Turnover costs are steep. Just ask John Bishop, founder of employee assessment company Accent on Success. Bishop says that one of his clients, a St. Louis-based photocopier company, figured its first-year cost to train a new copier repair person is in excess of $63,000. That figure includes advertising for the position, overtime for other repair people to cover the area until a new person can be hired, then salary, training costs, travel, and road time with a supervisor.
A study done by Rutgers University Graduate School of Business estimated that the turnover cost for a non-professional position is one and a half times that of the person’s annual salary, while the turnover cost for a professional position is as much as two times that person’s salary.
Doesn’t this kind of financial impact make you want to take your hiring process a little more seriously?
Hiring For The Long Haul
Productive hiring is about more than just making sure the candidate has the right skills and experience for the open position. They also have to be able to work well in and contribute meaningfully to the culture you've established for your company. If the candidate is a square peg in a round hole, they aren't going to last long. So you should do everything possible to assess that the person you're planning to hire is willing and able to successfully navigate your environment—before you officially bring them on board.
Here are eight signs that the job candidate you're thinking about hiring might not be the best fit for your business:
1. They don’t know much about your organization. Candidates who come in for their interview without having done any homework on your organization aren't likely to make an educated decision as to whether they're a good match for you. Savvy candidates will use the interview as an opportunity to probe you further about your business's culture based on their preliminary research.
2. Your leadership style won’t meet their expectations. Perhaps you’ve asked candidates to share the qualities of their ideal management team, and they describe a manager with an open-door policy and a transparent communication style. You know that your executive team’s close-to-the-vest, hierarchical approach will not fly with them. Save yourself some heartache either by being upfront about the potential disconnect or by passing on the hire altogether.
3. Your core priorities differ. When you inquire about candidates' most important business values and/or how they will personally evaluate whether they're doing a good job, they mention profits and raises. But you know your business is focused on customer service and that pay increases are few and far between. This candidate won't be happy with scarce monetary rewards.
4. You have conflicting definitions of work/life balance. They define work/life balance as doing their work anytime, anywhere—as long as they get results. Your idea of this same concept involves showing up at the office before 9:30 a.m. each day and being allowed to leave early for the occasional doctor’s appointment. If your culture is into face time and the candidate isn’t, the arrangement probably isn’t going to work.
5. They prefer to work alone. Unless you’re hiring someone for a night shift that involves sitting in a room by themselves, your candidates need to demonstrate they can be effective as a member of a team. A person who wants to avoid working with others as much as possible won't be able to cope with the high-collaboration culture that’s typical of many 21st century organizations.
6. They want to move up the ladder too quickly. When you ask the candidate about their career goals, they say they expect to be promoted to vice president within the next few years. But you know your company’s career trajectories aren’t quite so linear and that people don't usually advance until someone retires. Recognize that at some point in the near future, this person is going to feel held back and is likely to become disengaged.
7. They trash former employers. If you're attempting to create a positive environment, the last thing you want to do is infuse it with negativity. Listen carefully to candidates who find fault with everything and everyone at previous companies they worked at. Your business could be next, and this bad apple might just bring the rest of your team down with them.
8. They fail the "airport test." Ask yourself this question: “If my team were stuck in an airport with this candidate for an entire day, would we be able to stand him?” If the answer is no, you should seriously rethink your decision to hire this person—working with someone every day involves much more interpersonal interaction than you'd get in one airport layover.
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