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The Most Important Person in the Interview Process

How One Person Can Eliminate the Unknown for Your New Hires and Help Improve Long-Term Employee Retention
Collie King

This is the second post in a five-part series on hiring for low-skilled employees. Our data comes primarily from helping post over 1,000,000 jobs in the building services, janitorial, and security industries.

In reviewing data in the security and building services industries, we’ve found an alarming trend that is crippling retention rates.

In the building services industry, 44% of new hires don’t make it past 30 days. In the security industry, that number is closer to 40%.

In our in-person interview strategy, we share how 50% of interviewees are no-shows. If 50% of interviewees are no-shows, and 40% of new hires don’t make it past a month, that means out of 10 applicants you’re only going to get 3 that have a shot of making it past 30 days of employment.

This is not a sustainable strategy.

So why is the 30 day turnover rate so high? In our research of pre-hire processes in the BSC and Security Industries, we’ve found one key trend that leads to this statistic: the presence of a hiring manager in the in-person interview.

Taking a Job Sight Unseen

Ask yourself this simple question:

Would you take a job without getting to meet your boss or see where you will be working?

The answer is probably not, even if it paid a little better than the job you have now.

Yet, nearly 2 out of 3 mid to large sized companies in these two industries conduct in-person interviews off-site, without the site manager, or both.

Much like the fact that 70% of overperforming candidate profiles are reserved individuals, our pre-hire assessment shows that 100% of overperforming candidates in these two industries are fact-finders.

Your ideal hire does not like the unknown. And they’re walking into a facility they’ve never seen and meeting a boss they’ve never met on their very first day.

Everyone gets first day jitters. In this case, those jitters are compounded by the candidate never having met their actual boss or having seen where they’re going to work.

If our overperforming candidates are generally more reserved, detail-driven fact-finders, how are they going to react in a socially awkward situation rife with the unknown?

Given this, it’s no wonder such a high percentage of new hires bolt in under a month.

Managerial Responsibilities

Having the on-site manager in the interview process does much more than just reduce the 30 day turnover rate.

It adds accountability and ownership to a person who thrives on those values.

Employee turnover is typically a responsibility that falls on their shoulders.

If they are 100% accountable for the new hire being a long-term employee, why do they have 0% accountability to select which person should be hired?

We’ve seen this lead to a siloed culture where the on-site manager is quick to blame employee turnover on the hiring manager’s selections.

They develop an external locus of control and lose faith in their ability to do anything to improve retention.

They throw their hands in the air and say it’s hopeless.

Most on-site managers are proud to be a manager and want to own their decisions and have unique responsibilities. They always want a more meaningful level of work.

Having them involved in the in-person interviews allows them to own the hiring decision, which will make them feel the pressure of making the right hiring decision.

This means they’re going to put more effort into making sure that employee is comfortable. They’re going to put more effort into developing or maintaining a strong company culture.

This is all because they felt trusted. Most people react to that bestowment of trust by working to validate your decision to trust them in the first place.

By instilling a sense of pride and self-worth in your on-site manager, they will instill those same values in the people that work with them. This develops a company culture so strong, your employees aren’t going to want to look elsewhere. Your retention rates will improve accordingly.

Keep an eye out for part three in the series coming next week: The True Goal of the Phone Screen

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