Increase Transparency to Improve Long Term Retention
A generation ago, even when job market conditions favored candidates, employers could count on a certain mutual interest in a steady and lasting relationship with their workers. Even if employees could probably find jobs elsewhere, they saw benefit in staying put. They wanted stable employment with a steady paycheck, they wanted vested pensions, and they didn’t want their resumes to mark them as “job hoppers”. But times have changed. These concerns no longer motivate most employees to park themselves in their chairs, and the average job tenure now lasts about two years (and falling).
Employees are constantly on the move, and the concept of mutual loyalty has become a quaint remnant of the past. So what’s a hiring manager to do? Loyalty issues aside, turnover is expensive, and replacing a single employee can sometimes cost more than that person’s annual salary.
According to research, one answer lies in increased transparency. If you’re honest with your employees (and candidates) from the start, they’ll be more likely to trust you, and if they trust you, they’ll stay. Here are two elements of transparency that could use some improvement in most workplaces.
Do you include clear salary data, or at least a range, on your job posts? If you already do this, give yourself high marks. Visible, upfront salary data lets candidates know if it’s worth their effort to apply. But it also sends a positive message: It shows that as a company, you’re open, you have nothing to hide, and you’d rather not engage in defensive manipulation. This is a healthy opening salvo in an employee-employer relationship, and if you can share salary information upfront, you’ll start your dialogue off on the right foot. Skipping this move suggests that you’ll negotiate hard to pay your candidates as little as you can possibly get away with—Not a welcoming sign.
Do you have an entrenched cultural problem that you aren’t exactly proud of? Do you wish you could wave a wand and give your company culture some qualities it doesn’t currently have? All managers do. But when it comes to attracting and retaining candidates, you have two choices: You can hide the problem and lure top candidates into signing on, OR you can describe your culture honestly and let your candidates make their own decisions…while working diligently behind the scenes to fix the issue. Choose the first, and your great new hires will slide out the door as soon as they get their desks packed. Choose the second, and you’ll earn respect for your honesty, which may translate into a longer and healthier relationship with your new employee.
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Why Won’t Your Team Talk to You? They Want Predictability
Following the advice of countless management pros and business mentors (including this blog), you’ve decided to enact a small change to your management style— You’ve decided to open your office door and open your ears, to all comers. You’ve made your office into a welcoming space with a friendly atmosphere and two comfortable chairs in addition to your own. You never close the door unless you’re having a private conversation, and you constantly encourage your teams to initiate talks with you.
So why haven’t they done this? So far, all you hear is crickets, and the line outside your door is non-existent. Your teams don’t even call you on the phone—they prefer to get your attention using texts and email. Even though we haven’t met you personally, we may know why this is happening: Your teams need predictability, and they aren’t getting it from you. At least not yet.
Social Energy and an Unpredictable Boss
If you aren’t sure how your boss will respond to a surprise knock on the door or some unexpected news, you’d probably do what your teams do: stay at your desk and send a message. If you have to gauge your boss’s mood or mindset before you approach, you’re more likely to send a text. If you don’t know whether you’ll be welcomed, validated, rejected, brushed off, or yelled at, why take the risk?
Social energy is a limited commodity for almost everyone, even the most extroverted among us. And if you behave unpredictably, you drain the energy of everyone around you, especially those who report to you and depend on you for their jobs. Keeping your employees on eggshells will keep them away.
How to be Predictable
Unfortunately, just recognizing the value of a predictable demeanor won’t make adopting such a demeanor any easier. Your mood and mindset change throughout the day, and since you’re only human and you have a right to express yourself, pretending to be a robot won’t help anyone. Instead, start by exercising emotional control and equanimity, and when that doesn’t work, be honest with those around you. Use your words to describe your sense of anger or frustration instead of volume, facial expression, or unexpected actions and decisions. Try saying, “That’s upsetting news,” instead of swearing, hyperventilating, or launching into a shoot-from-hip reaction. While you’re at it, hold all of your conversations in confidence unless you have a good reason not to.
