I wish I could say the reason companies hire bad employees is entirely the fault of the “bad employee.”
In most cases, the reason can’t be isolated to one factor, but rather a whole host of things might not have gone well throughout recruitment and onboarding.
There are many facets to hiring and retaining the right talent, such as the following:
- The position itself: expectations and anticipated skills, experience and knowledge
- The hiring process: where the job is posted, how long the process takes, how many people are involved internally
- The hiring staff: the recruiter, the hiring manager, fellow subject matter experts, and the President/CEO/Branch Manager
- The culture of your workplace: do people like coming to work, do employees feel appreciated, is your environment open to new employees?
- The applicant: do they have the right qualifications, are they a cultural fit?
Although an incredibly vital piece, the applicant is only a small part of the whole process. You may never hear from an applicant that your process is too long or that you have poor communication, but you may have found yourself excited about an applicant only to never hear from them again. If this has been your experience, there’s a good chance that something on your end may have scared them off.
So, what can you do?
Determine What You’re Looking for in the Position
I’ve been halfway through the hiring process with a client, and they provide me with brand-new information of what they are looking for in an applicant. For the recruiter, not only is this frustrating but it can impact the cycle time. It’s vital to source the right people from the beginning and not give false hope to others. Changes like these have an unexpected ripple effect both on the applicant as well the professionals inside the company that the applicant will need to speak with.
Additionally, with the advent of social media (and job review sites like glassdoor.com), bad news travels fast! Take the time prior to posting the application to ensure you know what is needed from the candidate and make every effort to avoid changing this criterion after posting. Meet with coworkers, the managers and the direct reports. What makes the right candidate? What are the attributes that make a successful employee in this position?
No one likes to be left in the dark, especially during a process that involves their livelihood and perhaps the livelihood of loved ones. Let the applicant know what they can expect, what the job is about, who they will be working with and most importantly the salary range. Why? There is an entirely unnecessary taboo that seems to exist around salary.
I love my job, but would I do it for free? Not likely. I’ve got bills to pay, kids to clothe and vacations to take and all of that requires money. By communicating the salary early on, you manage expectations right from the beginning, and you’re more likely to have an excited applicant that feels invested in the process, rather than clued in at the last minute.
Plan Your Recruitment Strategy
Who is involved? Why are they involved? From a logistical standpoint, how will the interview(s) go? Being (or even appearing to be) organized goes a long way. Making an applicant wait for an extended period of time or appearing harried upon arrival, is not only a reflection of your professionalism but at that moment, you represent the entire organization. Yes, you’re busy – who isn’t? Being calm and organized will give a positive impression and put the applicant at ease. When you are disorganized or distracted, you may miss out on vital signs that this applicant is in fact, not the right fit.
Plan Your Onboarding
Too often, this step is overlooked! Many employers think the greatest task is complete when they’ve hired the ‘right’ person. While this may be true, the ‘right’ person can quickly turn into the ‘wrong’ person when treated poorly. Have you ever walked into a new job and there’s no training schedule? Imagine walking into the office on your first day, and it feels like no one knew you were coming. As the employer, you need to have a plan. Become as detailed as possible and determine: Who will they go to lunch with on the first day? Is their computer set up? Show them the potential and progress to be had. Let them know how valuable their contribution is. In a Zenefits article by Sonya Jacob, ‘The 7 Benefits of an Onboarding Program,’ Jacob states, “Engagement should be the objective of any onboarding program, not just because it builds culture and rapport, but because it also drives business growth.” Isn’t that the point – to be a profitable and lasting company, not one that puts out fires?
I get it; you’re busy. But would you like to know what would make you even busier? Answering unemployment claims, responding to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) cases and ultimately hiring for the same position you thought you were done with six months ago.
Do it right the first time. Communicate and plan to deliver and cultivate happy and well-informed employees that want to work hard for a company that believes in them and their future.