Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

How to Engage New Talent Prior to Their Start Date

April 01, 2014 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute

Many organizations view the hiring process as transactional: the position needs to be filled and the candidate needs a job. However, this perspective creates missed opportunities to engage new team members before they even step through the door to begin training.

At Disney Institute, we believe that one of the best ways to engage new talent is through the recruitment and selection process. By intentionally and deeply immersing candidates in the culture at all key points in the process, we can test for a good cultural match. The candidate then has the ability to select in or select out of the established culture. Guess what? Modifying or adjusting certain key aspects of your selection process will yield people with a far greater propensity to be engaged…and exhibit excellence in their roles.

Consider your organization. What signals does your recruitment and selection process send to a prospective candidate? Lets examine a few key aspects:

  • Career Website: Does your recruiting website provide information beyond the job description? Use this tool as an opportunity to share the company’s culture, vision, and values. The applicant can then decide early on if they believe they are a good fit for the organization. 
  • Recruitment Contact: The first contact an applicant has with an individual from an organization makes a lasting impression. Your recruiting and hiring manager must demonstrate the behaviors of an exemplary employee.
  • Interviews: Interviews offer an opportunity for you to learn about a candidate, and for the candidate to learn about your company’s heritage and culture. We also know that skills-based recruitment (alone) is fatally flawed, so emphasize desired behaviors, in addition to skills, to find the talent that is right-fit for you.
  • Offer Extension: The manner in which an offer is extended is crucial to engaging candidates from the start. Candidates select positions based on possibility and opportunity, so showcase the unique opportunities your organization has to offer. Use this step to excite the candidate with a vision of their possible future within the organization.


Want to learn more about Disney’s Approach to Selection, Training and Engagement? Join us this Wednesday, April 2 at noon ET for a D’Think Twitter chat. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/disneyinstitute to participate in an interactive Q&A session with a Disney leader. 


Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form

Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Recruitment, Training and Engagement, Employee Retention, Employee Engagement, New Talent, Jeff James, Human Resources, HR

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