The Interview – An Employers Best Tool to Gain Committed Employees and Reduce Turn Over

Let's face it. More people than ever are exhausting their unemployment benefits and accepting jobs that they may not have considered before their loss of employment. Some are over-qualified and some are under-qualified. What does this mean for the new employer? At the very least, it means that there is a very good chance that the person they just spent their recruiting and training dollars on is either going to be performance managed out of the organization or is going to leave on their own to a position better suited for their skill set. Increasingly, there is also a new trend of people initiating their own home-based business with the help of the internet and companies with a solid reputation, more than willingly to assist them do just that-leave the rat race behind.

How can employers minimize their risk and recruit a dedicated work-force?

Assign the interviewing to a team member who is accountable for the end result:

Companies are now adding recruiting as a task to management or other parties who may not have previously done so and have no vested interest in the overall success of the candidate. This is often seen in "Open House" forums where groups of candidates are basically cattle herded through the beginning interview steps. Many will slip through to the second interview and if not carefully screened, will end up with a job offer and start date.

Add structure to the interview process:

Lacking a systematic approach to the process added with pressure to fill a position quickly is a recipe for recruiting disaster. With the number of candidates increasing for any available position (especially if your company is revered as a "Top Employer"), it is imperative that you have a tracking mechanism in place to rack and stack the candidates that you have interviewed. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet with a scoring assigned or as elaborate as a specific database built for recruiting purposes. Either way, at the end of the day, you will be able to quickly identify based on score, the difference between candidates when it comes down to identify your top candidates for the job.

Know the competencies needed for the position:

What jobs are available? What are the key competencies needed for each one? Do you need to see a person exhibit strong problem solving skills or is it more important that they are able to diffuse an irate customer? While the answer seems obvious to these questions, quite often, the best interview is not always the best candidate for the job. In all fairness, if you put a 'people focused' person in an 'analytical role' far from interaction with customers or other team members, their longevity is limited.

Make sure that your interview is behavioral and not a game of 20 questions:

When asking questions, be sure to also ask for a specific situation. Their answer should tell you what they did, said, felt and how they thought the situation went. Ultimately, you are looking for the result, however, using the technique above will help you determine how balanced your candidate is. If your candidates reply lacks any of the above criteria, probe further. Identify the difference between they did not understand what you were looking for OR they simply don't have a well rounded answer.

Last but not least—actively listen to your candidate:

This skill will strengthen for most with time, some say, this is where intuition and common sense combined, will get you a great candidate versus a walking disaster.

Some tips for active listening:

Be aware of red flag questions such as 'How long do I have to stay in this job before I can post out?', 'What jobs in the company make more money than this one?', 'How many times can I call off?', 'Will I be notified if I fail the drug test?'

Take notes. As much as you think you will remember everything you need to, much will be forgotten as soon as 10 minutes after the meeting. Record positive and negative information. Take enough to jog your memory, you do not need to be a court stenographer and if you try to be, you'll miss key eye contact in the interview.

Re-direct the candidate when appropriate. A rambling candidate is an ineffective use of your time and theirs. They may continue rambling until they see a sign from you that the information they have provided is what you are looking for.

With the proper foundation in place during the recruiting process, you will attract the best suited candidates who offer the most long term potential for your company. Ultimately, the goal is not only to get them in the door but more importantly, keep them in the door. What will your end result be? Fewer resources spent on recruiting as you reduce new hire attrition rates and more attention to give to your dedicated work force!

Cheers to you and your recruiting success!


At Career Transformations, we are dedicated to helping people improve their careers and lives through the use of personal development products and principles. For a career opportunity, please call 1-888-282-7403

Teresa Turner, CEO
Career Coach and Motivational Mentor
"Changing Careers. Changing Lives"

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