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Want to boost your employee retention? It starts during the hiring process.

Want to boost your employee retention? It starts during the hiring process.

Attracting – and keeping – the right talent is an essential ingredient for any business’ success. Yet despite this, so many companies get it wrong.

Unfortunately, hiring the wrong person for the job is all too common. However, it doesn’t need to be. Often the origin of that stomach-sinking moment where you find yourself opening a resignation email can be traced back to the decisions you did or didn’t make during the hiring process itself. According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of employee turnover stems from making bad hiring decisions, while a study by Brandon Hall indicated that 95% of employers admitted to committing hiring mistakes by recruiting the wrong people.

The good news is that this is easily avoided by taking the following seven steps

1. See them face-to-face early on

While telephone calls have their place, there’s no real substitute for face-to-face contact. It builds relationships and helps both sides get a good understanding of each other early one. Therefore if you can’t meet them in person initially, be sure to schedule in some Face Time or a Skype session ASAP. Similarly, ensure that candidates meet senior members of the team early on. It’s essential to get leaders’ buy-in and make sure the chemistry is right to ensure you don’t hit stumbling blocks later on.

2. Put your laundry list away

Technical skills and work history are important, but they’re not the be-all and end-all. It’s important not to just hire on skills and experience, but also to consider the fundamentals like intelligence, critical thinking skills and attention to detail. So-called soft skills like social and emotional intelligence are also very important. It is these that separate great employees from merely competent ones.

3. Don’t drag your feet

Too many businesses interview quickly but make decisions slowly. But if you wait too long to make an offer, you run the risk of losing good candidates, especially in the MENA region where candidates are likely to be exploring several job offers at once. You can avoid this by not only interviewing quickly, but making sure you make the job offer and firm up the package swiftly too. Otherwise, you could risk your dream candidate moving on with a less than positive impression of your business.

4. Remember that salary matters

No matter how wonderful the job opportunity is, few candidates are happy to tread water financially or take a pay cut in order to take a new job. Therefore, you should only interview candidates if you are confident you can provide a package in line with their expectations.  If you don’t then you’re wasting your time, their time and most likely doing your company reputational damage too.

5. However, be mindful that money isn’t everything either

Despite the above, too great a focus on salary from candidates can be a red flag. The best hires are always those who are motivated by your mission, rather than money. 75% of professionals are passive candidates not actively looking for a new job. And yet if you can engage them, you can win them. These people will usually prove better hires than those seeking roles mainly with remuneration in mind.

6. Make sure you’re recruiting them to the right job

It’s surprisingly common for businesses to recruit people based on job descriptions that bear little relation to the actual role as performed.

Roles often experience a little mission creep over time, or the nuances of your company mean that what they’ll be doing for you differs greatly from the more generic expectations they may have of the role. In rare instances, businesses may be aware that certain aspects of the role may be unpalatable and hope to get a candidate on board before breaking it to them. Instead, you should be clear on the job specification and responsibilities from the outset.  If there is any mismatch in expectation, your candidate is unlikely to stay in the job too long  (or perform it particularly well while they are there) meaning you both lose out.

7. Get the onboarding right

Too many businesses make a huge effort to make the right impression on candidates but forget that what happens once they have joined the company is just as important. You can help your business’ relationships with its new hires get off to great start by putting in the right preparation. This means everything from making sure they have a desk (yes, this happens!) to ensuring they are fully briefed and meeting with the right people right from the start.

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