Falling Out of Love: How to Avoid the Most Common Cause of Employee Turnover
Not What You Advertised
Finding a new job is a lot like online dating. Job-seekers spend hours scrolling through pictures, reading about your company’s personality and culture, and crafting that perfect email response. Falling in love with a job before you even start is easy. Falling out of love when the “rose-tinted glasses” come off is just as easy.
Whether you’re posting to Tinder or Indeed, building a new relationship on a lie is never a good idea. Sure, you could optimize your “bio” to appeal to the widest range of possible candidates, and you’ll probably get a good number of people who are willing to “swipe right.” However, if you set high expectations that don’t match up with reality, you’re unlikely to find that authentic connection you’re looking for. That’s why avoiding a disconnect between employer needs and employee expectations is so crucial to your recruitment marketing strategy.
The Consequences of “Catfishing”
We’ve all heard of the term, “catfishing” to describe when someone misrepresents themselves to potential matches online. Well, it happens to new hires as well, and it can lead to a serious drain of talent, money, and resources for companies of all sizes.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a mismatched hire could cost an employer 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings (not to mention the sunk costs of onboarding, lost business opportunities, and stress that understaffing places on the rest of your team), leaving the company with nothing to show for it. High turnover can also be a threat to your brand should a disgruntled review go viral on social media and employment sites.
As a hiring manager, you understand that in a competitive labor market there is no one quick fix. However, the best place to start is by taking an objective look at your employer brand and ensuring that your proverbial “profile pic” is an accurate reflection of reality.
Truth in Advertising
Telling the truth doesn’t mean that you have to air all your dirty laundry in public. It just means that you need to be more deliberate about how your message will be perceived and the type of person you want to attract. What may seem like an inadequacy to some, can be marketed positively to the right candidate.
Let’s look at one common example: benefits. Every company says they have “great benefits” (it’s like the recruiting equivalent of saying, “I like long walks on the beach…”) but what does that really mean? Specifically, what does that mean to your target candidate? To a young parent, it means vacation time, maternity leave, sick time, childcare. For a single entrepreneurial-type, it might mean creative freedom, investment options, educational reimbursement, and a collaborative environment. Define your ideal candidate, and talk about what matters to them.
At the same time, don’t over-promise or be ambiguous. It will come back to bite you later when you have an unhappy new hire who believes they were misinformed (or outright lied to). Perhaps you’re a small company that can’t afford great benefits, but you do value a creative flair and offer tons of freedom. Don’t lie about your flaws; just focus on what makes your company an awesome, unique place to work.
Speak to the kind of person who has the talent you need and would appreciate what you DO have to offer. You can’t please everyone, but that’s okay. For the right person, it’ll be a match made in heaven.
Be Who You Say You Are
Throughout the talent marketing and hiring processes, you should be looking for opportunities to communicate and get the right information to your candidates in the right way, at the right time.
Retention efforts need to start before your ideal candidate ever walks through your door then continue throughout onboarding and beyond. If, for example, during the interview, you promised them great training, make sure you check in later and ensure they’re satisfied. Keep the hiring conversation going during the onboarding process through tools that allow you to send the right message to the right people exactly when they need to see it.
The bottom line is that along with salary, benefits, and sense of purpose, truthfulness and transparency are what today’s employees demand in exchange for “company loyalty,” especially amongst Millennial and Gen X cohorts. If your talent marketing efforts try to appeal to everyone with overly broad and generic messaging, you may end up appealing to no one.
In short, try to live up to your profile picture.
Want more information? An insight on an existing challenge? An outside perspective on an internal issue? Contact the experts at S2E and we’ll help you get the results you’re looking for. After all, getting results is what we do best – 866-945-3370, Carol Carrillo.