The Benefits of Hiring a Recruiting Firm

The greatest investment a company can make is in its team.
West Michigan Recruiting Firm Owner Ashley Ward

by Nicole Degi

The people that make up your organization are your biggest asset, and it’s vital to get your hiring right. This is why so many companies choose to partner with a recruiting firm. Investing in key partners who have proven, effective recruitment strategies allow set your companies to avoid some headaches and sets them up for long-term success.

Here are some top reasons why partnering with a recruiting firm can be highly beneficial:

Industry & Market Knowledge

Through conversations with both clients and candidates’ recruiters gain a vast amount of knowledge of the job market & what employers are looking for. They can provide valuable feedback to both the candidate and the client and set expectations about necessary skill sets, career expectations, salary trends and what catches an employer’s eye.

Qualified Candidates

As recruiters, we are already tapped into the market, so we have an extensive pipeline of highly qualified pre-screened candidates. We do our due diligence to match the best candidates for specific positions, this way you are not going through hundreds of applicants to find the one, the recruiter has already done that for you! We have already screened the candidate to make sure they are a great match for your role & organization.

The Focus is on You

We take our time to learn about the organization we are representing. From the culture to the values, mission, internal processes and procedures, we do our leg work ahead of time so that we can accurately represent you as an organization and be your trusted partner in the hiring process.

Job Order Intake

After we have learned about the organization, we do our due diligence to get a deep understanding of the role itself. Who is your ideal candidate? If someone is already in this role and you are adding to the team who do you want to immolate? We learn the ins and outs of the role. From day-to-day job requirements, skills, experience, education requirements to understanding what will make this individual and the company successful to culturally what you are looking for. This allows us to provide you with the best possible candidates to interview that will meet your goals and objectives.

Passive Candidates

Oftentimes, the right candidate is not actively seeking new employment because they are already employed! We put a heavy emphasis on passive candidates who are not currently on job boards and provide you with an untapped market of rock star applicants. The right candidate may not even know an opportunity exists because they are not necessarily on the hunt for their next move. What a recruiter does is tap them on the shoulder to present them with the role.

Evidence-Based Selection Process

We use an arsenal of tools and resources that takes the guesswork out of hiring. Our evidence-based approach places the right person in the right seat. We find the person who will not just to do the job but will thrive in the position and produce impactful results for years. We are here to help you align your talent strategy with your business strategy and build long-lasting teams.


By utilizing a professional recruiting firm the probability of filling the role with the right candidate increases. With our scientifically based behavioral assessment tools, we save you thousands of dollars by lessening the risk of not hiring the right person! Recruiters do the research ahead of time for you to ensure that you are only interviewing candidates that meet your criteria.

Faster Hiring

Did you know the best candidates are off the market in 10 days? A recruiting firm can find the best candidates & find them fast. From our large database of qualified and prescreened applicants to our network of connections, we have the right processes in place to fill your open role and fill it quickly.
Lastly, this is what we do! We are your experts in building winning teams. People problems are business problems, let us solve those for you!

Learn more about how Hire For Hope can help you place the right person in the right seat.

The State of Recruiting: Early Market Read 2021

“How is recruiting going? Must be really slow, right?”

West Michigan Recruiting Firm- Tasia Allison

By Tasia Allison

“How’s recruiting going? Must be really slow, right?” These are questions I receive every single day! I’m not sure if it’s true curiosity or if our clients are looking for more assurance that they aren’t the only ones hiring right now. It’s true, recruiting took a major pause in Q2 of 2020, but it’s been back to booming for the last several months. Here’s the skinny on what’s really going on in the recruiting world.

Executives and senior leaders are more engaged in the process than ever before. Instead of connecting through a telephone game of, “who’s looking for what,” we’re working directly with the hiring managers more frequently, as opposed to HR contacts. This could be because HR teams are running leaner than ever or maybe because leaders are taking more personal responsibility to get the right person in the right seat. Either way, we’re seeing a major shift in who is reaching out and recruiting.

