At the local market this morning I rounded a corner and witnessed the most astounding sight: a young mother on the business end of a grocery trip, accompanied by three boys under the age of five.
It took a nanosecond to sum up the chaos: while mommy was speaking to a clerk a short distance away, the 4 year old was methodically loading up the basket with jars of jam. In the spirit of cooperation, his younger brother (about 2 and a half I think, seated in the basket and clearly enjoying the game) was liberating the jars by dropping them back out of the cart and onto the floor below. The baby watched in glee as the jars bounced, crashed, and generally made a really delicious mess.
After the crashing began it didn't take long for mommy to restore order, and the clerk went about cleaning up as if it happens all the time (which it probably does). So what does this have to do with recruiting?
Engagement is the art and science of being absorbed in what you do -- happily, passionately, and completely. It happens at that moment when you forget everything else and lose yourself in the task at hand: quite literally being fully present in the here and now. For employers, it is the magic that drives competitive and economic advantage. For job seekers and employees, it is the fuel of ongoing commitment - to the team, to the job, to the company.
But what is the DNA of engagement? What are it's most basic, combustible elements that, when combined, create passion, commitment, and competitive advantage? I love my job -- and the experience for me is tied to more than what I get to do every day (although that's definitely part of the equation). Equally important are the people I'm doing it with or for, and how I expect the end result will add value in the big picture. In this context engagement is about inspiration and leadership as much as it is about tactical execution.
Don't you love those moments when you relish your job the way those boys did moving around jars of jam? And isn't it amazing that as recruiters we get to be traffic cops at the interection of people and companies searching for the spark?
Yep, I definitely love what I do.
In my day job, I’m the head of Products for Improved Experience, where we help employers use feedback to measure and manage engagement for competitive advantage in hiring and retention. Learn more about us here