It Begins with Conception!

Many business leaders ask me how to solve retention problems. They want a silver bullet of solutions that brings about immediate loyalty and hard work from employees. I believe it is possible to achieve loyalty and employee commitment, but there is no silver bullet. It takes work and dedication, and that starts from the very first moment you decide to create a position.

Here are 5 steps to retention that start before you even hire the person!

1.  Design an interesting job that matches the work to the skills you are seeking. 

When putting the elements of a job together, be sure to match the type of work to the skills and qualifications required. If you don’t need a 10+ years of experience to do the task, don’t ask for it. Do ask yourself the question – is this job interesting for someone who has the kind of skills and qualifications I am looking for? You can also use a Job Style Indicator to determine the nature of the work and the type of person that would best suit the role.

2.  Get creative with your recruitment

When recruiting for your opening, think about the kind of person you want to hire. Where do they hang out? If you are hiring a marketing person, perhaps you can post your position with the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals. Or perhaps there is a networking event happening where those people will be gathered? Go to the event and see if you meet someone that you would be the perfect fit for your company. Don’t be afraid to tell them about your opportunity. They might not be looking for work until they hear about the great position you have created or they might know someone else who is looking and can spread the news.

3.  Get to know your candidates

Once you have received resumes be sure to complete a thorough assessment process. The more you get to know the candidate before hire, and the more they get to know you, the more likely you are to offer the position to someone who fits the role and the company.

This can include things like:

  • A short screening phone call or meeting (no more than 15 minutes) to determine if they are worth a deeper exploration.
  • An assessment of their Personal Style to see if their personal style matches the style of the job, based on the Job Style Indicator you completed or to determine their fit with the rest of your team
  • A one on one interview with the manager, a group interview with members of the team, a coffee with the owner or a combination of the three.

4.  Make a reasonable offer

Don’t leave candidates with a bad taste in their month from your offer! Many times we end up in a situation where all involved have invested lots of time and energy in the hiring process only to have candidates be disappointed with the offer and either turn down the position, sending you back to square one, or they accept it begrudgingly, often believing they can convince you that they are worth more. There are a number of ways to manage the job offer (which I will deal with in future posts!) however one thing to keep in mind is that if there is a chance that the candidate that you are interested in won’t accept the salary you are willing to pay, then bring that up sooner than later so that everyone knows what the deal is and they can make choices about whether they want to continue with the process.

5.  Be prepared on their first day

The first day of work is a big deal for the new employee! Make an effort and make a great first impression. Have their desk area cleaned out and ready for them with their business cards on the desk, a map of the office, a phone list of other staff and their computer set up and ready for their login. Be sure and have a full day of introductions and welcome meetings set up for them, including lunch out with members of their team. Make them feel welcomed and celebrated and they go home raving about their first day and when all their friends and former co-workers ask, they are enthusiastic about the choice they made to come work for you. No buyer’s remorse on anyone’s part and you are starting off on the right foot!

So, what can you do to your hiring processes to ensure that you are building employee loyalty, commitment and dedication to hard work from the very day of conception?