Strategy and culture are key requirements for every position! If you thought that was the case before, you’d be surprised. Ever since the economy and our lives were upended last spring, leaders quickly learned they had to trim the fat as recruiting opened back, focus on filling their bench with more players that had skills and abilities for now and the future.

Engagement is playing another huge key in recruiting and culture. With the rise of remote working and businesses clinging to life, leaders are hunting to get engaged members on their team. Why? Because they know an engaged team member with a strong job fit means more discretionary effort. This means they’re looking for team members who do more than punch a clock, but rather put in extra effort because they enjoy their job—and that is carrying these businesses through changes and on to future prosperity. Right now, everyone wants these players on their team! This is one of the single greatest reasons we see a massive uptick at our firm; it’s because we recruit passive candidates helping you find those engaged players. Here’s the deal: engaged employees, are engaged! They aren’t looking for jobs and they definitely aren’t applying to yours—they have to be stolen, and you need a strong head-hunter who can do that for you!

Along the same lines of engaged candidates and strong culture fits, we’re seeing more confidential replacements. You’ve probably seen these super ambiguous job descriptions floating around out there. Confidential searches are utilized to handle sensitive searches without disruption to the organization.  They can be used to replace a current employee who is essential to the business but isn’t performing; a position the business can’t afford to have empty or they can be used to replace an employee who isn’t ready to share with the organization that they are leaving or why. While confidential searches can feel a little taboo, they can be an effective tool when handled by a strong recruiting partner.

So, what type of roles are we seeing early in 2021? Executives in HR, Supply Chain, Finance, and Sales have a lot of movement. We’re finding this is really going back to strategy. Here are some highlights on the function areas:

  • Human Resources: Every HR team was forced to tackle COVID regulations head-on, and just as many teams handled each approach differently. Now we’re seeking the focus shift back to strategy and there’s a big focus now on employee engagement.
  • Supply Chain: If your supply chain wasn’t heavily diversified prior to 2020, it should be now. Companies that thrived during the last 12 months had a strong strategic leader at the helm of their supply chain… and those that didn’t? Well, they’re looking for them now!
  • Finance: Finance recruiting has been heavy all throughout the last year. Teams are pressed for accuracy and financial acumen. Executives have leaned heavily on their finance teams and continue to make adjustments to their bench strength.
  • Sales: With all the pivots to markets and restrictions, companies are looking to bring the best sales hunters to their organizations bating them with uncapped earning potential and flexible schedules and work environments.

Lastly, but not surprisingly, we’re seeing tighter than ever budget constraints for top talent. Some organizations are shrinking their salary budgets while setting higher expectations for candidates and their employees. While we understand the dilemma and constraints, we continue to encourage clients to develop consistent compensation philosophies and external benchmarking.  As the adage goes, “you get what you pay for.”

If you’re looking for recruiting services, be sure to do your diligence with the goal in mind of identifying a trusted, long-term talent partner who understands engagement and culture fit. Click here to speak with me about your recruiting strategy and let’s work together to develop the best strategy for your team!

Currently Reading

The Books Our Team is Loving This Month
Currently Reading Hire for Hope - February

by Ashley Ward

At Hire for Hope, we never stop striving for better. Our team is dedicated to learning all that we can to be better leaders, talent experts and agents of growth for our organization and the businesses we serve. Here are a few books that we’ve been reading lately that we highly recommend!

Traction by Gino Wickman

Traction by Gino Wickman

Traction is my business bible! This book is a company roadmap to success. From the inception of Hire For Hope, I have followed EOS (entrepreneurial operating system). We are also endorsed by a Michigan-based EOS Implementer, Ken Bogard, for referrals of Visionaries to help them recruit and hire Integrators. At the top of each business, the EOS model requires a Visionary (the fast-paced, risk-taker and ideas person) and an Integrator (the execution!). Every great CEO becomes even better with the compliment of a methodical COO by their side. One of Hire For Hope’s specialties is finding that key individual for Visionaries.

