When it comes to staff retention, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
From not being given enough opportunities to simply hating the role itself – the list is endless.
In fact, according to HR Magazine, 10% of new starters were found to have resigned before completing a year’s service.
While further studies revealed that it can cost a small business between 6 and 9 months’ salary on average to replace an employee.
This equates to around £12,000 when you factor in time spent screening, recruiting, interviewing and so on.
At Coburg Banks, we follow a very simple, yet effective, formula to help remedy this problem.
It’s because of this that a staggering 95% of our hires stay at their new job for more than 18 months.
Like the sound of that statistic? Then you should definitely read on.
A cultured fit
One of the most important secrets to our hiring success is in the recruitment process itself.
Granted, experience, technical skills and education are imperative in a lot of industries – but it doesn’t mean that they’re the right fit for our clients’ companies and will want to stay with them for years to come.
Before the interview process begins, our team of recruiters focus on the candidates’ soft skills and getting to know them as people.
What are their goals? Do they enjoy working in a team or as an individual? Are they empathetic?
The underlining idea is to identify whether they’re culturally a good fit, instead of solely using their CVs to screen candidates.
Before you can hire someone based on a cultural fit, first, you need to know what that means in your business.
In layman’s terms, cultural fit is the way you choose to do things – i.e. your company mission, values, shared beliefs, behaviours, standards and personality.
There’s no “right” definition of culture. It’s up to you and your company to decide.
At the start of the recruitment process, we get to know our clients by asking questions like…
- Why does your company exist?
- What’s your mission?
- What makes your company brilliant?
- What skills do your staff need to possess to do a good job?
- What are your core values as a company?
- How do you communicate?
- What’s the organisational structure of your company?
Once we know more about the culture and values of a company, it gives our team the foundation to hire the right people.
Asking the right questions
A CV will never give you a true reflection of a candidate’s personality.
Sure, they can include a hobbies section and a few lines detailing their personality traits in the opening paragraph, but it’s hardly an eye-opener.
Our screening test involves asking the right questions to see if they will want to stay with the company for a long period.
Providing a candidate has the necessary skills and experience to be considered, we then pick up the phone and get to know them.
Some of the common questions we like to ask include:
Tell me something I don’t already know about you
This type of question can throw up all sorts of answers. However, it gives us a pretty good idea if the candidate’s personality and values match the client we’re acting on behalf of.
What attracted you to this role?
Is it the salary? The benefits? The job role itself?
At the end of the day, every company wants someone who is dedicated to the industry and the job itself. So, this type of screening question gives us a taste of their passion towards the opportunity. If they give you a brief and vague response, the candidate is probably just telling you what you want to hear. We try to listen out for any mention of key industry buzzwords and detail on specific-industry related topics.
What do you want from life?
One of the biggest reasons why 95% of our hires stay at their new job for more than 18 months is that they have a clear idea of where they want to be in the next couple of years. Ideally, you want a candidate to know what they want from their whole career, but in this day and age, that’s very unrealistic. However, if a candidate has a plan in place for the next couple of years and it aligns with the vision of the client we’re working with, it’s a very good sign that they’re a right cultural fit.
Ability trumps experience
The other reason behind our successful hiring process and our clients’ high staff retention rates comes down to our judgment on ability over experience.
As I mentioned earlier, experience and technical skills are imperative. However, does the candidate have the ability to actually do the day-to-day job itself?
During the screening and interview process, we test the candidates in a number of ways:
- Tasks – we give them a brief to test their ability to understand it and turn it into a credible piece of work.
- Question them – for instance, “Give us an example of when you’ve used your knowledge on [specific skill].”
Judging someone on paper doesn’t always work.
To get a true reflection on whether a candidate is right for you or not in the long-term, you need to get to know who they are first.
If you adopt this philosophy into your recruitment process, you’ll be able to improve bad staff retention rates and match our 95% statistic when hiring.
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