Quick question: how much money has your business lost in the last year due to employee turnover? Do you feel like you’re in an endless loop of hiring, training, and losing qualified candidates?
The average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,000, which seems reasonable. If you have to fill the same position three times per year, however, it can ruin your bottom line.
If you’re looking for ways to improve the candidate experience and inspire long-term retention, this article’s for you. We’ll give you the inside scoop on how to gain employees’ trust and loyalty.
Prospecting for New Employees
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so take the time to tailor your help wanted ads. Try to avoid long paragraphs and use bullet points to describe the open position.
When you post your advertisement, have a few employees put in a sample application. Ideally, the applications should
- take less than 15 minutes from start to finish
- be optimized for mobile submissions
- contain keywords relating to the position
Once you have double-checked your application process and hand-selected a few promising applicants, it’s time to ask for a work sample.
Pay for Candidates’ Time
The best way to improve the job experience is to spend more time getting to know the candidate. You’re looking for someone whose personality will add to the team dynamic, but how can you tell without hiring them?
One way to do a test-run is to ask the candidate for a work sample. If you’re looking for a writer, ask them to write a blog as an example of their work.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that trial runs should always be paid. You might be losing qualified candidates by asking them to work for free.
Once you have work samples in hand, you can again narrow down the field. Try to pick your top five employees and schedule them for a face-to-face interview.
Move Quickly to Attract Top Candidates
After you have chosen your final five candidates, it’s important to make a hiring decision as soon as possible. There are a few reasons for accelerating the timeline.
First, existing employees may be stressed from trying to cover a vacant position. Having a new employee who needs to be trained is better than having no employee at all.
Next, your ideal job candidate might be unemployed or struggling to make ends meet. While you’re making your decision, they might be spirited away by the promise of ready money.
Improving your candidate experience will ultimately translate into employee satisfaction and retention. It’s worth speeding up the process for a promising job seeker.
Onboarding and Retention
The recruiting experience doesn’t stop at the point of hire. It continues through orientation and the first year.
The best way to approach onboarding is to involve your current employees in slowly orienting new ones. If you rush through the orientation process, you risk overlooking vital skillsets and alienating existing team members.
Once employees are oriented, how can you lock in a high rate of job satisfaction?
Here are a few teambuilding suggestions to enhance the candidate experience.
Plan Company Outings
We often rush through our workday, handling issues as they crop up. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could gather all of your employees and bond as a group?
While not every company can afford to whisk everyone away on an exotic retreat, there are fun and affordable local options.
- volunteering as a group
- paintball or outdoor ropes course
- escape room or mystery theater
- catered after-hours dinner
If you’re not sure what your employees would like, take a quick straw poll at your next meeting. They might have some creative ideas!
Make Room for Fun
While some employers don’t like to see employees chatting on the job, there should always be room for a little fun at work.
As long as the work is getting done at a reasonable rate, you might want to allow employees to access a shared chat room.
New employees can learn from more experienced ones, perhaps cutting down long, in-person conversations and meetings that run too long.
If you do allow a chat room, you should definitely hire a monitor. They will make sure that there’s no profanity or inappropriate content.
The monitor can also start work-related discussions and hold training classes by video.
Ask Employees for Input
If you’ve been trying to raise your retention figures for a while without success, there is an easy fix.
Talk to your existing employees about why people are leaving. Ask them what they would do to improve morale and strengthen their teams.
You might want to skip in-person meetings in favor of anonymous surveys. Employees might be reluctant to criticize management or suggest changes.
After your initial survey, follow up every six months. You can also contact former employees or ones who have given their two weeks’ notice and ask them to give their opinions.
Making Firing a Positive Candidate Experience
The final aspect of the candidate experience is the firing phase. It may sound counterintuitive to put much effort into firing, but it says that your company cares about its employees.
Of course, you should always try to retain staff instead of replacing them. The costs are lower and your team won’t have to get used to a new member.
If an employee is failing, it could be due to personal problems, an overabundance of work, or a need for more training. Realistic workload assessments should be part of your periodic audits.
If firing an employee becomes inevitable, try to give as much advance warning as possible. Schedule an exit interview and discuss the exact reasons for the dismissal.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to help with job placement or act as a reference.
We live in a fast-moving digital era, but kindness will never become obsolete.
Now that you know about employee retention, come take a look at our other articles. We have a wide range of blogs on everything from starting a business to personal growth.