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We all know how important employee retention is. It is vital. Given the cost to replace high performers, we develop employee engagement programs and job satisfaction surveys, to make sure our best employees are happy right where they are.

But don’t forget that your relationship with employees, and, therefore, your ability to retain them, begins before you even make a job offer.

A prospective employee starts building their opinion of your company during the interview process. In the 2015 Talent Trends survey from LinkedIn, 83 percent of respondents said a negative interview experience would change their opinion of a company. Many employers do not get off on the right foot with employees because they fail to approach the interview process from an “employee retention” point of view.

Sound familiar? Have you taken a look at your current interview process? You may be inadvertently killing your employee retention in the long run if you:

  1. Don’t personalize communication

The whole point of the interview process is to find out what type of employee a candidate would be, yet you don’t communicate with them the same way you do with your workforce.

Consider the emails that you send to job applicants. The 2015 Candidate Behavior Study from CareerBuilder found that 46 percent of job seekers had gotten an automated email, acknowledging the company had received their application. Are you allowing an algorithm to compose your emails to your prospective employees?

Granted the situation is different with a job application; it’s simple to have an automated email go out as soon as an applicant hits submit. But a personalized message can mean a lot more to them. In the CareerBuilder survey, 59 percent of candidates said a personalized email would have given them a more positive perception of the company. So, if you want to make a lasting impression on these candidates, find someone (a human being) to write and send a personalized email if you cannot.

2. Allow candidates to leave without a clear understanding of your company’s culture

When it comes to finding the best candidate for the job, you look at their cultural fit, as well as skills fit. Finding out about their personality allows you to assess if they’ll mesh with the overall company culture. Don’t ignore the fact that job candidates need the same opportunity to decide if your company is a good match for them.

Candidates who don’t have a full understanding of what your company is like may be shocked after they begin work. If the candidates expectations differ from reality, there’s a good chance they’ll start looking for different opportunities.

It’s important to give prospective employees the chance to interact with the company culture, rather than just being told about it. Show them around the office and introduce them to future co-workers. A 2015 survey from Virgin Pulse found that nearly 40 percent of employees listed their co-workers as the number one reason they love their company. Helping them build relationships with co-workers as early as possible will allow candidates to see if they get along with the people they’d be working with, and gives them stronger ties to the company.

3. Don’t show them their future at the company

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” is a very common interview question. However, often employers aren’t showing their employees or job candidates how they can achieve their goals with the company.

In the 2015 Why & How People Change Jobs survey from LinkedIn, 45 percent of respondents said that they left their last job because of a perceived lack of career opportunities, making it the number one reason.

Don’t wait until an employee has one foot out the door to start helping them define a career path with your company. When you ask a candidate what they want out of their future, begin to describing the opportunities for advancement your company offers. Tell them about the training they can receive or ways they can take on leadership roles.

Encourage candidates to meet with more experienced employees so that they can share their personal success stories. Personal success stories will not only prove to prospective employees that advancement is possible but will give them resources to help them begin to shape their personal future.resources

These are common mistakes in the interview process but they are not difficult to rectify, and the difference can mean long-term retention of valued employees. Get off on the right foot with all your employees by approaching your interview process from an “employee retention” point of view.

What thoughts do you have about other common interview practices are hurting employee retention in the long run?

Image: BigStock

The post Employee Retention Begins in the Interview Process appeared first on TalentCulture.

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