How to Be a Great Boss
How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman

How to Be a Great Boss is a complementary book to Traction that coaches leaders on how to manage effectively and hold people accountable. This book helps round out my EOS toolset and gives additional information and context to this approach. It helped me get the most out of my people and improve my organization’s performance. This is a simple, quick read for entrepreneurs who want to be great leaders.

Further Faster
Further Faster by Bill Flynn

Many people who have read this book say that they wish more managers and business leaders would read this. This book helps remind managers to be empathetic and view their people as emotional beings who need care and attention. This is another book that has been instrumental for me in developing processes and organizing teams. It also gave great exercises that give actionable steps to take with your staff and take the guesswork out of growth.

Certified Women-Owned Business

We are honored to announce we are now a Certified Women-Owned Business!
Women Owned Business

What is Women’s Business Enterprise National Council?

The Women’s Business Enterprise Nation Council (WBENC) is an organization that advocates for women owned business owners and entrepreneurs. Their mission is to, “Fuel economic growth globally by identifying, certifying, and facilitating the development of women-owned businesses.” They accomplish this through their CORE Platform; Certification, Opportunities, Resources and Engagement. They provide great opportunities through events and networking for women-owned businesses. WBENC then provides resources to address any challenges many women face when building and growing a business. These resources ensure women business owners have access to the education, support and tools they need to grow and succeed. Finally, they foster engagement for these individuals through advisory councils, ambassador programs, and a robust recognition and awards program. They create a community for businesses owners who want to advance women-owned businesses.

What Does The Certification Mean?

WBENC Certification validates that the business is 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. They are the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States. The certification gives women owned businesses the ability to compete for real-time business opportunities provided by WBENC Corporate Members and government agencies. The certification also opens doors for businesses to network, access mentoring, education, capacity development, get recognition, and the ability to promote their business through WBENC national events.

Best Jobs for Each Predictive Index Profile Type

Understanding Your Best Career Choice Based on Your PI Type

by Nicole Degi

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Am I in a career that fits my personality type?” Or thought, “Am I wired correctly for this specific job? When considering looking for a new position, there are several factors that come into play. The importance of considering if your personality type matches your job is an extremely valuable aspect when looking for a job and is often overlooked. 

This is where the Predictive Index comes in. Understanding how you are wired will enable you with the confidence that you are the right candidate for the position and/or industry by allowing you to take a deeper look into how you function internally. Predictive Index will evaluate how well you thrive in the position that you are in and will help you produce impactful results for years to come for your organization.  

There are seventeen different and unique profile types that are then broken down into four categories:


This category consists of six different profile types: Analyzer, Controller, Venturer, Specialist and Strategist. If you fall into this category you are typically a detail-oriented individual who focuses on collecting thorough data. You are also self-disciplined and a go-to person who does not leave room for error. You also may exceed in areas that push your boundaries and would be considered a strong-willed and goal-oriented individual. People who fall into this profile type tend to be naturally introverted and reserved but always prepared with a plan. Below are roles that could be a great match if you fall into this category. 

Analyzer: Someone who likes to gather and review the data before making a thorough and detailed decision. Look into accounting, auditing, banking, tax consultant or analyst type of positions if you are an analyzer.

Controller: You are considered the go-to person, someone who will get the job done in a disciplined, fast-paced manner. A few industries to consider — Project Management, logistics, finance, accounting & managerial positions. 

Venturer: This person likes to take charge! They love to try new things and create solutions to solve problems. A director or manager of an innovative team would be a great position. Director or VP of Marketing, Strategic planning & growth could also be areas to consider &/or digital marketing roles.

Specialist: An extremely reliable person who will get the job done, someone who will “read the fine print” in any situation. I would investigate the HR world if this is you! A business manager role would also be a great option to consider if you are a specialist.

Strategist: An analytical, innovative individual who is willing to take calculated risks. If this is you, consider consulting roles, banking, project management, financial advisor, computer technology or a software developer position. 


