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Three Keys to Reducing Turnover and Selecting Better Employees

September 29, 2013

Select International’s consulting group has a saying when they approach a new project:“Begin with the end in mind.” It makes sense, having a goal or expected outcome so that you can calculate successes and meet or exceed expectations. The concept is simple really. So why do so many companies approach talent selection without the end in mind? What makes filling a position different than completing a project or other task with a set goal? The problem may be that the end is often viewed as simply a filled position. I suppose a new hire meets the criteria in its most basic form, but if an incumbent departs your company you are back to square one—posting the job, reviewing resumes, making phone screens, conducting interviews, etc. If your positions keep turning over, you are not beginning with the end in mind. Your goal should be to fill positions and keep those positions filled, so that you can focus your efforts on positions that are more difficulty to fill or other initiatives entirely. 124298436

When speaking to various levels of HR professionals, the three pain points I hear most often are related to time to fill, numbers of openings (reqs), and hiring manager expectations. These discussions are typically with clients and prospects that are filling positions with “a warm body,” - not the correct hire. I am sure many of you reading that previous sentence have uttered those words in quotations. Instead of filling positions for the sake of checking them off as filled, you should be asking yourself how to find the high-potential candidates that are going to stay with your organization for a greater length of time.

There are three ways to ensure you will fill your openings with highly motivated employees that will decrease your turnover while creating a more productive and successful work environment:

1) Realistic Job Preview – It is simple, really. Set expectations. If the position in question is in a hot or cold environment, let the candidates know and let them know early on in the process. Candidate self-deselection is not a bad thing—in fact I would go so far as to say it is the best way to remove low-potential candidates from your applicant pools. These individuals know they will be unhappy in a hot or cold environment, so they remove themselves from consideration before they join your organization and quickly turnover. Additionally, your recruitment teams will not spend time interviewing candidates who deselect themselves upon hearing the work environment factors at later stages of the process.

2) Assess Position Relevant Competencies – An essential piece to any consistent and accurate selection process is a job-relevant assessment or two, depending on the position. Not only are assessments unbiased, if they have been properly implemented then they have been tailored to the positions in your organization and assess competencies indicative to success. Candidates that score highly in those competencies are more likely to succeed and in turn have a higher level of job satisfaction.

3) Assess Motivational Fit – This seems obvious. If an employee is not the appropriate fit for a position, they are going to turn at a much higher rate than those high in job satisfaction around them. So why do many organizations skip this crucial piece in the selection process? Or should I say, why do so many companies incorrectly gather this information? Motivational Fit is a competency typically assessed during the interview and like the rest of the selection process should be position-specific. However, so often the interviewers are either not properly trained in behavioral-based interviewing techniques, or they are armed with questions that do not properly address Motivational Fit. It is essential that all interviewers be properly trained and have an appropriate interview guide geared towards Motivational Fit and other position-relevant competencies. This will allow for a well-informed hiring decision.

Follow these simple steps and you will increase the accuracy of your selection process and reduce turnover. 

Importance of Training Interviewers

Bart Costello Bart Costello was a Business Development Manager with PSI. His expertise includes talent selection, employee/leader development, talent management, and safety culture transformation. Bart helps his clients solve business needs by applying the science of Industrial-Organizational Psychology.