I once worked for a company where the attrition rate was over 50% company-wide and the majority of new hires were not successful beyond the 6 month probationary period. Managers would regularly sit around wondering why the fantastic person they recently hired was now behaving so differently – and then they left! I was one of those managers.
Now that I have been in HR for a while, this is what I call the ‘recruitment merry-go-round’. You are continually filling positions – like using super glue to fix big leaks in a wall. The ‘great fit’ you hired has quickly turned into your biggest headache. This has a detrimental effect on your business as no one seems to stay long enough to be productive and contribute to the bottom line.
I believe that a large part of the problem is that the interview process is not used effectively to identify issues early on. You will be surprised at how much more the interview process can help you. Here are my 5 top tips:
The interview starts from the second you start communication with the candidate. Basically everything counts! How did their phone manner appear when the interview was booked? Did they respond in a timely manner to your communication or did you have to chase them? How did they interact with the other people in the reception area when they arrived for the interview? If you are a very small company without a reception, send another employee out there to welcome the candidate and to have a short conversation
Sight test. Whether you own a manufacturing plant or a law firm, the candidate should come to the interview well groomed and appropriately dressed. This will show how much they want to work for you – make no mistake presentation matters
Interview Guide. Prep, prep, prep! You should have an interview guide that includes a script for your introduction, the questions you will ask, a bit about the recruitment process and an assessment system, so you can rate the candidates fairly. If you are not prepared, the candidate will feel this from the other side of the table and you will not attract the best
Smart questioning. On average, people now change jobs every 1-2 years and attend A LOT of interviews – which means they have a large mental library of responses. You need to surprise candidates with questions that challenge them, so they cannot just rely on their ‘question bank’. So, instead of only asking them for examples from their own work history, include one or two real situations they might encounter in your business and ask them how they would handle these situations, based on their experience. Then use probing questions to check the consistency of their response and see how they would really approach them.
Time. Allow enough time to make a comprehensive assessment. I would recommend two interviews so you can assess the candidate in terms of cultural fit, technical skills and behaviour. Sometimes, if you have a lot of candidates to assess, you might want to start with a phone screen. Allow an hour for each interview. Getting it right is crucial!
Remember – Employee Matters are also recruitment experts so if you would like guidance or more information to ensure you have an effective recruitment process, please contact us.
By Stacy Gershberg, Employee Expert