50 Percent of Your Employees Won't Last 365 Days at Your Company: Here's How to Ensure a Long-Term Fit
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
The hiring process can be tedious, exhausting and expensive. Finding the right candidate who will stick around for the long haul is even harder. In fact, Glassdoor indicated in a recent survey that 35 percent of employees it polled said they would start looking for a new job if they were not presented with a raise in the next year.
And a WillisTowersWatson survey found that up to 50 percent of companies it contacted said they had difficulty retaining long-term employees.
Related: 8 Strategies to Avoid Wasting Your Company's Gen-Z Talent
Stats like those imply that you and other entrepreneurs have a 50/50 chance of finding a long-term fit. You may find the perfect match, but there’s no telling when someone who’s become a vital member of your team will decide to move on in his or her career.
You’re then left with two weeks or at best a month to try to find an adequate replacement.
Meanwhile, though, there are strategies you can use to narrow the search for someone who plans to stay. While these steps won’t guarantee that every employee will be a long-term success story, they can help you make the best decisions for your company’s long-term health.
Look for people who want to grow.
Employers often waste their time looking for the perfect fit. While this isn’t impossible, you’re more likely to find someone who can grow into the role and become the perfect fit. Studies have shown that 80 percent of our success originates from our EQ (emotional quotient, or intelligence), while only 20 percent stems from our IQ. That makes aptitude a less important factor right out of the gate.
Look for telltale signs that that employee is looking for a long-term job opportunity. How long did she stay at her last company? Even if he hasn’t held this exact role before, what did his results in previous positions look like? What questions did she ask that signaled her enthusiasm for this specific type of work? Is he interested in both the company’s mission and the job duties?
If the applicant asks during the interview how quickly company options will vest, you know this person may want to leave after a year or two. And that probably isn’t the long-term match you’re seeking.
Watch for the right personality quirks.
Applicant personality plays a big part in the hiring process. Will you and the team mesh well with the new hire? If you’re looking for qualities like time management and attention to detail, hiring someone who seems oriented toward the big picture may not be the best choice.
Remember that skills can be learned, improved and refined, but personalities rarely change. A positive attitude and a growth-oriented mindset can make all the difference throughout stressful situations and busy days, especially as your team itself grows larger.
If you’re looking for a team player, hiring someone who has a positive perspective and a cheerleader mentality may be just the motivator your team needs. If you need someone detail-oriented, an applicant with a history of taking ownership and hitting deadlines will suit the role well. Looking for the ways someone approaches a situation -- not just handles it -- can ensure you find the long-term fit you need.
Source from unexpected areas.
With the growth of the web and social media, it’s becoming less common to find the best candidates and employees via standard job postings. Not only are these methods outdated, but they also translate to hours of searching, writing and sorting.
However, there are a few unexpected ways to find the right fit for your company. If you’re looking for a high-quality addition to your company, start at your own office. Ask your best employees for recommendations among their networks. If you already have long-term employees who fit in well, they’re more likely to know someone with similar traits who’s suitable for an open position.
At a recent conference, I met Simon MacGibbon, the CEO of San Francisco–based health intelligence startup Myia Labs. We chatted about how to make and retain the best talent. MacGibbon said that an already stellar team serves as the best referral mechanism for new employees.
“We really do believe, in a sense, that ‘like attracts like’ and that great team players will attract others with a similar mindset," MacGibbon said. "Nearly all of our new hires have come from referrals from our existing team.”
You can incentivize employees by offering a reward -- from a paid day off to a bonus -- to anyone who brings in a candidate who is eventually hired and stays on for a specific period of time (six months may be a good marker indicating which hires are likely to transition to long-term finds).
Referrals aren’t the only avenue to pursue; in the age of social media, you can use your social media channels to attract new applicants. Use an eye-catching photo and accurate and intriguing descriptions and requirements to pull in candidates who may not have otherwise found you.
To that end, you might consider running ads on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. While LinkedIn may seem like the obvious choice, you shouldn’t ignore Facebook -- it has too many users who may fit your criteria of location, experience, ideology and more, and targeting them is easy with Facebook’s algorithm.
And don’t forget past applicants: Just because a past candidate wasn’t the correct fit for a previous job doesn’t mean he or she won’t be a good fit for your current open position. Send an email blast to past candidates who meet your new role’s criteria, stating that you’re hiring and contacted them because you kept their information on file.
Point out that they have the opportunity to apply first. Utilizing resources you already have is a helpful way to save time and energy in your search.
Not only should you be nurturing your employees to keep them over the long haul, but you should also nurture relationships with candidates who can serve you well long into the future, even if they aren’t a fit at this particular time. By examining what’s been successful in attracting both strong employees and strong candidates, you can assess what your company needs and what serves your employees best. For example, is it your company’s mission to work with underserved communities? Create relationships with people who have done work to build communities in the past.
While a long-term fit with your company is never guaranteed, using these strategies can help your company find a better candidate who’s more likely to stay with you for the long haul.