application and on-boarding for engineering professionals

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1 application and on-boarding for engineering professionals Start with communication and transparency By joe lampinen

2 introduction /02 On-boarding is becoming one of the most common challenges cited by engineering job seekers As a result of ongoing pressure to attract in-demand engineering talent, the processes for hiring and assimilating engineering talent are drawing increased attention. Recent headlines confirm that candidates are asking for better communication from employers regarding their status in the application process. Many employers, it seems, will often post job opportunities and encourage candidates to apply only to have a communication blackout after the application has been submitted. In addition, many companies are without a structured on-boarding process for new employees. In today s competitive environment where engineering candidates have a number of career options, any outdated process will quickly become a sizable disadvantage. In fact, after hiring in, communication gaps can impact the performance of a new employee, and influence how long they stay. But there are some vital steps you can take to improve your strategy and get your engineering professionals off to a strong start.

3 A well-designed electronic application system wins over engineering professionals, who expect efficiency /03

4 the application process and engineering professionals /04 A positive application experience One thing remains clear communicating with engineering candidates during the job application process influences their view of your company brand. According to the 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), an annual worker opinion study that gathered nearly 230,000 responses from 31 countries this past year, job candidates had mixed experiences with the application process. Less than half of all engineering professionals surveyed (43%) expressed satisfaction. Consider this: The job application process is often a candidate s initial experience with an organization, and where first impressions are formed. What impression are you giving? A top factor for creating a positive candidate experience: communication regarding the status of an application.

5 the application process and engineering professionals /05 Grade your organization Here s what more than 10,700 engineering professionals have reported about the application process at organizations such as yours: 67 % cite lack of clear/regular communications or updates regarding status of application as driving dissatisfaction 43 % had a strong positive impression following their application process 57 % expect feedback within one week of applying 38 % expect feedback within two weeks of applying

6 the application process and engineering professionals /06 Overall, communicating with engineering candidates to let them know where they stand after both applying and interviewing improves the candidate experience during the job application process. Some suggestions include: Make documentation available early in the process In order to better set their expectations, candidates want to clearly understand your internal application and selection methodology. Ensure that your job descriptions are accurate The minimum skill sets that you require should be accurately spelled out in order to attract the appropriate talent. Write a descriptive paragraph about the role engineering has within your organization Include this copy in job descriptions to give candidates a glimpse into your organization s size, scope of engineering services, and vision. Develop and implement automated responses Advise candidates where they stand in your process whether good or bad news, candidates prefer to be kept in the loop.

7 A positive on-boarding experience translates into faster success /07

8 the on-boarding process and engineering professionals /08 Set the stage for success Once a firm has successfully attracted and hired a quality candidate, on-boarding begins. On-boarding is the process of helping an employee assimilate into an organization, and should be a foundation for retention. Employers who effectively on-board new hires can positively affect employee engagement. Yet KGWI respondents reported less than satisfactory experiences: Hiring managers within organizations must deliver a positive on-boarding experience for new employees, and effectively assimilate them into the company. Slightly more than half of engineering professionals who applied for a job in the past year say the employer had a planned on-boarding approach 53 % 45 % Barely half of the engineering talent who applied for a job in the past year formed a strong positive opinion of the company based on their first 90 days of employment

9 the on-boarding process and engineering professionals /09 Integrating new engineering talent into the organization During the first months at a new job, employees are deciding whether to stay or go. It s important to invest in the success of new employees by delivering a positive on-boarding experience, and effectively assimilating them into the company. Most employees develop their perceptions based on their initial corporate-sanctioned on-boarding process, but also during subsequent weeks, after moving into the organization s knowledge ramp. 50 % Only half of engineers are satisfied with the clarity of employers job descriptions and requirements, leaving plenty of room for improvement in an increasingly tight labor market

10 the on-boarding process and engineering professionals /10 On board, not jumping ship If you re among the employers that don t yet have an on-boarding strategy, here are a few suggestions: Ensure a comprehensive orientation Reference materials should be in place to help new employees become familiar with your organization touch on culture, structure, goals, inputs, and outputs. Create a sponsor checklist Select a rotating set of informal leaders within the engineering organization who will put their best foot forward on your organization s behalf. Assign a single point of contact Each new engineering employee should have an on-boarding sponsor, one with responsibility to explain and ensure the following: The organizational footprint and leadership structure Key stakeholders and contacts across the company Scheduled exposure to experienced peers Company and organizational history Significant milestones relevant to the organization The role of each separate department in key engineering activities Finally, as new engineering employees complete the on-boarding process, establish an on-boarding exit interview designed to help your company make improvements for the ongoing flow of talent into your team. Remember to make your on-boarding process one that addresses not only entrylevel team members, but also the experienced professionals who might join the team due to succession or attrition.

11 Avoid losing the interest of potential talent by not communicating effectively /11

12 conclusion /12 Nail the first touch point The first touch point that engineering candidates have with your organization is almost always through an electronically submitted job application. This is the first opportunity to create a positive experience. It s also the first point at which if the process is cumbersome candidates may abandon their attempts to engage with your company. The 2014 KGWI shows that the experience of using mobile devices to apply for jobs is a key driver of applicant satisfaction: The vast majority of candidates who applied for a job last year did so with a digital/electronic résumé 91 % 95 % Engineering professionals trended even higher The second major touch point is the on-boarding experience. After hiring a new engineering candidate, give them a foundation for success with a strategic, well-planned introduction to your organization. Partner up 51 % More than half of engineering employees used a third party to apply for their most recent job. A workforce partner such as Kelly can offer you access to an engineering workforce, including: Flexibility to engage contingent and direct-hire engineering talent Engineering talent for SOWbased project work Quickly executed and targeted recruitment campaigns Effective job fairs and customized recruiting events for top engineering talent The ability to microbrand; letting candidates know about your specific engineering group

13 /13 Joe Lampinen is a director for the Engineering Center of Excellence at Kelly Services, Inc., (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) a world leader in human resources solutions headquartered in Troy, Michigan. He serves as a technical workforce strategist and solutionist, working with industrial clients to prepare scope and plans for engineering engagements. Joe holds an interdisciplinary bachelor s degree from Western Illinois University, a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Law and Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently completing a Master of Science degree in Technology at Purdue University. Mr. Lampinen is credentialed as a Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE), Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). About Kelly : a strategic engineering supplier Kelly is a leader in workforce solutions with specialization for numerous industry sectors, combined with leadership in the placement of engineering talent. We have both the expertise to meet your full spectrum of talent needs plus the technologies and tools to prepare your organization for the challenges to come. Want more information? Visit kellyservices.us/engineering today. About the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) report The annual KGWI brings together work and workplace insights sourced from more than 230,000 respondents from 31 countries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions. It takes the form of an annual survey that canvasses a wide spectrum of opinions on issues impacting the contemporary workplace, with a particular focus on the perspectives from different generations, industries, occupations, and skill sets. Topics covered include: Career development and upskilling Workplace performance Employee engagement and retention Social media and technology Sources: Kelly Global Workforce Index, Kelly Engineering Resources is a registered trademark of Kelly Services All other trademarks are property of their respective owners An Equal Opportunity Employer 2014 Kelly Services, Inc. Z1344 kellyservices.us/engineering EXIT

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