Does your company have a turnover problem? Has your company had employees you had to let go because their behavior was unacceptable, or they really didn't fit in? Or they didn't have the abilities and skills you originally thought they did?
One reason might be that the person you hired wasn't the right person for the job or that you didn't evaluate them thoroughly enough before selecting them. And if this is the case, it might be reflected in turnover rates. Average turnover is about 15 pecent, and 80 percent of this turnover is due to hiring mistakes.
Most of us choose our spouse with care after much evaluation, yet at work, we tend to select employees after only one or two interviews. Once they are hired, employees often find that they must fend for themselves. But, given the amount of time we spend at work, wouldn't we all be happier if we took as much care at the office as we do at home to create a cooperative environment? Wouldn't we also be far more successful?
Instead of rolling the dice, there are proven steps that can help you hire the right person, lower your turnover, and improve your company's productivity.
1. Determine your needs. The first step in the hiring process is to determine your needs. You can't find what you're looking for if you don't know what it is you're looking for.
Write out the qualifications (duties/responsibilities, skills/expertise needed, experience and education/training required or desired) for the position you are trying to fill. Rank the needs by priority so you will have a clear picture of the person you seek. Having a specific job description and requirements helps you find the right person and gives you information to determine a competitive salary.
2. Consider innovative approaches in interviewing. Rather than relying on the candidate's word, make an effort to see the person in action. Ask the candidate behavioral and situational questions, such as, "What would you do if?" This helps you see what the person would really be like as an employee. Another idea is to give candidates an assignment before the interview. For example, ask them to review your product or web page and give you their comments. This allows you to assess their critical thinking and communication skills.
Seeing candidates in action or asking behavioral questions can help you observe decision-making abilities, critical thinking and technical skills without having to hire them first. You can scrutinize their ability to act in a variety of situations and how they will fit in with colleagues and the company culture.
3. Have more to offer. The more competitive your salary and benefits, the more potential candidates you will have to choose from. More than likely, the larger the pool of candidates, the better the employee you will end up with. If your company isn't capable of being extremely competitive with salary, consider competitive benefits. Many employees are just as interested in a comfortable working environment and other benefits such as quality of life as they are in money. Offer more vacation, telecommuting, flexible work hours, compressed work weeks and other non-traditional arrangements.
In an effort to attract top high-tech workers, especially in small towns, companies are giving away a variety of perks, such as free housecleaning, weekly car washes and in-office massages. Many employees just want to know that they're working for a company that cares. Emphasize charitable donations and events your company participates in. Make volunteer opportunities available to employees. Show them your appreciation.
It's with these kinds of benefits that small and mid-size companies can compete with large corporations for talent. If you can't offer huge salaries and flashy perks, there are many ways, including cost-effective methods, to tip the scales in your favor, obtain a large pool of interested candidates and determine and choose those that best fit your company's needs.
Dr. Rose Opengart, the "HR doctor," is a human resources consultant in Chattanooga and may be reached at Rose@HRdoc.biz or www.hrdoc.biz