Wired For Engagement

2 Jan 2018 by  Tarandeep Singh and Ajith Nair

Improving Engagement through Better Hiring

Here’s a statistic that every HR professional must know: Research has shown that a 5% increase in employee engagement results in a 3% revenue upside in a year. Juxtaposed with the fact that globally only 24% of employees are “Highly Engaged” and 39% “Moderately Engaged”, it’s critical for organisations aspiring to produce elite results to challenge the status quo.

Hiring is usually an unexamined lever in managing engagement. This is primarily because many don’t recognize the fact that personality plays a big role in an employee’s engagement levels – some people are intrinsically wired to be engaged. Assessing this aspect during the hiring process can ease the task of engaging them going forward.

How Does Personality Affect Engagement?

Personality traits, which determine a person’s predisposition towards being engaged in varied situations, can be identified during pre-hire evaluations. Three key traits contribute to an employee’s inclination towards engagement: 

 People who are high in positivity are more likely to say good things about their organisation. They also invest their discretionary energy in the work environment and can be retained longer.

 Those scoring high on cooperativeness value working together and look for ways to get along even in situations of conflict. Conversely, those low in this attribute may struggle to engage with teams in spite of being highly engaged in their individual tasks.

 Highly motivated individuals are more engaged on account of wanting to be the best. They apply this drive across situations and roles.

However, it must be kept in mind that picking candidates high on all attributes is not the best way to approach engagement. Here’s why:

Diversity is Always Best : A mix of personalities is best for maintaining balance in teams, but avoid candidates who are below average on all three attributes.

Engagement can depend on Context : It’s important to match the requisite traits with the role a candidate will handle as well as an organisation’s culture.

Engagement is an Ongoing Action : Benefits of assessments should be used post hiring as well to weed out those unlikely to give their best

How Hiring for Engagement Creates Organisational Advantages

Combining assessment and selection with engagement into a holistic strategy can help find the right people, and once on board, create high engagement levels across the organisation.

Some of the advantages of this approach include:

  • Improving Engagement More Quickly

Aon’s research indicates that personality assessment based hiring significantly speeds up overall organisational engagement levels.

  • Selecting Engaging Leaders

When assessing and selecting for leaders, it has to be kept in mind that in some cases, a better “engageability” result may be more desirable than specific skills.

  • Establishing Sustainable Hiring Decision

Hiring candidates who are wired for engagement ensures a positive viral effect in the organisation.

  • Creating a Culture of Engagement

The concept of assessment for engagement has to go beyond hiring and into rewards, value proposition, career opportunities, and development to foster a culture of engagement.

How to Combine Hiring & Engagement

Organisations have to understand and imbibe the fact that to maximize positive impact, hiring and engagement need to be an integrated strategy. The key task, therefore, is to create a framework for engagement - whether of current employees or measuring predisposition of candidates – which goes beyond the HR function.

For a detailed understanding of how to foster a culture of engagement, download Aon’s white paper here.


To inculcate a culture of engagement, start with assessing and hiring candidates who are predisposed towards being positively engaged. Follow this up with ongoing efforts going beyond the HR department, driven by C-level leaders. For this, you’ll need a partner who has the technology and know-how to make your engagement strategy more powerful than ever before.

How Aon can help

Aon can help you take a holistic, global approach to building the ideal workforce. We understand that elite results require extraordinary talent. We can help you build that talent from assessing candidates, building strong leaders, engaging employees, and supporting it with the right human capital strategy.

We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have on this subject. Feel free to contact us on any of the IDs below :


Tarandeep Singh
Partner & APME Head of Assessments
Aon Hewitt India Consulting

Ajith Nair
Aon Hewitt India Consulting

Tarandeep Singh and Ajith Nair