For our Australian friends, end of financial year is fast approaching and we all know what that means: Budget meetings, strategy meetings, process meetings, meetings about meetings, and follow-up meetings to discuss actions from your meeting-meetings.

It’s a busy time.

It’s also an exciting one - time to analyse results, propose changes, start fresh, build on last year’s progress, fix broken systems. I love year-end, can you tell?

Whether you’re deep in the EOFY craziness, or just hitting your own team’s strategic review period, we’ve compiled a bunch of considerations that might get the creative juices flowing for next your phase of planning.

Six easy thought-starters to get your strategic wheels turning

Run a simple candidate experience audit:

When’s the last time you reviewed your candidate experience? Like, ran through the whole process from whoa-to-go, as if you were a candidate yourself? No doubt you’ve spent a fair amount of time over the past year thinking or talking about or even working on different aspects of your candidate experience. If you haven’t also done a full, end-to-end audit, now’s your chance.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the big “audit” word. Get a couple of people from your team together, put out a bunch of halloumi fries and run through this simple audit checklist we’ve pulled together. It’ll give you a good foundation for discussions about thing you’re doing well and stuff you could improve.

*Fake moustache optional.

Test an employee engagement initiative:

We’ve all seen employee engagement become a pretty consistent presence on trend reports over the past year or two. But please, for the love of all the snow in Winterfell, don’t let it fall victim to buzzword fatigue. Building authentic engagement is too important. It’s the cornerstone of virtually every other aspect of HRM.

Without it, your culture is in the ditch, your attraction and sourcing becomes exponentially harder and your performance and retention rates fall through the floor.

Focussing on employee engagement is a bit like planting a tree - the best time to do it is yesterday. Creating sustainable engagement is a long game, with relationships built over time. Now’s a great time to dig out those awesome initiatives I know you’ve had hiding away in your “we’ll do it one-day” drawer and start testing. Run some experiments, design a pilot - who knows, FY2020 might be the perfect proving ground for a small idea that becomes a big company policy.

If your ideas drawer is looking a little empty, you can pull from this comprehensive list of ideas from our mates over at PageUp (which reminds me, stay tuned for our latest ATS integration announcement ?.

Measure something new:

Let’s face it, noone likes a good spreadsheet or reporting metric like a people-person. Take a minute to think about what you’re measuring and where the holes are. For example, how are you measuring your candidate experience?

An increasing number of organisations are using cNPS-style questions to put hard ROI metrics around their candidate experience investment. We’ve developed our own feature to do this for our customers, but a handful of ATS’s are following suit with simple single-question style surveys on offer.

Whatever you choose to use, you’ll need to be aware of industry-specific benchmarks so you know what “good” looks like. In the spirit of collaboration, there’s a crowd-sourced spreadsheet available online for people to (anonymously) share their cNPS scores and determine benchmarks. Based on other people’s entries, you’ll be able to see what other orgs like yours are achieving. It’s the open-source research at its best!

Link your initiatives to your company’s bottom line:

Battling for more budget is a common challenge at this time of year. There’s no more compelling case you can put forward than showing a direct line between the initiatives you want to invest in, and the company’s bottom line performance.

The team at Virgin Media famously showed a causal relationship between their investment in candidate experience and improved sales results. Guess who’s probably not having a fight about more budget allocation for candidate experience work now?

Ok, so you might not have Richard Branson at the helm getting excited about running experiments. There’s great data out there to help you make your case - linking what you do with company performance.

We’ve talked a lot (and a lot) about the impact of culture and candidate experience on bottom-line sales. We’ve also developed an interactive calculator you can use to work out your own candidate experience impact figure. Drop a few commonly-accessible numbers into the calculator fields and we’ll tell you how much a poor CX could be costing you in sales. You could even share it with your Marketing and Customer Experience heads and add their weight to your case - remember, their results (and budgets) are being affected by this too.

Introducing, the cX-Men

Get your values off the boardroom wall:

Now’s the ideal time to check how alive your values really are. Are they 2-dimensional platitudes looking pretty up on your boardroom wall? Or are they living, breathing ideals baked into the way your people interact, work and contribute to your culture?

If you need some inspiration from companies who are doing an absolutely stand-up job of weaving values into their recruitment, culture and HR policies, have a look at this list of our favourite examples.

Or if you’re still a bit stuck on exactly how to define your values or how you could bring them to life, we’ve created a pretty simple workshop template here that you can use to map definitions and come up with cool ideas.

Mine non-HR people for solutions:

Whether you’re trying to improve technical process challenges or communication things, don’t get stuck in your silo.

There’s a wealth of information sitting down the hall in different departments that you can tap. In fact, you have a unique perspective over who in your organisation might have relevant experience in solving similar issues to you - even if they’re in a different context. Use that super-power!

To get your started, take a look at this advice from some of the best, smartest, most experienced CMO’s in the world about how to build employer brand. There’s a gold mine of information out there - you just need to cross the floor every now and then.

Weirdly builds the best candidate experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world. Join Uber, Target, and Virgin Airlines by putting values and soft-skill assessments at the top of your recruitment process. Book a demo with our team today.