When you take a position, stand behind it. And pause for two full seconds and two full breaths in and out before you respond to comments, news, or questions that surprise or upset you. This simple courtesy of a measured reaction can yield big dividends in employee trust.
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Are you looking for the right employees to bring to your team? Contact the ACCENT Hiring Group today and work with a top employment agency in Scottsdale.
Pew Study: Americans Don’t Want to Apply for Jobs Where an Algorithm Determines Who to Hire
According to a recent Pew study, most Americans expect that an increase in automation will have a considerable impact on their lives during the coming decade. But instead of feeling excited about the rise of driverless cars and automated workers, most people feel a sense of concern. Specifically, we’re not wild about the impact that these new automated systems and machines may have on our prospects of earning a living. And we aren’t very jazzed about the idea of a job candidate selection processed based on an algorithm and requiring no human input whatsoever.
Concern and Optimism Vary
The ratio of optimism to concern varies slightly based on the specific technology in question and the purpose it’s expected to serve in society. Driverless cars, for example, are receiving a comparatively warm welcome, with 56 percent of respondents ready to embrace the possibilities and 44 percent feeling hesitant. The prospect of an automated caregiver for the elderly are not as rosy, with 59 percent of respondents saying no. And most of us (about 76 percent) would rather not apply for a job if we know that a computer program will be used to evaluate our application instead of a human being (or several).
The reasons cited for this hesitation include a lack of trust in automated decision making, blended with a respect and appreciation for the unique capabilities of trained, experienced humans.
Policy-Making and Automation
How quickly or slowly would you like to see automation ease its way into the workplace? If you’re like most respondents, you’d like to see policies that slow the advance of technology that’s designed to replace human jobs. About 85 percent of Americans who responded to the survey would like to see machines limited to performing jobs that are dangerous or unhealthy for human workers. And about 58 percent say the law should restrict the number of jobs businesses can replace with machines, even if the machines are cheaper than human workers.
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Do you agree? If so, make your voice heard and let us know. Employers are always seeking better, wiser, more efficient and more appealing ways of attracting the top candidates in the marketplace. If using an algorithm to narrow the candidate pool seems like a turnoff and you’d look elsewhere rather than apply to such a company, we’d love to hear about it. Contact the ACCENT Hiring Group to learn more, share your thoughts, and find the support you need to land your next job.
Hiring a Remote Employee for the First Time
Hiring remotely can bring a wide range of benefits to your organization, starting with the obvious: When you extend your pool of candidates beyond those within commuting distance, you can access the best talent in the country, or even the world. You don’t have to choose between the five candidates who meet your criteria and happen to live nearby. You (and your employees) can also sidestep some of the hassles that traveling to the office every day entails.
But remote workers also bring a few challenges. It’s not easy to get to know someone on a personal level if you never see them face to face, and communicating entirely by phone and written message can allow some important details and nuances to fall through the cracks. So when you select your remote employee, make sure you follow these tips and choose a candidate who can handle the challenges of the role.
Schedule at least one video interview.
This can allow you to hear and see your candidate in a real-time conversation, and it can help you better understand the person to whom you may be trusting important aspects of your business. Even one conversation can go a long way.
Ask about the candidate’s history with independent work.
Not all workers—even the most cheerful, skilled, and productive workers—are cut out for independent employment. To work well independently, your candidate will need to have no trouble with social isolation and little oversight. Ask if she’s done this before, and ask how she handles each specific challenge that comes with this type of work environment.
Provide appropriate tests.
You’ll need to pay the candidate for her time if your test process exceeds about 30 minutes, but if you can keep the time investment to a minimum, present your applicant with skills tests, software tests, communication tests, or any other test that might give you an accurate understanding of her readiness for a remote role.
Explain your communication tools.
What platforms do you use to connect with remote employees? Will you be ready to offer these platforms to your candidate and create accounts for her under the company’s purview? Has she used these platforms before and does she understand them already, or will she require training? Make sure that both of you understand how your communication and work delivery process will take place, and make sure both of you are prepared to download, install, purchase, or access the tools that will be necessary to stay in contact.
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For more on how to select and hire an employee who you may never meet in person, contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group today and work with a top staffing recruiter in Scottsdale.