One common mistake made by local government human resource (HR) and department managers is to view recruiting and employee engagement methods as two separate tasks. Once you understand more about employee engagement, you will see that these two aspects of local government administration are closely related. In fact, the first and most important step of employee engagement happens during the recruiting process.
Choosing the Right Employees
By selecting the right candidates during the recruiting process, you are building a team that will work together well on projects and assignments. Employee engagement is closely linked with team building, and engagement will automatically increase when employees are connected with their teammates.
During the recruiting process, consider the attitude and personality of each employee that you are interviewing. Look at the ways the employee with fit in with the rest of the team. Also, consider the attitude of each candidate, and try to find people who are self-starters and willing to step forward to accomplish goals as a team. Finally, look for candidates who are particularly passionate about advancing the goals and mission of your community. Civic-minded candidates often make the bet employees as they are driven to better their community and the lives of their friends and neighbors.
Hiring for Long-Term Engagement
If you are in a pinch, then you might be tempted to settle for a candidate who isn’t quite the right match for what you're looking for. Even though the candidate might seem like they will be good enough for now, it can be a problem to hire someone without considering the long-term results that are possible from that employee.
When you find yourself in the situation where you can’t find the right candidate for the job opening, then you should continue looking before you make the hiring decision. Even though it will delay the hiring process, it is better to make sure that you have someone who is a good fit for your business.
One way to expand your search before settling on a candidate is to look at past applicants who meet the baseline criteria for the position for which you are hiring. Ask them to apply for the new position. They are likely still interested, and a good fit for your program, but just may not have seen the new position currently open in your administration. If you are using a government human resource software, like an applicant tracking software (ATS) solution, this process of screening past applicants can be streamlined through automation.
Onboarding New Employees
Once you have identified the right employees to hire, the next step is to make sure that you have an effective onboarding system in place. Onboarding helps with integrating the employee into the company culture, and the onboarding will have a direct result on how well the new employee fits in with the employee engagement initiatives.
A good onboarding system will help new employees to quickly get up-to-speed on the policies and procedures within your administration. Make sure all HR new hire tasks are quickly handled in the beginning, to allow the employee to be ready to start into productive work as soon as possible. They will be able to easily integrate with the rest of the team more effectively when they can start feeling like a productive member of the team.
For more information on the importance of onboarding, including a 30-day onboarding checklist customized for local government, download our eBook, "Engage and Retain New Hires in Your Local Government with Proper Onboarding."