Entrance Interviews May Be Replacing Exit Interviews

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All HR professionals are well versed in the “exit interview.” But have they heard of the “entry interview”?

We spend so much time and energy trying to find and select the correct employee – but that really is only the starting point. The real HR work starts when the new employee shows up for their first day of work. Orientation and effective employee on-boarding is vital to any organization’s success.

Most organizations are not very good at on-boarding new employees. According to statistics from Hierology website:

  • Approximately one-third (33%) of new hires look for a new job within the first six months, and about one-quarter (23%) leave before a year on the job.
  • The total cost of turnover per employee typically ranges from 100–300% of the individual’s salary.

These are shockingly high numbers and all HR professionals should take note.

It may be time to expand on the exit interview concept and bring it forward as part of your company’s on-boarding process. The entry interview can be a great tool to get to know new employees, make then more productive sooner, and reduce the chance that they will leave your organization.  Click here to read more about entrance interviews. 

Entry interviews are relatively new and there is not much evidence-based research on them yet, but it may be a trend worth watching and implementing.

Discussion Questions

Your VP of HR has asked you to research the benefits of making entry interviews. Conduct some research and develop a list that identifies organizations that are using employee entry interviews.

Develop a five-minute PowerPoint presentation on the potential benefits of these interviews.

How to Get Employees to Stay

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Employee retention keeps many HR professionals up at night. You can just hear the echoing murmurs throughout HR conference rooms across the country as turnover rates go up in this tight labour market. Many of them ponder these thoughts:

  • How do you keep employees from leaving?
  • What will make them stay?
  • Retention is the key, someone will always say

However, is retention really the key? Perhaps our language around employee turnover is wrong. Let us look at the definition of the word retention:

“The continued possession, use, or control of something.”

Now, let’s put that in the HR context and the perspective of building a relationship with the employee:

  • the continued possession of employees
  • the use of employees
  • the control of employees.

It makes one ponder how employees interpret the meaning of retention. Would you want to be retained by your employer, let alone be considered a controlled possession?

Is retention the key? Or perhaps it’s time to move our language forward.

MEC, an outdoor supply retailer, has always been an innovative company right from its foundational roots of being a cooperative.  MEC applies a forward thinking concept of employee retention. Here is a quote from Nahal Yousefian, chief people experience officer at MEC:

“The philosophy we’re taking here at MEC is that the approach to talent retention is already outdated.”

What does she mean talent retention is outdated?  What is MEC replacing it with? MEC is replacing the controlling concept of retention with the concept that the employees’ talent should be generated and that will create an environment where employees will want to stay.  This seems to make complete intuitive sense.

There are also surveys that support this concept transition; here are some current statistics about retention according to a Hays study:

  • 43% of employees are actively looking for other career opportunities and
  • 71% of employees are willing to take a pay cut for their ideal role

In addition, LinkedIn has discovered that 93% of employees would opt to stay in their role if their employer invested in their careers.

Think about these numbers for a minute: Almost 100% of employees will stay if the employer will develop them, and almost 75% are willing to take a pay cut to leave their current employment.

It may be time for HR professionals to put the controlling language of employee retention to bed and truly be a workplace where employees want to stay. All it may take is a true relationship-building commitment of employee development.

Discussion Questions

  • Research several organization that have low turnover rates.  Once that list is generated, identify what are the factors that may influence their success.
  • Identify what are the most beneficial training and development activities employers can implement to create an environment where employees want to stay employed

Don’t Forget Your Manners

There are so many elements that go into making an interview process successful.

From the HR side, the planning and preparation focuses on making sure all of the procedural elements are in place, which include asking the right questions. From the candidate side, the planning and preparation focuses on making sure that they are ready to answer all of the possible questions that will come their way.

Sometimes, what gets missed in the midst of all of this planning and preparing, is for both the HR and the candidate side to review the unspoken and yet expected etiquette that is inherit in any interview scenario.

Anna Post provides some practical tips for candidates in the following TedTalk:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKBlWanXzGE[/embedyt]

While the tips Ms. Porter provides target an audience of perhaps a ‘younger’ job seeking candidate group, the message for any candidate is about meeting the expected expectations that HR recruiters are looking for.

Candidates are told to be prepared; to dress professionally; to be on time; to shake hands; to show respect by standing up when being greeted; to put their phones away during the interview; and to send follow up thank you e-mails after the interview.

If this is this is the expected etiquette which candidates expect to receive, what is the HR professional/recruiter doing to ensure that they are fulfilling these expectations?

