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How to Hire Candidates for Long-Term Retention

Collie King

In the BSC and Security Industries, the work for hiring managers and HR Directors can become very repetitive. After all, they’re mostly hiring for the same job every single day.

They talk to dozens of applicants and ask them the same basic questions. Before too long, it’s easy for all the applicants to start running together and hard to tell apart from one another.

In our blog series on the Pre-Hire Process, we explained how in many hiring situations, it’s evolved into a matter of just picking the person that makes it to the interview.

You must refine your processes to ensure you’re getting more applicants in the top of your hiring funnel and patch up the problem stages where candidates are exiting the process.

The goal is to become more selective in the hiring process, allowing you to choose only the candidates with the highest likelihood of fit and long-term retention.

We’ve found our clients with the highest employee retention rates focus on two things in the pre-hire stage that have made an immediate impact on their retention: ensuring cultural fit and ensuring positional fit.

Ensuring Cultural Fit

As an established business, you should have core values you exhibit to your employees on a regular basis.

These core values should be the hallmark of what an exceptional employee should exhibit, and you should ensure your candidates actually have them.

The clients we interviewed each asked questions related to their core values in the interview process. Many used a templated approach, beginning their questions with “tell me what it means to…” as it related to these core values.

For example, “Tell me what it means to work with integrity.”

“Tell me what it means to showcase your manners.”

“Tell me what it means to work in excellence.”

Their responses to these questions will raise red flags - and green flags - and will go a long way to help you identify who would be the best fit.

Here are some of the best interview questions we heard to ensure cultural fit: 

1) What do you anticipiate about liking/disliking about a job with us?

This helps determine if they’re rooted in reality, or if something wasn’t well-explained in the beginning.

2) What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

This tells me the person’s work ethic.

3) Name a time you messed up and corrected it.

This shows me how honest they are - we’ve all messed up, but we don’t all like to admit it. It also shows me their ability to think on their feet and make something right.

4) Name something you’re passionate about.

I like to make sure the site manager knows their answer to this question so they immediately have a way to break the ice and connect with them on a personal basis.

5) Do you keep in touch with any former co-workers?

This shows their staying power. If they have a pattern of connecting on a personal level with co-workers in the past, the likelihood of them establishing new relationships at our company helps ensure they’re going to be happy and comfortable working with their friends. That’s often an indicator of long-term retention.

Ensuring Positional Fit

All of the companies we interviewed use the Kwantek Working Style Assessment to ensure they’re placing their candidates into the right positions to best suit their working style.

The Working Style Assessment is a brief personality test taken after the candidate submits their application.

This is truly the easiest way to select appropriately - candidates with over-performing profile styles are shown to have a 35% greater likelihood of remaining with the company for one year or longer if placed in a position that matches their profile characteristics!

Ensure your interview questioning puts you in a position of being able to clearly separate your candidates based on their responses. Simply asking them experience-related questions helps you know they can do the job, but it’s not going to help you understand their likelihood of maintaining their employment.

Next blog in the series: How to Create a 30-Day Engagement Plan to establish buy-in with your company from the employee’s first day. 



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