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Tackle Retention During the Recruiting Process

Recruiting is one of a company’s biggest challenge today. How to recruit properly and attract the best talent available. Even the battle tested human resource professionals are having a difficult time finding skill workers to fill open positions. For as hard as it is to acquire new employees, it’s just as hard to keep them. How can a business afford to lose its most valuable assets?  Most of the war for retention can be won during the recruiting process, and here’s how!

Let’s start at the beginning. If you position your company as a desirable workplace you can help increase the likelihood of your employees sticking around for a while. This means you should use your job descriptions as vehicle to spread your brand messaging.  If your application process is interesting, engaging and advertises a “fun and interesting” company culture then employees will want to work for you.
employee retention

Take Uber  for instance. They’re an up and coming company with job postings that actually say things like they are looking for someone who can support their “Holy Awesome-sauce” service.  Believe it or not just interjecting non-traditional phrase like that into their job posting excites many job seekers. That excitement translates into higher retention because they are reaching those candidates who fit their style and really want to work for them.

In addition to awesome job postings, the actual application process should also be engaging. What does that mean? Well maybe by explaining what’s wrong with most application processes you can better understand how to make yours better. The biggest problem with today’s job application process is it takes entirely too long. The average online job application takes anywhere from 25 – 40 minutes. Forget about employee retention, applicants won’t stick around for that – not in this day and age.

A Recruitment Process That Increases Candidate Engagement

An applicant should be able to apply to your open positions with a share of their LinkedIn profile or download of their resume, and maybe, a few assessment questions. Yes, candidate assessments can help you win the battle for top talent and retention. Assessment can increase their retention rates substantially.

Next, is the interview process. Just last week I had two clients who I’ve helped with their resume credentials tell me that they interviewed for jobs that they would probably take but wouldn’t stick around. The reason is they didn’t like the way they were treated during the interview. Don’t mistreat your applicants or they will tell their friends, social shame you on the internet and your chances of consistently landing top talent will be ruined.

Your interview process can make or break your candidate experience. Be sure to have a collaborative interview process which allows the applicant to interact with various personalities, giving them more insight into your culture fit. It also allows them to see where they can fit within you team.

You should also try being super nice and accommodating during the interview process. Be sure to greet them upon arrival, offer a nice firm handshake and maybe some refreshments. I know that sounds simple and obvious but I have several real life examples of candidates arriving for an interview and were ignored for several minutes. There was even a situation in which a candidate was early, and the employer said, “You’re too early.” They had to wait and when the interviewer finally arrived they did not shake their hand. In fact they didn’t shake hands at the beginning nor the end of the process. Every step of the way, you must be acting in a way that increases the candidate’s engagement to your company. According to betterworks, creating engagement will drastically strengthen retention:


Another small thing that candidates pay attention to is if you walk them out at the end of the interview. Don’t just send them out and yell “next.” Walk with them, shake their hand and thank them for coming. Finally, following-up with clear expectations is also critical. Things happen during the hiring process which can delay the actual offer timeline. You need to be sure to keep your candidates updated as frequently and honestly as possible – again, this candidate experience is creating the impression of how you are as an employer; it will impact retention.

The bottom line is if you bring them in right, you stand a greater chance of keeping them. The way a company treats their employees is very valuable when it comes to talent acquisition, disengagement, turnover and retention.  Take it from me, I talk to a lot of job seekers and the number one reason they look for new jobs is because of poor treatment and many times that poor treatment goes back to day one.


chris fieldsChris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who also helps job seekers write great resumes and blogs. His work can be found at & 

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Chris Fields

Chris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs and dispenses great (not just good) advice at Cost of Work & ResumeCrusade.