The next category is the social category. There are another 6 different profiles that fall under this category: Altruist, Captain, Collaborator, Maverick, Promoter and Persuader. Would you consider yourself to strive in social settings? A person who is great at working with others, extraverted, charismatic, open-minded, supportive, well-spoken, and ready for a challenge? If so, you may fall into one of the profiles under the social type. Positions to consider if you fall into one of these categories are:

Altruists: A supportive, helpful, team player that is extraverted. Consider something in healthcare such as nursing, occupational or speech therapy. Possibly consider being a teacher or social worker if you are an altruist. 

Captain: A person who is always willing to accept a challenge. They can be described as independent and strong-willed and constantly raising the bar for their organizations. Jobs that fit this profile type include; different sales or account management positions that have quotas to be met or possibly staffing and recruiting positions. 

My Life as a Captain

Collaborators: These individuals are great team players! They approach tasks with an open mind and are friendly, supportive, and patient. If you are a collaborator, consider being an account manager or a role that works with a team to create results. Another option could be inside sales or a role in the marketing and advertising world.

Mavericks:  A person who has high aspirations and takes risks! They are visionaries and are able to see  the big picture. They often see the result, and create it. Mavericks also tend to be leaders which make them good entrepreneurs. Other potential roles may include a sales manager position, or a role in the nonprofit sector.

My Life as a Maverick

Promoters: Individuals who you want working on the front lines. They are extraverted, supportive, encouraging and thrive working in a team setting. Positions that would be good for a promoter profile include; public relations, marketing, social media, event and hospitality roles. 

My Life as a Promoter

Persuaders: People with this profile type are social, determined, and well-spoken individuals. Typically, persuaders do not like to hear the word “no.” This being said, a sales role would be great for a persuader!

My Life as a Persuader


Within the stabilizing category, there are four different profile types: adapter, craftsman, guardian, and operator. Are you deliberate, cooperative, reliable, and easily adaptable to situations? Do you enjoy structure in the workplace? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, you more than likely may fall into this category. 

Adapter: A versatile individual who can really strive in multiple situations and industries! They work well with others and thrive in a team setting. The roles to consider for this profile type are extremely broad. You could adapt well in several positions, whether it be customer service or arts and entertainment. 

Craftsman: This is usually the person who is considered the backbone of the organization. They are diligent and reliable. Industries to look at may include; office management, administrative roles, and human resources. 

Guardian: This person is a precise, dependable, and steady worker. They are someone who brings reliability to the workforce. Administration, logistics, computer technology or clerical work could be great industries to look at.  

Operator: This is someone who you can really count on in the organization! They are precise, patient, and cooperative. This profile type would excel at data entry, clerical, executive assistant, or customer service.


Only two profile types fall into this category: an individualist and a scholar. If you fall under the persistent category type you are typically a confident, analytical, strong-minded individual who approaches challenges with confidence, consistency, and organization.  

Individualist: Do you have a desire to move the organization forward and constantly solve problems within the company? If so, you are more than likely an individualist. Maybe you have been thinking of starting your own business? If you are an individualist, this may be a good avenue for you to consider!

Scholar: Someone who is a natural go-getter! You like to contribute a strategic, data-driven approach to building winning teams. Traditionally, entrepreneurs or business owners also fall into this category. Another option would be to investigate the consulting world.

Now that you have heard more about different roles that coincide with different professions, think about how this will impact you long term, is the position you are interested in best suited for your hard wiring? Or will you become disengaged quickly and not perform results for your company? The results from PI can help you assess a career path to make sure you are getting what you need and also meeting your employer’s expectations.

What to Expect in Talent in 2021

Employee Experience

Companies are beginning to work for employees, not just the other way around. HR teams are going all-in on employee experience to improve retention and employer brand. Beyond collecting feedback, companies need to actively collaborate with employees to create an experience that works for everyone.

People Analytics

Analytics have promised to revolutionize recruiting and HR for a decade, but until recently only the most sophisticated companies have reaped the rewards. Now we’re reaching an inflection point where data is accessible to all. Understanding and capitalizing on analytics is quickly becoming a must-have skill in HR.

Internal Recruiting

Chances are you are overlooking a promising talent pool: your own team. Currently, most internal hiring happens thanks to proactive moves from employees. It’s time for recruiters to create a formal internal hiring program and work with the Learning & Development team to build the skills needed for the future.

