No, I didn’t make another mistake and mean to title this “Employee Discount”, but you were totally in your right to think I would make a mistake!
We discount our employees. We do this in a number of ways:
1. Experience. The ten year employee is always looked at less than a new employee coming in with ten years of experience.
2. Opinions. The long term employee’s opinion gets lost to the new voice, because we’ve heard the old employees opinion before. It doesn’t, necessarily, become less valid, but we treat it as such.
3. Value. We tend to pay same level experience internal employees less than we pay someone coming from the outside with the same experience, education, etc. This ‘discount’ is well known in the industry. Hometown discount. They’ve been here forever. They aren’t going anywhere. Why pay them more competitively?
There is one more way you are currently discounting your employees, Candidate Experience.
Candidate experience is really sexy right now in HR and Talent Acquisition. It’s all the buzz! Everyone is concentrating on making their candidate experience better.
You know why? It’s fuzzy metrics. While you can get ‘real’ measures and metrics from your Candidate Experience, it’s not really, real. Candidates want a job from you. When you ask them about their experience they inflate what they really think because they want a job from you. When you ask them after the entire experience is over, two things happen, first, they either got the job (in which you’ll get good measures) or second, they didn’t get the job and still want one (in which you’ll get good measures).
We love good measures in HR and Talent Acquisition.
We hate measures that make us work, like employee engagement. It’s easier and more rewarding to spend money and energy and Candidate Experience, than Employee Engagement. Employee engagement is hard. As soon as we fix the stuff from the last survey, the employee expect more! You know who doesn’t expect more? Candidates.
The ironic part of all of this is the easiest and best way to have great candidate experience is to not have to hire.Spend more resources on Employee Engagement, and you won’t have to spend more resources on Candidate Experience.
Chicken or the egg. Discounted Employees. You are discounting your employees in favor of candidates, and you don’t even realize it.
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Good points. In my experience, the 10-year experienced employee may have to show that he or she doesn’t just have one year of experience 10 times, but actually indicate progressive experience. I know that wasn’t the core of the article, but its what I thought about comparing the “old” and the “new.”
Good thoughts Tim! One sentence caught my eye – “As soon as we fix the stuff from the last survey, the employee expect more!”
You’ve identified one of the key errors of thought and action in employee engagement – making your sole activity be “fixing stuff” from the survey. Instead focus on hiring the right people (as Bob suggests), building teams that work better together and developing bosses who know how to motivate and manage.
“Spend more resources on Employee Engagement, and you won’t have to spend more resources on Candidate Experience.”
That is putting the cart, employee engagement, ahead of the horse, the employees.
If we hire the right employees, then employee engagement will follow much like the cart following the horse.
We need to know what pulls or pushes employee engagement.
Employee engagement is all about the horse, not the cart.
People tend to like the “new shiny” – whether it’s management fads or employees. Fresh eyes are incredibly valuable, but what message are you sending if the newbies are listened to but the tenured folks have been saying the same thing for years?
It’s similar to pay TV – new customers get all the great deals. It’s the loyal ones who get screwed. DON’T BE PAY TV.
Pay attention newbies: Your time in the spotlight may be shorter than you think. Even best sellers end up on the bargain table at some point. Be a part of the team, make a difference, give more than you take.
What a great article! I never really thought about this before, even though I’ve fallen victim to it myself. That said, new people bring in external experiences which can add new insight into solving entrenched issues within your organization.
What suggestions do you have for instilling the importance of appreciating your current workers and their experience while welcoming ideas from new employees?