With employee turnover becoming an increasingly large issue across the country, it’s paramount that hiring managers effectively screen and hire candidates who can excel and commit to the organization for the long haul. By taking steps to hire the right type of employees initially, organizations can reduce turnover and save on training costs.
According to Forbes, new employees’ level of knowledge and skills can determine the amount of training they will need. There are also many hidden training costs associated with new employees, such as instruction materials, equipment, and time.
Because of the training costs associated with new employees, hiring managers are under pressure to make sure the candidates they recruit and hire are driven to succeed with the job at hand, but also within the organization as a whole. If you’re in charge of hiring, it’s important to use interviews as an opportunity to measure candidates for both their qualifications and “fit” within your organization.
Here are three key practices for helping you invest in the most promising candidates:
Why are you interested in working at this organization?
Notice this question isn’t framed around the actual job, but rather the organization as a whole. Employee “fit” is about much more than job skills and capabilities. It’s about how an employee’s work ethic, personality, and career goals align with your organization’s vision and culture. According to this article in Inc., a company’s culture fit is best determined by being less technical in your questioning and allowing the candidate to express their interests in a way that is personal to them. Any question that asks about a candidate’s values or what’s important to them will allow you to make an assessment on cultural fit.
What are your main strengths and weaknesses?
Though this question may not seem directly related to company culture, the candidate’s answer can strongly indicate his or her level of self-awareness – which, according to this Harvard Business Review article, reflects how well candidates know how to use their skills for the benefit of an organization. For example, do candidates understand their limitations and know when to seek help? Do candidates possess a high degree of emotional intelligence that will allow them to work well with others while solving problems and challenges? Are candidates willing to improve on areas of weakness so they can contribute as much as possible to your organization? Candidates who can honestly identify their strengths and weaknesses will likely be a positive hire because it means they have self-awareness and intuition.
What is your willingness to learn?
To succeed at your company long-term, your employees will need a willingness and desire to keep learning. Even if candidates meet all the job’s qualifications on paper, they will need to consistently acquire new skills to keep up with your organization’s evolving workplace needs. A drive to learn is usually indicative of ambition and long-term career goals, both of which are positive traits in employees—especially when you’re planning for the long haul. Getting a sense of a candidate’s vision for themselves will help you get an idea of their potential for growth within your organization.
It’s important to evaluate candidates beyond their core qualifications if you want to explore potential long-term fit. While it’s sometimes difficult to get the full picture during an interview, going beyond the résumé to tap into a candidate’s full potential can prove to be impactful during the hiring process. Over time, you’ll notice that asking the questions outlined above will help you assess a candidate holistically in terms of both professional and personal traits. This hiring approach can pay off by reducing employee turnover and enhancing the quality of your workforce.