Multigenerational Workforce

Later retirements and the arrival of Gen Z mean companies are seeing more age diversity than ever. Young, seasoned, and everyone in between can help prove that good work is ageless. It’s on companies to help age-diverse teams discover their best selves by creating the conditions for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Searching for a Job During COVID

How to Land a Job After a COVID-19 Layoff
woman cheering

by Tasia Allison

I, like many I know, was impacted by a COVID layoff. My company fought hard and focused on doing everything they could to support their employees and their community, but ultimately, I found myself a job seeker. 

I applied for 127 jobs and only heard back on 10 jobs. They were mostly rejections.

Being a job seeker in today’s climate can feel defeating. Here are some things I did (and you can do too) to tackle the new job search and land on my feet.

Don’t take it personally.

My work isn’t who I am. I definitely pour my heart into everything I do, but at the end of the day, that’s not my identity. It’s hard not to focus on “why me?” and a little soul searching can be beneficial, reflection can bring revelation, but don’t pitch a tent here. 

Grieve and process.

Losing your job can take more from you than just your income. It can take away plans and dreams and can jeopardize security and safety. It’s ok to go through all the stages of grief, it’s ok to recognize this sucks. Process everything that has happened and may happen as a result and then put some action behind it— you still have an actual problem that needs a real solution. 

Get to work—no kidding, right?

But seriously, finding a new job takes a lot of work! Candidates who get placed quickly know and commit to spending roughly 40 hours a week on their search! 


Networking can be hard for many—I always feel like I don’t have much to offer, so instead, I just asked for help and advice. You should spend every day of your search trying to build connections, get on calls, or connect with executives. 

True story: I only interviewed in person for three positions and I only applied to one of them. How’d I pull that off? I networked, I knew my resume would struggle to get noticed in a giant stack, so I asked to meet, I asked to interview, and I asked for introductions. 

Ask for Help!

This may feel uncomfortable for a lot of people but do it anyway. When someone expresses their condolences and offers help, take them up on it! Ask for a resume review, ask for introductions or referrals, ask to borrow an interview suit, ask for what you need. 


Before you apply, research the company, know as much as you can and apply that to your resume. If you know someone there, again, ask for an introduction or a recommendation. 

Get your references ready.

While references don’t seem to be a huge factor these days, many companies still call your references. Choose references that are smart, mature, will give professional feedback, and who will be available. Make sure you let them know someone may be calling. If you’re being considered for an offer but your reference won’t call back or shares personal or irrelevant information, this could be a deal-breaker! 

Clean up your social media!

Lock it all down, except for your LinkedIn. Even though social platforms are meant for personal expression, potential employers may take things the wrong way. It’s better to keep everything private. 

Apply anyway!

If you’re missing a few qualifications, don’t get too hung up that—you may be just what they are looking for OR, there may be a new opportunity that isn’t open yet that you may be perfect for! Many people I know (including myself) have all landed jobs by applying to something totally different. You could totally get a rejection email, or you could land the perfect job—the underground job market is definitely a real thing.

Expert Tips for Working From Home

WFH Like a Pro

by Regan Lang

When people think of working from home, several different thoughts come to mind. Some people imagine sleeping in late, lounging around all day and taking long breaks. However, others who have had experience working from home are aware of the reality of what it takes to successfully work a professional job from home. Whether you’re fond of working from home or not, many of us have been forced to adjust to this new way of doing our jobs.

With this being a new reality for so many workers, it is important to address the benefits and challenges working from home brings and explore ways to overcome these challenges. 

Some of the benefits from working from home are having flexibility, a better work-life balance, and not having to commute. These aspects of work from home life can be distracting and even take away from your ability to effectively work from home. This being said, some of the challenges of home-based workers are learning how to avoid these distractions, follow a set schedule and deal with social isolation.

Luckily with a few basic tips, these challenges can easily be solved. 


Here are tips on how to successfully work from home: 


Have a set workspace.

