The COVID-19 pandemic rewrote the rules of many facets of our lives. The need for physical distancing, for example, required many businesses and their employees to adapt to working from home overnight.
While the tools for remote working such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams were already available prior to the pandemic, not many were prepared to use them daily to communicate, collaborate and get their work done. This new way of working led to a feeling of disconnect among employees, with many feeling that they are back to square one. Consequently, this created a crisis of trust within companies.
“The crisis of trust is increasingly common as the strains of remote working wear down company culture and people’s goodwill. Company leaders who want to maintain morale and avoid negative outcomes like increased attrition must take steps to establish (or reestablish) trust among their employees.”
M. Mortensen and H. Gardner, Harvard Business Review
Trust became even more critical in workplaces in this so-called New Normal, including those in the Philippines. In our Philippines’ Best Workplaces™ 2021 report, we found that organizations that made it to the list had an average Trust Index© Score of 91%, an improvement from last year’s average of 87%. These figures highlight the premium that employees place on trust when it comes to the companies they work for.
3 hiring and onboarding practices that gain your candidates' trust
Building trust is especially critical at the beginning of a candidate’s journey. Questions about the company’s values, how it will take care of them during these difficult times and ensuring their safety when they return to the office are not at all uncommon these days.
At a time when the fundamental ingredient of great workplaces is being eroded, how can companies get candidates to trust them early on? Great workplaces have a wide range of techniques to achieve this, including the following:
Interview and hire for the best fit
Trust is a two-way street. So, invest time in actually getting to know the candidate during the interview. This gives you the confidence that you will work with someone who does not only have the right skill set but whose values also align with your company’s. Because of this, it would be important for your organization to establish consistent interviewing and hiring processes that let you see beyond a candidate’s list of technical competencies.
Create a unique welcoming experience
Most companies only start welcoming their employees on their first day. But what sets great workplaces apart is that they make new hires feel welcome even before they join the organization. Things like providing them with resources to help them prepare for your first meeting, being transparent with your workplace culture, sending them care packages and getting to know them personally all go a long way when it comes to rolling the proverbial red carpet for them.
Provide a robust onboarding program
You still have a lot of work to do once the new employee has joined the company. This is where having a robust onboarding program helps like providing new hires with the support they need to be better acquainted with the company and its people, your culture and the roles they need to play. You can assign someone who embodies your workplace culture as their “new hire buddy” to help them better acclimate to the organization as a whole.
At this stage, you can also give them opportunities to network with their teammates and people in other departments. For example, you can set up an employee resource group composed of first-year employees and let them meet regularly. They will get to know their colleagues better this way and it will foster camaraderie among them too.
As we currently are in a pandemic, they will also appreciate being constantly assured of their safety, that you will always consider their well-being and that their work has meaning. Overall, you want to make your new employee feel welcome when they join you. This is because we learned that employee safety, having a sense of purpose and experiencing belonging and camaraderie strongly impact the new hire experience.
Why go through all these to hire a candidate?
These measures may seem excessive just to hire a new employee, but having a reputation as a great workplace can boost your recruitment considerably. Below are some of its benefits:
Be considered by candidates from the get-go
Even before candidates send you their resume, they are already gauging your quality as an employer. We found that 75% of job seekers consider a company’s employer brand before applying, so your reputation definitely helps you attract talent.
Get more applications
If your company is struggling to attract candidates, being recognized as a great workplace can get you as much as 250 times more job applications than other organizations. For example, Ingram Micro saw a 40% increase in applications after being named as one of the Philippines Best Workplaces™.
Lower your hiring costs
Because the pandemic is putting a strain on the budgets of many businesses, it is more critical to make the most of every Peso that your company spends. Having a strong employer brand can benefit you in this area as you can expect to cut your cost-per-hire by half.
Boost your referrals
Your employees are the best and most qualified people to promote your company as a great workplace. And when they consider you among one of the country’s Best Workplaces™, we found that your employee referral program will be three times more effective than in other organizations. Just ask Ingram Micro where 100% of candidates state that the company’s reputation as a great place to work or a Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization as being one of their reasons for applying.
Get more tips from Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies
Want more real-world examples of how great workplaces enrich their candidate experience in the New Normal? You may visit our Employer Branding page to get insights from leaders working in Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and start building an organization that nurtures trust in your employees in whatever you do.
Antoniette Talosig is the Managing Partner of Great Place to Work® Philippines and the Lead Consultant for Singapore. Driven by her passion to help people be the best that they can be, Toni started Great Place to Work® in the Philippines with a vision to create a high-trust workplace experience for every Filipino. She has close to two decades of partnership with some government agencies, SMEs, MNCs and some Fortune 100 companies across industries and geographies. Toni believes being a mother is the greatest adventure of her life and she enjoys seeing the world with her family.