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Recruitment to Retention

March 22, 2022

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How to Select Good Staff & Keep Them

There is a common theme, both anecdotally and from surveys, that a significant challenge for many businesses and organisations is recruiting good staff and then keeping them motivated and productive.

It is self-evident that the people you recruit and retain will have a significant impact on the success of your enterprise. Good staff are more productive than average or mediocre staff and a poor hiring decision will cost a lot of money; with the losses being a function of the role and how long it takes to solve the issue.  Equally, hiring a good person and losing them prematurely is also costly.

Between separation costs, lost productivity, and time spent recruiting, the cost of losing and replacing an employee is significant. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that on average it costs six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them. For an employee making $60,000 per year, that comes out to $30,000–$45,000.

But, irrespective of survey data and statistics, you only need to ask yourself whether it is a problem for you and your business.

Are any of these questions relevant to you?

  • Have you made one too many poor recruitment decisions?
  • Have you lost good employees prematurely?
  • Do you have ongoing staff problems?
  • Have you spent a lot of money on consultants only to keep having the same problems?
  • How much time and money have you spent on training to “fix” people?

Any of these problems have significant costs attached to them. It costs a lot of money, and time, to successfully recruit someone, train them up to the point where they are productive, motivated, and engaged.

Solution

Selecting good staff and keeping them requires a three-step process:

  • Effective recruitment and selection process
  • Proper induction or onboarding
  • Implementing an ongoing staff retention program

This solution is not difficult to implement and maintain; with the more difficult aspects occurring in the design and training phase. Businesses and organisations are already doing these things to varying degrees of success, whether there is an explicit process in place or merely an ad hoc “common sense” approach.

A manager or leader does not have to be high energy or a visionary or a dynamic person to deliver this solution. This solution is not about “transforming” anyone or making someone a different person, but instead it can be used by anyone and once it is in place allows you to focus on your core business instead of being too distracted by staff issues.

Recruitment & Selection

The recruitment process is a bit of a dance or a game.  Candidates put their best foot forward and accentuate their positives and minimise their deficits, which is fair enough. Whereas you are trying to read between the lines and get a more honest and realistic assessment of the candidate.

On top of that, you have your biases and ideas about the candidate and how to recruit, but you can also have a bad day, be distracted or just off your game and then you can either miss a good candidate or hire a dud.

An effective recruitment method begins with the wording of the job advert, is standardised, methodical and structured, albeit with a degree of flexibility. An effective method capitalises on our biases and intuition, uses some form of testing or profiling, and introduces the candidate to the culture and context of your workplace early in the process. The process needs to be unique to the role and the organisation as a person doing the same role in a different business does not automatically mean they will do it well in another business.

Induction

If you want a good candidate to become a great employee, then the induction process must be a priority; it is the nexus between your staff selection process and staff retention program.

Induction, or onboarding, is an extension of the recruitment and selection process. Do not just hire someone and hope that it works out. No matter how effective your recruitment process is, there is still a chance that you have made a poor hiring decision or the new employee is not what you thought they were going to be. Thus, the first few weeks of a new employee’s tenure can be a time to confirm what was learned through the selection process and if any unexpected behaviours emerge they can be addressed early.

Induction is also the process that helps a new employee go from being a stranger to a successful new team member and them gaining a sense of belonging as quickly as possible. It is the initial process of orienting new employees and training them to become contributing members of the team.

The induction process is an opportunity to reinforce the organisation’s culture and minimum, non-negotiable, expected standards of behaviour by clarifying your vision, values and behaviours for the business or organisation.

The faster that new employee feel welcome and prepared for their new job, the sooner they will become productive employees. Onboarding is easily one of the main factors that impacts employee retention, so it is essential that it be a  priority and done correctly.

Retention

Recruitment and induction are just a prelude to how you manage your staff on an ongoing basis. Without a proper retention program all your preceding work will be less effective with time. If you have an effective staff retention program your employees will be more motivated, more engaged, and more enthusiastic about their role. Not only will you improve staff motivation and engagement, by implementing an effective retention program you also take away from those recalcitrant and difficult employees the claim that they are not listened to or heard.

How do you consolidate an effective staff selection and induction process and turn a good candidate into a great employee?

The answer lies in tapping into a person’s intrinsic motivation for the job. That is, the individual enjoys going to work and finds the work rewarding and satisfying. Intrinsic motivation is when behaviour is driven by the love and enjoyment of doing it and the act is rewarding in itself; the employee wants to do well and they care about the outcomes.

Extrinsic motivation, the opposite of intrinsic motivation, is when behaviour is driven by external factors, be it incentives or bonuses, or threats. They are drivers that are separate to the job or task per se and whilst they may drive short term behaviours, it is not particularly effective for long-term motivation and staff engagement.

There are three factors that improve intrinsic motivation and they can be applied to the workplace as a framework for engaging and motivating staff. The three components are:

Relatedness:  How well staff at all levels get on and relate to each other.

Autonomy:  Employees participating in decisions that affect the day-to-day business of the workplace and where possible, allow the employee to determine how they tackle the daily demands of their role.

Competence: Staff being trained in their role to a high standard and given opportunities to improve, be it through training, mentoring or peer collaboration.

If you get these three factors incorporated into your management and leadership style, then you are on a winner.

Summary

We are offering a pragmatic proactive solution that is easy to implement, empirically driven, and is the foundation for how to select good staff and keep them.

This solution is not about “transforming” anyone or making someone a different person, but instead it can be used by anyone and once in place allows you to focus on your core business instead of being too distracted by staff issues.

We can solve any of these problems:

  • Have you made one too many poor recruitment decisions?
  • Have you lost good employees prematurely?
  • Do you have ongoing staff problems?
  • Have you spent a lot of money on consultants only to keep having the same problems?
  • How much time and money have you spent on training to “fix” people?

If you are interested in knowing how to Select Good Staff & Keep Them contact Chris Apps via chris@fermion.com.au or 0401 752 602.

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