It's painful and expensive to hire someone only to turn around and let them go a few months or years later. If you find yourself doing this--especially with people you interviewed yourself--you have a serious problem.
What's causing the turnover? Here are four possibilities:
- You hire people for their skills first and cultural fit is an afterthought
- You promise the new hire an exciting opportunity that does not materialize
- Soon after the new hire starts, the manager who hired them takes off
- You slacked on prehiring diligence and the flaws you missed soon manifest themselves
Given those issues, here are four ways to turn things around and keep painful firings to a minimum.
1. Screen New Hires for Cultural Fit
Your company should clearly define its culture and screen candidates for cultural fit before scrutinizing them for skills. To define your culture clearly, articulate your company's core values and be great at telling stories of valued employees who make those words come true.
Next, screen new hires for cultural fit in the interview by asking: What would an ideal corporate culture look like for you? Or, What do you think of our leadership team? A candidate who fits should articulate a clear desire to work in your company's culture and respect your leadership team.
2. Involve All Departments With Whom a New Hire Will Work
Make sure that the best candidates for the job interview meet with each of the departments with which they'll work with should they join the company.
There's a big risk in leaving out key departments, since the new hire's first project puts them in close contact with the key departments that were left out of the interview process. The new hire might rub people in those departments the wrong way, and suddenly you have staff saying negative things about the candidate throughout the company.
If those key departments had been involved in the hiring process, this potential hiccup could have been avoided.
3. Investigate the Candidate's Prior Work Experience
Another cause of turnover is a company's failure to conduct enough investigation of the employee before they start work. Is their résumé accurate? Do their references check out? Did you talk to other people with whom they worked besides the references they gave? Did you find out their credit score or see whether they have a criminal record?
Do these thorough checks before you hire and save yourself the headache later.
4. Deliver What You Promise to the New Hire
Finally, don't promise an opportunity before hiring a candidate and then renege on the promise months after they start. If you tell them during the interview process that they'll work on a big project, but then have them working on something completely different post-hire, they'll feel lied to. Such a betrayal will surely limit the tenure of your new hire and will make it more difficult for you to bring in outside talent.