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Does engagement belong to HR departments or Business Managers?

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​Does engagement belong to HR departments or Business Managers?

We’ve all heard it’s a candidate-driven market right now, but for ‘first jobbers’ like me, the important distinctions between candidate attraction and employee engagement are still being heavily disguised.

After graduating from university in the summer, I set out looking for a position in the world of recruitment and I was lucky enough to be offered several roles. In all my interviews and initial offerings, I was focused on what I presumed were the key factors, the industry, the size of the company and of course, the salary. It is great to look at a benefits package and see all the ways the company plans to keep you happy; it is undeniably enticing. These are the attributes that initially attract candidates to become employees, but what engages employees once they are there? As a fairly new entrant into the corporate world, wellbeing and benefits packages must consistently change over time to stay in keeping with trends, current market conditions and of course, people’s needs.

We need to start encouraging people to ask the questions surrounding what strategies and initiatives a company has to offer, as it is this which upholds the values and cultures that initially ‘attracted’ us to the role.With hybrid working becoming the norm, companies can no longer get away with inconsistent onboarding processes and ad-hoc ‘team days’ as the standard for employee engagement, especially as almost a third of workers claim they would quit their job without another one lined up.

Facts and Figures

According to a recent study, 69 per cent of Gen Z (those born after 1996) candidates would be more likely to apply for a role where diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) was underscored by a company. This blanket emphasis earns initial interest in the role, but for a generation where communication is only a button away, this means new policies and communication on how a company is adapting to new challenges is just as key. An investment in training and performance reviews for managers on policies and initiatives is a good start to ensure everyone is on the same page, even if they are not in the office.

In an article by Korn Ferry, this topic was discussed in detail. If employee engagement is a driver for success, then thanks to hybrid working, it is paramount now, more than ever, to look inwardly at culture and wellbeing initiatives to drive engagement. This article suggested that “engagement does not belong to HR” which got me thinking of the chicken and the egg idiom. HR departments must create policies and initiatives and offer training on their DE&I procedures to guarantee employees are engaged. Employers and employees must buy into those initiatives to enable change. But what comes first? Without the demand for such change, HR sees no true gain from introducing these initiatives, but without the initiatives, there will be no set path for company-wide change.

My interpretation of this is irritably nuanced. Business Managers have to understand the genuine wants of the changing working population and be dedicated to investing both time and money in a People Function that will always adapt policies and procedures to mirror market trends.


Please look at C&C’s website for more market insights https://www.candcsearch.co.uk/blog