An Interview Question to Jump Start Engagement

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Jul 2, 2018

I recently read an online article with this advice to all job-seekers preparing for an interview:

“If the prospective employer doesn’t give you a chance to ask questions, at the end of the interview, ask if you may ask one question. That question is: ‘Imagine you hire me and it is six months down the road and you have already promoted me. What have I done to deserve the promotion?’ This gets them seeing you as being already successful in the position.”

Here’s my spin on it for employers. The interview has gone well and you’re close to making an offer of employment; this is your chance to find out what you can do to manage your new hire the way they want to be managed thus enhancing engagement and boosting retention:

“Imagine I make you an offer and you accept the position with us and it is six months down the road and you feel just as enthusiastic and eager as your first day on the job. What has happened to make you feel this way?”

Hire an ex-con

Don’t dismiss the idea of hiring people with criminal records. This is one of the most underutilized sources of potential employees and accounts for almost 15% of the U.S. labor force. Yes, it depends on the job you’re hiring for and the reason for the conviction, but, before you rule it out, look at, the Federal bonding program which provides fidelity bonds that guarantee honesty for at-risk, hard to place jobseekers. Also check out the Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) available for hiring these individuals.

Retention tips

Fun at work — Your workplace should cultivate an environment of fun! There’s no rule against it and who doesn’t like to have fun?

So what does fun look like in a work environment? It can be friendly competitions, team camaraderie, and celebrations. It can be a joke of the day or free candy bars. Ask your employees what they’d like to do for fun! No one leaves the party when they’re having fun.

Data sheets — Do you know your employees’ favorite candy bars, restaurants, charities, or sports teams? If not, make it a practice to have new employees fill out a “data sheet” as part of their onboarding process. When you want to recognize them for an achievement, you can refer to this sheet to give them something they’ll appreciate. You can also use the sheet to spot trends and identify fun team activities that everyone will enjoy. For example, if everyone likes the Red Sox, plan a company outing to the ballpark or the local sports bar. (For a sample form, email with “Data Sheet” in the subject line.)

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