Why Hiring Great Candidates is NOT Enough in Today’s Market

There’s no doubt that it’s difficult to identify, recruit, and hire the best candidates these days. However, even if you’re able to do that on a consistent basis, that may not be enough in today’s marketplace.

That’s because once you hire these candidates, you must keep them as employees.

You might think that’s a foregone conclusion. “Of course we’re going to keep them,” you could be thinking. “Why wouldn’t we keep them? They accepted our offer, they agreed to start employment with our organization, and they have!”

Many company officials feel exactly the same way. However, that hasn’t stopped their organization from encountering trouble once they hire new employees. That trouble has taken the form of those employees leaving the organization rather quickly.

Reasons for new employees’ early departure

Korn Ferry’s Futurestep division recently released a report that focuses on this topic. (Futurestep provides advisory services and recruitment services for middle to upper-level management.) There are many aspects of the report that are intriguing, but the one that is most central to our discussion is this one:

According to the executives who participated in Futurestep’s survey, 10 to 25 percent of their new hires leave the company within six months of being hired.

In this day and age, professionals definitely switch jobs more often than they used to. And yes, the younger generation (i.e., Millennials) are at the forefront of this trend, but they’re not alone. Every generation of workers is switching jobs more often than in the past. In fact, working five or six years for the same employer is now considered a long time. The typical timeframe for younger workers is eighteen months to three years, and for the entire workforce overall, every three to five years appears to be the average.

But only six months? That’s not average by any stretch of the imagination. That represents a serious problem, one of which organizations must be aware before they can address it. After all, every company wants to hire the best candidates they can. When a company makes an offer, its officials believe that they’re making it to the best candidate. And now that candidate wants to leave after six months? That’s a serious problem on multiple levels.

So why exactly are new employees leaving so early? According to the results of Futurestep’s survey, there are three main reasons:

#1—The actual job differs from what the new employee expected.

This has played a role in an employee’s departure since time immemorial, but the departures are more frequent now because we’re in a candidates’ market. In such a market, candidates have more options. Do you think new employees were leaving after six months during the Great Recession? They were not. But they certainly are now, because they know there are other options available to them.

#2—The new employee does not like the company culture as much as they’d anticipated.

Company culture has become more a more important factor during the last several years. New employees, especially those of the younger generation, value culture nearly as much as they value compensation and work flexibility. And once again, since it’s a candidates’ market, these professionals know that there are other options in the marketplace. If the culture is not to their liking, they will immediately start to look for a job elsewhere, and as this report clearly illustrates, they are finding those jobs rather easily.

#3—The company’s onboarding program was non-existent or non-effective.

According to the report, 23% of the executives who were surveyed indicated that their organization’s onboarding program only lasts one day. Another 30% indicated that their program lasted for a week. Not only that, but 31% of those surveyed indicated that their company did NOT have a formal onboarding program for all of their new employees. In this market, not having an effective onboarding program is just asking for trouble.

The solution: a better hiring process

All of the reasons that new employees leave within six months can be addressed with one solution: a better hiring process. It’s during the hiring process that candidates form their impressions and make their decisions. It’s also where expectations for their new employment are set. If they’re excited about those expectations (and by extension, their new employment situation) and those expectations are not met, then they will be understandably disappointed.

This is something that I’ve touched upon before, but the hiring process is a two-way street. The employer should not be the one asking all of the questions. The candidate should be interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing the candidate. The current marketplace presents many challenges for hiring effectively, and one of the biggest ones can be summed up as follows:

Employers must not only successfully recruit top candidates during the hiring process, but they must also set the proper expectations for ALL areas of the candidates’ future employment with the organization.

Does this require more time, effort, and energy? Yes, it does. In today’s marketplace, it requires more of all of these things to both hire the best candidates and keep the best candidates as employees. That is the reality of the current situation. The reality is that hiring great candidates is simply not enough.

This is another reason why partnering with an experienced search consultant can be an effective strategy for long-term talent acquisition. Search firms have the expertise and resources to do what’s necessary to both hire and keep the best candidates. Recruiters are “in the trenches” day in and day out. They talk with candidates all the time. That means they can both recruit candidates and then set the proper expectations with those candidates during the hiring process.

The current “war for talent” is as competitive as ever, and it’s only going to get more competitive. Are you prepared and positioned to win that war on all fronts . . . or have you fallen behind your competition?

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.