Choose an area in your home you would like to dedicate keeping all of your work-related supplies. This should be the area of your home where you feel you can best focus and is free of distractions.


Plan out your day. 

Just as you would do if you were in the office, have a set schedule for yourself. This will allow you to stay on track and get your work done as well as allow your co-workers to know when you are available and when you are not. Also communicate this schedule with people in your home so they can respect your working hours. 


Take frequent breaks. 

When working from home it can be easy to forget to get up and stretch, grab some water, or go for a quick walk. However, breaks are so important for your overall physical and mental wellbeing. 


Schedule phone calls or FaceTimes with co-workers. 

It is important to schedule time to connect with people within your office more than just through email. Find time to catch up on work related materials, and check in on one another. 


Be positive. 

When communicating primarily through email, it can be hard for people to interpret your tone through writing and for them to interpret yours. Always think the best of your co-workers when reading their messages. And when you send emails, get creative, use exclamation points and emojis in order to show your emotions through your emails. This way, your co-workers are less likely to misinterpret your messages. 


Take advantage of the work from home.

There are many advantages of working from home. A few of them being the ability to use breaks to get small tasks done around the house, or getting free coffee refills and lunches right from your kitchen. Enjoy and take advantage of these little perks! 


Working from home productively is becoming more and more common as jobs become remote due to various factors. It is important to find what workspace and schedule works best for you and allows you to thrive in your home work environment. 

A Giving Guide: Local Non-Profits That Support Women

How to Use Your Time and Resources to Help Local Women this Season

Group of Diverse Women

Hire for Hope was founded with the mission of providing sustainable funding for organizations who support women who are in need of help. In fact, if it weren’t for the organizations that dedicated their daily work to helping women in need, Hire for Hope may not even exist today.

This holiday season, we encourage everyone who has the time and resources to find a way to give to these organizations in our community that change the lives of women every single day. Here are some of the organizations doing the powerful work of changing women’s lives in West Michigan and how you can get involved.


The YWCA’s mission is eliminating racism, empowering women and girls and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. They provide community support for domestic and dating  abuse, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and prevention and empowerment. They offer a variety of ways to get involved including financial support, donation of goods, volunteering, advocacy and programs to promote change through education. 

If you’d like to make a financial gift to the YWCA this holiday season, feel free to do so on their donations page. If you’d like to help supply their domestic abuse emergency shelter with items from their wishlist, visit their wishlist page. Please note that YWCA asks you to first contact Jennifer Timmer at before purchasing and dropping off any donations.

Learn more about the YWCA. 

Women’s Resource Center

The Women’s Resource Center equips women for workplace success. They offer a variety of services including a Business Center where women can go to conduct online job searches, update resumes and apply to jobs, computer classes, resume coaching, a scholarship program and a Business Boutique where women can shop for affordable professional outfits. 

Their Business Boutique accepts donations of clothing that is clean and in excellent condition, from the current season and made within the past three years. Be sure to call (616) 458-5443 to complete the pre-screen and set up an appointment to drop off your donation. 

Learn more about the Women’s Resource Center.

Mom’s Bloom

Mom’s Bloom connects families with newborns to local volunteers who can help with a variety of things around the house including watching and caring for the newborn(s), watching their siblings, completing light housework, giving mom a break for self care, emotional support and meal preparation. Their vision is for every family with a newborn to have support, community and confidence. This is especially vital for families who have extended families geographically dispersed, away at work or simply unable to help. 

This organization is funded by the generosity of individual and corporate donors along with Kent County taxpayers and the voter-approved Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage. You can get involved by considering donating or volunteering to be a mom support or to be on a committee.

Learn more about Mom’s Bloom. 

Alpha Women’s Center

Alpha Grand Rapids offers free and confidential services regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, or residence to women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Their offerings include pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, STD testing, mentoring/coaching, job and career support, support groups for single moms, GED completion programs, parenting classes, pregnancy education classes and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. 

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities from working directly with the clients to working behind-the-scenes. You can also choose to donate in the form of a financial gift or items like infant and maternity clothing, diapers, formula, and other infant necessities. View their full wishlist here

Learn more about Alpha Women’s Center. 

