“Out with the Great Resignation, In with the Great Retention” is the title of a recent Forbes article. In today’s tight labor market, retaining your current employees—by listening to their needs, creating pathways for growth, and recognizing and rewarding them—should be leaders’ focus in 2023. However, employee retention efforts should start sooner than you may think.
You have probably heard of or experienced buyer’s remorse at some point in your life. Buyer’s remorse or regret occurs when your mind doesn’t agree with your actions causing uncomfortable emotions after the rush of the purchase wears off. The type of purchase that keeps you up at night worrying about the payments and affects you for many years. These include big-ticket items like a house, a car, and getting a college degree.
A similar experience occurs with job candidates. Almost 30 percent of employees have left a position within 90 days, and nearly one in four quit within the first six months of starting a new job. What is causing top talent to experience buyer’s remorse and leave organizations so soon after being hired? The answer lies in a lack of transparency by managers and recruiters during the hiring process.
Creating a transparent hiring process
A lack of transparency in the hiring process leads to unnecessary instability for employers and new employees. When an organization fosters trust from the beginning of the recruitment process, it reduces buyer’s remorse and turnover and increases openness and engagement.
Writing a great job posting involves turning a formal job description into a marketing tool that attracts the attention of qualified candidates. It’s meant to sell a job seeker on your organization and all the benefits that make it a great place to work. However, to promote transparency, you must convey what you will provide to the job candidate and what you expect them to offer your organization.
- Position title: To create a transparent job title, you should choose a title that accurately reflects the responsibilities and duties of the role without exaggeration or ambiguity. Use clear and concise language that communicates the purpose of the position, and avoid using buzzwords or jargon that may confuse others outside of your field.
- Overview and description: In your job posting overview and description, directly address the job seeker rather than saying “the right candidate” to help him/her envision a typical day working for your company in the role. Clearly communicate your company’s vision. What is the purpose of this role within your organization? To provide context and clarity, you may include additional information about the position, such as the department or team it belongs to.
- Responsibilities and duties: Provide a detailed list of the primary responsibilities and duties of the role, along with any performance goals or targets that must be met. Be clear about expected goals and deliverables, including what you need the candidate to accomplish and in what time frame. Avoid using vague or misleading language and address any potential downsides or challenges of the position, such as long hours or high-pressure work. Explain what top performers look like within your organization and how they are trained, developed, and mentored to get there.
- Job requirements: A list of the minimum qualifications, skills, and experience required for the position, including any necessary certifications or licenses, should be provided. Distinguish between what skills are required and those that are preferred and rank skills by importance and frequency of use. Provide a bullet list of measures of success—“you will know you are successful in this role if…” Include deal-breakers such as travel and hiring radius requirements. Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations that could potentially cause confusion.
- Benefits, perks, and your employee value proposition (EVP): The strength and viability of a company’s benefits package are important when job seekers are vetting a prospective employer. Perks like 401(k) matches, tuition reimbursement programs, childcare stipends, career development opportunities, and other benefits listed in the job posting could help convince candidates to apply. Keep in mind that 62 percent of employees prefer some mix of in-person and remote work. If your organization does not offer flexible work options, be transparent and communicate that in the job posting. Your EVP is the unique set of benefits and rewards that an organization provides to its employees in exchange for their skills, experience, and commitment. Include selling points for the role—such as upcoming projects, the ability to build out new generation product lines, or the opportunity to spearhead a new company initiative.
- Compensation: A hotly debated topic in the workforce today is whether companies should post annual salaries on open job postings. Ninety-one percent of job applicants want a salary range in job postings, and communicating them represents a critical differentiator for employers.In most cases, candidates will be impressed by your confidence to disclose this information before they get the chance to interview. It will also help narrow the applicant pool, saving your organization and candidates time and frustration. Keep in mind that compensation is more than just salary. Focus on total compensation, such as employee benefits, commission or bonus opportunities, matching 401(k), and other company perks.
Thirty-four percent of employees quit because their work environment is uninspiring or their leaders are uncaring. However, each worker has a different definition of what inspires and engages them and what makes a manager caring. Some employees prefer hands-on managers that check in with them every day. Others prefer to have the ability to do their jobs when, where, and how they perform best.
The interview process is the time to communicate and discuss your company’s brand and culture and learn the candidate’s personal views and desires to ensure they are aligned.
Ask the candidate questions such as:
- What does your perfect workday look like?
- Describe the work environment that allows you to be your best and most productive self.
- Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team?
- How do you add to the values and goals of our company?
- What would make you quit this position?
Related: Autonomous Leadership in a Flexible Work Environment
No organization is perfect. Explain any challenges or obstacles of the position that could be encountered and ensure that the candidate is up for the task.
Job candidates are looking for informational transparency throughout each step of the hiring process to ensure they have a clear picture of what it’s like working for your company before accepting the job offer. Organizations can increase employee retention by being transparent in job postings and interviews and leaving nothing open for interpretation. Avoid “selling” what you believe job seekers are looking to “buy” and focus on minimizing candidate regrets and dissatisfaction.
This blog was written by TalentRise Director of Recruiting and Operations Tom Hausler.