Improve your experienced hire recruitment process to reduce employee turnover

Improve your experienced hire recruitment process to reduce employee turnover

 1 Oct 2020

Recruitment is a time consuming process. You at least therefore want to ensure your time has been a worthwhile and value add investment.

You won’t always get it right of course, but here are some thoughts on how you can maximise your chances of recruiting the right person for the longer term.


  • Agree on a candidate profile with the key stakeholders for the role so you are clear on your person spec.
    • What technical experience do they need? Detail it.
    • Should they be professionally qualified? Specify.
    • Will they need to manage others? Be clear.
    • What soft skills do you require this person to have? List them. 
    • Etc.


  • Be discerning in your choice of recruitment business partners. Consider specialists in your industry and choose agencies who truly understand your business and the skill sets required in order for candidates to be successful. A good agency will pre-screen candidates for you and only submit those who in their judgement and experience show appropriate potential for the roles.


  • Train your interviewers. Everyone should be on the same page as to what you’re trying to achieve. They should also be presenting a cohesive picture of the firm’s values and culture, including your awareness of diversity and inclusion best practice and how you are implementing that.


  • Ensure interviewers are asking each candidate the same questions so you can evaluate and compare their individual responses objectively. This makes sense given that you will be looking for a certain set of skills (technical and personal) that you anticipate will bring you your desired outcome, whether that be managing a team, growing a business, being a technical resource etc.. Asking the same questions also assists in guarding against unconscious bias as you will be able to evaluate responses on their own merit, rather than the interviewer warming to a particular candidate because they seem to share similar personality traits.


  • Choose your interviewers carefully and ensure the right people do the interviewing for each role. The designated interviewers should ideally be part of the team the candidate will be joining, so they are appropriately discerning when it comes to optimum fit and are personally invested in a positive outcome. When it comes to doing any kind of technical interview, it is imperative that the interviewer has sufficient knowledge of the subject matter, so they can deep dive on the technical experience that will be required for the role.


  • Have a multiple staged interview process so you have time to get to know each other and decide if you’re the right fit for each other. For example, a typical process might look as follows:  
    • Stage 1 - a mixed experience and competency based interview. This will allow the candidate to talk through their CV and highlight key areas for them. The interviewer can ask relevant competency questions to determine how they think the candidate will respond in certain situations that are important to the role, based on how they may have handled similar situations in the past. This is also the time to highlight your working culture and detail the expectations of the role, so the candidate knows what they are applying for and can decide if it is right for them. This is the exploratory stage for both sides.
    • Stage 2 – the technical interview. The candidate will be given technical scenarios to demonstrate their knowledge, with the interviewer able to drill down on key areas of interest and look for additional evidence of required knowledge.
    • Stage 3 - meet the team. Not always part of the official interview process and sometimes offered to “seal the deal” and incentivise the candidate to accept your offer. Nonetheless it is a useful tool to see how the candidate fits into the team dynamic in a less formal setting, usually over lunch or drinks. (This clearly may not be possible during the COVID-19 pandemic).


  • Do keep time between interview stages to a minimum. This not only keeps the momentum going, but also demonstrates to the candidate that you are engaged and interested in them from day one. Equally, make sure you are offering feedback and giving regular updates to the candidate throughout the process, especially if there are unexpected or necessary delays. Information fosters loyalty. Silence breeds detachment. If you always aim to make your interview process a positive experience for the candidate, you will retain that goodwill whether or not an offer is made and accepted. This can only serve to enhance your reputation as a worthy employer.


  • For many candidates, your company’s stance on the big questions in today’s world is an important part of them wanting to join your operation, or not. And indeed, to stay with you longer term. Make sure you are informed on matters of interest e.g. What are your diversity and inclusion policies? How do you seek to tackle unconscious bias? What’s your CSR policy? Know your carbon footprint and what active measures you are taking to reduce it. What charities do you support? Etc.


Remember that the interview process is a two way street, the start of an important relationship. You are looking to evidence a meeting of the minds, where values are mutually aligned and purpose is shared. When this happens, the greater your chances are of retaining that employee as a colleague for the foreseeable future.


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