Hiring Staff That Stay

Question: How can I be better at hiring staff? Every time I have a vacant position, I try to fill it quickly to avoid burdening my remaining guys. But the new people never last so I soon am facing another vacancy and the problem starts over again. What am I doing wrong?

Alice Waagen says: I am assuming that the new folks are quitting on you, not that you are firing them. If that is the case, I would start by looking for inconsistencies in how you are presenting the job or the organization in the interview process. It sounds like the job applicant is seeing or hearing one thing about the job then experiencing something different once they are hired. The difference must be pretty big to cause them to quit so soon after starting the new job.

Here are some areas to look at:

• How are you describing work hours and/or locations? Are they hearing great flexibility in the interview (opportunity to telework, variable work hours, negotiable start and end times) that is denied once they start work? This could be a real show stopper for someone.

• How are you describing the work culture and atmosphere? Are they hearing entrepreneurial, collegial and then finding rigid bureaucracy? Are you showing them your policy and procedure manual during the interview so that they can see the degree of process controls?

• How are you describing the job? Are they hearing self-directed, team-based but finding hostile co-workers? What does your onboarding process look like? Is it just “here’s your cube now get to work” or is there a social / interpersonal dimension to making someone feel part of the new organization?

There are certainly more areas to look for a mismatch between what they have been told and what they find when they start the job. What most hiring managers don’t realize is that you are very vulnerable to lose a new hire in the first 30 to 45 days. If they were interviewing with you, they were interviewing with others. If they don’t feel like they fit in to the new organization right away, they can easily go to work for someone else. So take a careful look at how you are selling the job during the interview process and see if you can find any disconnects between what is said and what is real.

Questions? Send Alice an email: alice@workforcelearning.com.