Reduce the risk of new hires leaving in the first 90 days

July 4th 2017 | Posted by phil scott

Reduce the risk of new hires leaving in the first 90 days

Employee turnover in the first 90 days of appointment is costing UK organisations thousands of pounds each year. The recruitment process itself is a costly one and once you think you’ve found the perfect candidate, you still lose money until they are settled in and offering optimum performance. If that ‘perfect’ candidate then decides to leave within the first 90 days, you have to invest more money to start the recruitment process again. So, how can organisations get it right the first time and reduce the risk of new hires leaving in the first 90 days?

Approach the right talent pool

In order to retain new employees, you need to get the recruitment process off on the right footing to attract top-calibre candidates.  Referrals from trusted and high-performing existing employees can be a great way to ensure you attract and retain the right professionals.  After all, your employees know the organisation, culture and expectations placed upon them, so if they suggest candidates, they are likely to be a good fit.

Getting the right match from the outset will ensure candidates know what is expected of them and join your organisation with suitable skills and a positive can-do approach, ready to make a difference.  Using head-hunters or specialist recruitment agencies is a good safeguard against sifting through the wrong candidates.  Specialist recruiters are skilled at sourcing candidates who are an exact fit for specific roles.  Starting with the right talent is key to retaining and developing a strong workforce.

Avoid skillset ‘surprises’

Whatever recruitment process you opt for there is always the danger that candidates have ‘oversold’ certain skills to meet the job specification.  Even references can’t counteract this potential issue as regardless of previous performance, there may be a niche skill required for the role that the candidate has exaggerated.  Some skills can be difficult to assess in an interview scenario so setting up a job simulation can be a good indication of candidate suitability. This offers a chance for the candidate to demonstrate their work related skills and competencies, highlighting any weaknesses that could cause issues should you offer them the role.  Performance testing in this manner is a way to avoid discovering the candidate lacks the necessary skills to achieve great things once they are in the role, which, in turn, reduces the risk of the new hire leaving the role within the first 90 days.

Make your expectations clear

One of the reasons many employees leave a new role within the first 90 days is that the job doesn’t live up to their expectations.  The responsibilities of the vacancy must be made explicitly clear throughout the recruitment process; while you want to make sure the position is appealing, you have to be honest about what is involved in terms of working hours, lines of reporting, benefits and how the job fits into the organisation’s overall structure.  All job expectations should be completely transparent from the start so candidates are in no doubt as to what is expected.

If the role seems too challenging, they are not ready for the level of responsibility involved, or indeed, if they realise they are over-qualified then they can make an informed decision not to go any further.  Total transparency will reduce the risk of a candidate discovering the job isn’t what they were expecting and help you retain high-calibre employees way beyond their probationary period.

If the face fits, the rest will fall into place

Many potential employees can appear to be the ideal fit ‘on paper’ but it’s not all about experience and skills.  Just because a candidate ticks all the right boxes in that respect doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a good fit personality-wise.  If an employee doesn’t fit the culture of your organisation they are more likely to look for another position within the first 90 days where their face will ‘fit’.

Pre-hire personality assessments offer an effective means of measuring work skills.  A job-related personality assessment can help determine the candidates on your shortlist have the right personality for the job and are likely to complement your business values and culture.  This could be the deciding factor between the two front-runners for the role.

Engage your employees to drive success

Once you’ve attracted and recruited the right candidate, the secret to ensuring your new hire doesn’t leave within the first 90 days – or indeed, afterwards – is to engage them. Providing the right training and development support is vital to ensuring an employee feels engaged and valued.  This will reduce turnover, increase productivity and drive business success.