“We wanted a responsible man for this job,” said the employer to the applicant.Well, I guess I’m just your man,” said the young fellow. “No matter where I worked, whenever anything went wrong, they told me I was responsible.” Bill Adler
Employees leave their jobs for five primary reasons that can be addressed during the hiring process: (1) the job is not what they expected, (2) they lack the skills, knowledge or abilities to perform the job in the manner that the organization requires, (3) they are uncomfortable with the conditions of employment, (4) their values are incompatible with the organizational mission and culture, and/or (5) they or their families are unable to adapt to their new community. There are steps that can avoid these problems.
1. The job is not what they expected.
Steps in hiring that will avoid this problem: Create and present an accurate and up-to-date description of the job.
a. Update the position description to accurately reflect the job responsibilities and reporting relationships, as well as the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities.
b. Make sure that the job announcement is accurate and contains all of the relevant information necessary for a potential applicant to make an informed decision: (1) title and pay range; (2) organization name, background information, and location; (3) key responsibilities; (4) mandatory training and experience requirements; (5) required skills, knowledge, and abilities; and (6) special conditions of employment.
2. They lack the knowledge, skills or abilities necessary to perform the job in the manner that the organization requires.
Steps in hiring that will avoid this problem: Screen potential applicants for three areas that are essential to ensure the best fit for the job: (1) they are qualified for the job, based on past training and experience; (2) they will perform the job in a manner acceptable to the organization; and (3) they share the organization’s values.
a. Pre-screen applicants to determine if they are qualified for the job, based on past training and experience.
Possible pre-screening devices include a resume, an achievement history questionnaire that requires applicants to respond to focused training and experience questions, and/or a web-based knowledge test.
b. Develop job-related situational questions and benchmark answers.
c. Identify organizational fit questions and benchmark answers, if appropriate.
d. Screen applicants using methods that will provide the most accurate and objective assessment of the potential applicants’ suitability for the job.
Possible screening devices include: (1) structured interview with panel;
(2) written essay; (3) in-basket; (4) performance simulation; and/or (5) oral presentation.
3. They are uncomfortable with the work environment.
Steps in hiring that will avoid this problem: Give applicants an opportunity to determine whether the work environment would be a good fit.
a. Provide a tour of the facility, so the applicants can get a firsthand view of how it is organized, the work that is done on the premises, and their potential work location and working conditions.
4. Their values are incompatible with the organizational mission and culture.
Steps in hiring that will avoid this problem:
Determine whether or not the applicants are comfortable with and will support the mission and the culture of the organization.
a. Ask open-ended value questions to determine if the applicants share the organization’s values.
b. Set up meetings with selected staff, so the applicants can become acquainted with their potential co-workers. This will also give the current staff an opportunity to determine how well the applicants are likely to fit into the work team.
(5) They or their families are unable to adapt to their new community.
Steps in hiring that will avoid this problem: Provide information about the community to help successful applicants and their families determine if they will be happy relocating there.
a. Discuss what the surrounding communities have to offer in terms of housing, schools, shopping, daycare, medical facilities, religious affiliations, local attractions and community events.
b. Introduce individuals and community organizations that can assist the family in making the transition and becoming situated in their new community.
The likelihood of employee turnover can be minimized if the hiring process accurately describes the job, objectively assesses the applicants’ suitability for the job, and provides support to the successful applicants’ families.