Any interview process is a two-way interaction that reveals as much about the organization through the actions of HR professional with the candidates they meet.  It should go without saying that the organizational recruiter, the HR professional, should also be prepared; dress professionally; be on time; shake hands; follow up with candidates to let them know the outcome of the interview; and most importantly show respect by focusing their full attention to the candidate in the room. There is no place for distractions, such as a smart phone, when the purpose of an interview is to engage in conversation which is ultimately, a process of mutual respect.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How often to you shake hands with others when meeting them in a formal setting – is it a comfortable thing for you to do?
  2. What do ‘manners’ mean to you?
  3. How will you model interview etiquette as an HR professional?
  4. Thinking of your own interview experience as a candidate, which of Anna Post’s six interview tips do you need to work on in order to improve your professional image?

Mass Hiring Made Easy?

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In our recruitment and selection studies, we focus on the importance of ensuring that all of the processes we use as HR professionals follow a consistent and well-planned approach to individual hires.

We spend a lot of time, both in theory and in practice, making sure that we use the right approach to select the right person for the right job. The question arises, how does this approach support mass hiring as a recruitment project?

Mass hiring takes place when an organization has to recruit and select numerous candidates for multiple jobs within a very short time frame. This differs from the concepts linked to individual selection processes. Typically, the scope of a mass hiring recruitment plan is based on filling as many positions as quickly as possible with the most likely candidates who fit a broad set of job-related requirements. Call it a bulk, volume, or mass recruitment project, the basic elements of sound human resources practices must still be in place in order to make solid hiring decisions as the end result.

As the time-to-fill-rate for a mass hiring process is critical, the use of technology based tools provide for the elimination of time wasting steps which bring little value to an overall bulk recruitment strategy.  This includes the use of mobile texting to make the application process simpler and faster. The Canadian Home Depot retail chain has recently implemented a ‘Text-to-Apply’ process in order to fill thousands of possible vacancies across the country.

Click on the link to read about Home Depot’s mass hiring process.

As noted in the article, while Home Depot has implemented easy steps for potential candidates to apply, they continue to maintain a standard set of requirements for all applicants.  In order to be considered, candidates must meet at least two fundamental business needs which include the delivery of ‘excellent customer experience’ in a ‘values driven team’ environment.  These business needs are articulated on the company’s website, which also gives us another example of a technology-based tool that is used for effective recruitment practices.

  Click on the link to peruse the Home Depot Careers website.

Mass hiring and open-forum recruitment processes, as implemented by organizations like Home Depot, do not necessarily mean a reduction in the quality of candidate requirements. In fact, these processes appear to require an increase in the quality and quantity of effective human resource management in order to ensure that recruitment and selection is clearly aligned with organizational strategy.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Identify three potential risks and benefits of using a ‘Text-to-Apply’ process as part of a mass hiring recruitment campaign.
  2. From a Human Resources perspective, what steps or processes would you put into place that assess a candidate’s ability to fit the business needs identified by Home Depot?
  3. What does the Home Depot – Careers website tell you about its culture and work environment?

How To Keep Your Star Employees

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Most supervisors are the worst enemy for employee retention – and it may not be their fault. The fault may lie with the well-intentioned Human Resources department and their overreaching policies and procedure manuals.

A now-departed business associate of mine, Ron McQuide, once told me something that has always stayed with me: “All HR policies are just the scar tissue left over from some employee’s mistake.”

Think about what scar tissue does to a body: it can be unpleasant looking on the surface, but below the surface, it can decrease function, flexibility, and potentially cause more damage. Think about many of the policies that HR departments make their supervisors enforce. Here are some of those policies:

  • punitive attendance management programs
  • ineffective and condescending annual performance reviews
  • fault finding safety programs.

Many HR policies and procedures are valuable and effective, but just as many are not. Many of our HR systems are focusing on the wrong things, which is not beneficial to retain your star employees.

A Fact Company article by author Stephanie Vozza outlines some ideas on how to keep star employees from exiting the building.

One big idea (which is not new) is to give people autonomy to do their job. Star employees know what to do to be successful, so make sure HR policies do not hold them back.  Another idea is to keep the lines of communication open by having formal stay interviews. Ask them where you can help them in their career path.  Also, be open to their suggestions and respond to changes your employees want to make.

“Strive to create a community where people can be themselves, have a good time, bring their A-game, and employee engagement will follow,” Vozza suggests.

If more employers took Vozza’s advice, it would certainly make the executive recruiter’s job much more difficult.

Discussion Questions

Think back to a job you have had. Did you see examples where HR policies and procedures were holding you or other employees from performing at their best?

Review the Fast Company article. Create a dynamic performance management program that could be presented to a VP of HR that incorporates some of the ideas in the article.