Women At Risk, International

Women At Risk (WAR), International addresses a variety of risk issues for women—poverty, inequality, violence, abuse and more, but they are we are most known for their fight against human trafficking. They are Michigan-based, but run a variety of global programs including international safehouses, domestic safehouses, micro enterprises, education, orphanages, outreach, medical aid and emergency intervention.

Warchest Boutique is a shop created by this organization to produce sustainable funding for their mission. If you’re looking to purchase beautiful jewelry, ornaments, spa products or small gifts for Christmas this year, consider shopping here for beautiful and unique items that help fight human trafficking. (Bonus- they do take orders online and recommend placing your order before December 17th to arrive in time for Christmas.) You can also make a financial donation and choose which area of their work you’d like your money to go to. You can also volunteer at their HQ or at WAR events. 

Learn more about Women at Risk. 


Do you know of any amazing non-profit organizations doing life-changing work? We’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below!

How to Increase Employee Engagement

Establishing a Solid Employee Engagement Strategy


Group of workers at a table - engaged employees

by Tasia Allison

What is employee engagement?

Simply put, employee engagement is a measurement.

Too simple?

Let’s clarify. Employee engagement typically measures an employee’s productivity and their discretionary effort—this is an employee’s willingness to go the extra mile.

Is that it?

Yes—that’s it. But, now that you know what employee engagement is, you should probably start thinking about an employee engagement strategy. Employee engagement strategies should connect your business strategy with your people strategy and your people strategy with your business results. However, so often they fail and do more harm than good. 

Here are a few reasons companies, even with the best of intentions, fail at employee engagement strategies:

  1. Their engagement strategy doesn’t connect to their business and people strategy. Or they don’t have a people strategy at all. For instance, if your engagement survey measures autonomy and independent decision making, but your organization has a very structured hierarchy, your people strategy and your business strategy aren’t connected.
  2. Engagement is owned solely by Human Resources. While we love our passionate HR teams, they can’t single-handedly own engagement strategies. They have to be owned by every member of your leadership team.
  3. Failure to act. Companies collect oodles of people data, but they don’t respond to it. Conducting engagement data without the support, intentions or resources to react to the data does more harm than good. Employees get a false sense of action and excitement only to be later disappointed.
  4. Timeliness isn’t valued. The frequency of your measurement should be directly related to the speed of your organization. If your organization is fast and agile, but you’re only measuring engagement annually, you’re missing out. You’re using a tricycle to keep speed with a race car.
  5. They focus on employee “happiness.” While we all love a happy employee, this is an ever changing target. Companies who go after making all employees happy all the time, often end up with more initiatives than they can manage and just as many unhappy employees as when they started. 

Ok, we know why they fail, but how do they excel?

  1. The organization has a clearly established business strategy and people strategy and they measure engagement based on both and they stay focused here. While successful organizations want their employees to be “happy” and they may still respond to unhappy employees, they don’t lose sight of their people strategy.
  2. Employee engagement is owned by leaders at every level. Read that again. It’s not just your lovely Human Resources team—they may be the most passionate about it, but every leader needs to be engaged. If you have people leaders who don’t find your talent strategy a priority, it’s time to reevaluate the influence they have on it.
  3. Organizations are ready and committed to act and have a plan. This goes hand-in-hand with every leader being engaged, but the success of your people and engagement strategy will come down to having a plan, especially for derailers. What will you do when leaders are “too busy”? When teams reorganize? During seasons of growth or season of loss?  Build a plan that accounts for challenges and make use of beneficial planning strategies like pre-mortems.
  4. The organization engages a strategic partner. There are a lot of great free resources to help organizations get started, but that can often leave teams feeling overwhelmed and lost. Organizations that don’t have time or resources to spare engage with consultants or firms early on in their process that can quickly and efficiently get them up and running.

Interested in learning more about developing your people strategy and getting started with employee engagement? Let’s connect and talk about what impact the right resources can have on your organization.