Hiring Employees Who Stay

For most companies a new employee is an investment that takes time and resources to obtain, and naturally employers want their new hires to be in it for the long run to make it worth their while. However statistics show that the average staying power of an employee has dramatically lowered in recent years, and is rapidly decreasing. Jeanne Meister discusses this in more detail in her recent article on the Millennial Generation:

“The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that.”

Jeanne Meister, Forbes online, 2012.

In addition to this, the recent Global Selection Forecast published by the DDI (Development Dimensions International) showed that only 51% of today’s new hires even felt confident in their decision to accept a job offer. With this in mind it would seem that today’s employee ‘investments’ are not quite as secure as their employers would hope.

hiring people who stay

As our economy continues to revive more jobs will become available and competition will rise. Staff retention is going to prove an ever-increasing threat to employers, so why is it that so many employees are apparently unhappy in their chosen careers, and where are employers going wrong?

Overzealous Recruiting
With half of today’s new hires apparently unsure of why they accepted a position it would seem that there’s a missing link between the hiring process and the job itself, thus leaving employees suffering from a sort of ‘buyer’s remorse’ as they try to settle in their new role. According to the DDI, the problem stems from poor applicant assessments:

“Only 41% of staffing directors report that their pre-employment assessments are able to predict better hires”

DDI Global Selection Forecast 2012

It would seem that in a bid to fill positions quickly, recruiters are bungling the pre screening processes and missing out on critical information that will lead them to the right new hire. As a result, employees are finding themselves shoehorned into jobs that are completely wrong for them.

Ineffective interviews
Ideally an effective pre-assessment will be followed by a well-conducted interview, however unskilled hiring managers often end up choosing a new hire based on one of the two following reasons:

  • The candidate has over-sold himself or herself in a bid to secure a job.
  • The recruiter has over-sold the job in a bid to secure a new hire.

The blame doesn’t just lie in the employer; today’s job seekers are a savvy demographic with a lot of information available to help them nail the interview process. However, with this in mind hiring managers need to make sure they’re conducting effective interviews that will wheedle out the wheat from the chaff.

Poor On-Boarding
Despite successfully passing assessment and interview, a new hire can find themselves questioning their decision within weeks of accepting a job purely because they feel as though they don’t fit in. When an employer fails to integrate their new team member appropriately, the new hire will lack the sense of commitment vital to staff retention.

Improving the System
Ideally the ultimate strategy for improving staff retention amongst new hires would adhere to the following rules:

Conducting assessments that effectively evaluate applicants.
Pre-assessment tests help employers in selecting best-fit candidates not only for their skills but also their future potential. The candidates that are likely to progress are also far more likely to stay. Many employers are using recruitment software to pre-define candidate criteria, which dramatically improves the chances that their applicants will be a good fit in the first place.

Having highly trained, hiring managers carry out interviews.
A skilled interviewer will both assess a candidate, and provide them with a realistic portrayal of the vacant position. Studies show that new hires who were given an accurate picture of the job during interview, went on to be the most engaged and committed employees thus avoiding the ‘buyers remorse’ effect.

Providing efficient and thorough on boarding for new hires.
Unsurprisingly, on boarding also correlates with employee engagement and figures show that efficient integration results in a high level of staff retention. The data collected in the interview process alone has proved to be an invaluable resource in integrating a new hire, as it can be used to explain exactly why they got the job, and what skills they must implement to make the most of their role.

Generation Y are a demographic going through more career changes than ever before, but with a few strategic changes to the hiring and on boarding process employers can improve their chances of finding, and keeping, the right new hires for them.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave your comments below to continue the discussion.

Picture source: flickr/Jenny Casey

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