and  profitability. As a result, companies are currently  spending more than $720 million per year on employee engagement, according to Bersin & Associates. Indeed, in Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends Report 85% of executives surveyed cited engagement as a top priority for 2016.

4) How the Best Global Employers Convince Workers to Join and Stay from Harvard Business Review

Companies spend a lot of time and money building strong brands to win over customers—but they often fall short when it comes to strengthening their employer reputation to win talent.

“Employer branding” is no longer simply a concern for recruitment marketing; it is also a key component of effective organizational leadership. If companies can’t attract, engage, and retain the right talent, they’re unlikely to achieve their business objectives. With this in mind, my firm Universum recently conducted a survey to determine what the best global employers are doing to convince workers to join and stay with them.


Are your recruiters struggling to make real connections with candidates? As former recruiters, we know that requisitions run together and the hiring process can become rote. And that’s how we lose the personal connections with target candidates we so desperately need.

Here at exaqueo, we take a lot of lessons from consumer marketing; one of which is using personas to inform marketing strategies. Consumer marketers use personas to get behind the buyer: who are they, how do they feel and what spurs their actions? By using a similar approach in talent acquisition, we create candidate personas to help our clients better reach and connect with best-fit talent.

Do you have buzzworthy news in the world of employer brand, talent or culture? Want us to include it in our weekly update? Contact us below.  

Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is a Lead Consultant & Project Manager for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research and recruiting strategy offerings.

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