by Montage Talent on July 7, 2016
I always get ideas from great speakers. That’s why I love to attend industry conferences whenever I can. Being surrounded by people who are similarly steeped in talent acquisition, its pains and purpose, always sparks good ideas and concepts that reinforce why video interviewing technology like Montage’s exists. Here’s a great example. Christine Nichlos, the founder and CEO of PeopleScience, provided some opening remarks at the recent HCI Strategic Talent Acquisition conference. Among other key points, this one stuck with me: Talent acquisition serves an incredibly important purpose because it is in the driver’s seat when tying together a person and a distinctly critical component of that person’s happiness – a job.
A great hire begets a happy new employee, a happy hiring manager, happy co-workers and hopefully a happy spouse and gaggle of kids back at home. This may be a broad stroke, but we’ve all seen it and felt it, haven’t we? A great week at work, and the usual annoyances at home just don’t seem as annoying. Whereas a lousy week at work makes the usual troubles at home as flammable as dry tinder during a lightning storm. Everyone is going to experience the usual trials and rewards at work, but in general, getting it right at the outset elevates value to both the company and the person who gives 50-60 hours a week.
Happiness vs. Engagement
Happiness, of course, is different than engagement. Gallup puts out its Positive Experience Index measuring how people live their lives. Gallup’s survey asks questions about feeling well-rested, frequency of smiling and laughing, feeling respected or doing something interesting. Their survey puts many poor countries at the top of the list (Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala make up the top four) showing that money does not buy happiness. The UN, on the other hand, creates a World Happiness Report that asks people to rate their lives on a scale from 0 to 10 with 10 being the best possible life there is. On that scale, the wealthier countries tend to top the list (Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Israel make up the top four).
Do happiness and engagement naturally co-exist? Engagement is definitely better for the company as the firm reaps the rewards of the engaged employee putting in that bit of something extra for the good of the firm. It strikes me as odd, though, that someone can be truly engaged at work without also being happy. If you are well-suited for the role and feel recognized for a job well-done, isn’t that the formula for happiness at work? If one exists without the other – high engagement but low happiness – I just can’t see it lasting for very long because the engagement is internally motivated. Even the best of us, the smartest, with the most intense work ethic, eventually will loosen the reins if that happiness is not present to keep the momentum going.
The traditional engagement surveys used in corporations try to connect factors that influence that feeling of well-being, engagement and happiness. It seems there’s a bit of both approaches where feeling respected and doing interesting work blends with the “grass is greener” mentality.
Where Does TA Fit In?
TA has a tangible role in creating both engagement and happiness:
Being a TA professional takes a special perspective and set of skills. The good ones create engagement right from the first point of contact with candidates. The great ones have the ability to recognize right fit and put top talent on the road to happiness.
Michele Ellner is the Director of Marketing for Montage and has worked closely with recruiters and talent acquisition professionals throughout her career. She markets for the most mature video interviewing solution available, purpose-built to transform the hiring experience one smile at a time. Michele has focused her career on talent acquisition technology, staffing, HR services and outsourcing for over 20 years. Reach Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her @ellnerellner.