Whether we like it or not, replacing employees with a new hire is an inevitable part of being in business. According to San Francisco-based recruiting software company SmartRecruiters, over half of the jobs filled between 2010 and 2020 in the Bay Area will be replacing folks who leave existing positions.
Similar issues are brewing across the country. Of all U.S. employees who left their jobs last year, 40 percent did so within six months of starting the position, and one of the major reasons given was “bad cultural fit.” These findings indicate that many businesses aren’t setting themselves up for recruiting success. They’re making snap hiring decisions that work against long-term business growth.
“Continuously accelerating your business hinges on having long-lasting team members who typically provide more productivity and value than a constantly rotating workforce,” said Jerome Ternynck, CEO of SmartRecruiters.
A way to get there is to “hire for retention,” in which businesses adapt their hiring practices to find the candidates who have the greatest potential for staying over the long haul.
“When you focus on retention during your hiring process, you can better ensure the right fit from day one,” said Ternynck. “This approach sets you and your candidates up for success much better than if you settle for less-than-ideal employees and try to make them happy after the fact.”
Follow these five steps the next time you hire for the long-term:
1. Put attitude before aptitude
Basing your hiring decision solely on a candidate’s knowledge, skills and experience is often a one-way street to a short-term relationship. Cultural fit plays a major role in making a long-term hire and should come first when weighing a person’s candidacy. Ternynck said, “You can train for skill. You can’t train for personality.”
2. Increase your choice of candidates
Building a wide and varied talent pipeline gives you a better chance of finding the right match. Use myriad sources to search for candidates, including job boards, your colleagues’ networks, your careers pages, your mobile site and recruitment partners.
3. Give your “employer brand” the mic
Help candidates determine if they see you as a long-term match by promoting your employer brand far and wide across your website and social media pages. Post updates, photos, videos and other content that reflects your company mission and personality.
4. Collaborate on hiring decisions
“Hiring is a team sport,” said Ternynck. “It usually takes three or four interviews to gain an accurate picture of a candidate.” After these interviews, debrief your team online and offline, collaboratively coming to a decision on whether you see a long-lasting match.
5. Let candidates know you are a candidate, too
Employment is a two-way street. You are making a decision just as much as candidates are. Give them the floor during interviews so they can grill you. “You can learn a lot about a candidate by the questions they ask,” said Ternynck. “Their questions show where their interests are, what their curiosity level is and how they imagine themselves working with you.”
Employee retention shouldn’t start once candidates are hired — it should begin before you bring anyone new on board. You’ll recruit and hire better candidates who will not only hit the ground running, but will keep running for the long haul.