How To Spot A Loyal Employee At Application Stage
The objective of any recruitment process is a simple one
It’s to identify the best-skilled and post-suitable potential employees from a long list of applicants, and to offer positions within your company only to those people. It’s a lot easier to say that than to put it into practice, but that’s what all employers set out to do when they start the process. There are a number of ways the process can go wrong, but there are some ways it can go wrong later, even when you get it right at the time.
The problem with selecting the best-skilled applicants is that other companies will also want their skills, and the applicant knows it. If they’re not totally happy within your company, or they believe the grass might be greener elsewhere, they might be inclined to start looking for their next position as soon as they have their feet under the table within your company. This is especially true of younger applicants. Some research indicates that Millennials rarely intend to spend more than two years in the same role before heading off in search of something else. That’s no good for continuity or stability within your firm – especially if they work in important roles.
Is it possible to identify the candidates who might stick around longer and show a little more loyalty just from a resume or an interview? Well, maybe. If done wrong, the process of recruitment can be a little bit like playing games at a new online casino site. You sometimes spin and win, but you also sometimes spin and lose. Even though every spin on an online slots game follows the exact same process, sometimes you win money, and sometimes you end up out of pocket. You don’t know what’s coming until you’ve paid for your spin. The thrill of the unknown is what makes online slots exciting, but it’s a lot less fun when you can’t predict the outcome of a recruitment campaign. With a little more attention at the application and interview stage, though, you might be able to improve your chances.
Stop Employing Job Hoppers
This is the easiest way to improve your chances of landing a loyal recruit, and yet so many companies miss it. You get blown away by a prospect’s excellent qualifications and their confidence during an interview, and you overlook the fact that they’ve changed positions three or four times in the past five or six years. Every reliable measure says that job-hopping is on the rise in the current employment market, but not every candidate will be looking to run out on you at the first possible opportunity. Show favoritism to people who’ve spent long periods in each of their previous positions, and question the reasons for every change of job until you’re satisfied with the answers. If the answer you get back from the candidate is ‘I wanted to earn more money,’ or ‘I wanted a change of scenery,’ chances are you’ll be treated the exact same way that their previous employers were.
Buy Into People Who Buy Into You
A candidate who is keen to have a career within your organization rather than collecting a salary for a couple of years will take the time to find out who you are and what you do. They should have independently researched the history of your company, and they should be able to tell you a few basic facts on request. To put it another way, they should have a solid reason for wanting to work for you specifically rather than wanting to work for another company that operates within your industry. They should engage with the company on a personal level. If they don’t know anything about the company other than the job role they’re applying for and the salary it offers, it’s highly likely that they only see you as a means to an end, and they’ll be moving on as soon as they think there are better opportunities somewhere else.
Beware Those Who Criticize Their Current Employer
The best employees are those who don’t bad-mouth you in front of others. This doesn’t mean that they agree with everything that you or your company does – nobody should welcome an applicant who says ‘yes’ to everything thoughtlessly – but they should disagree in private. A good employee will take you aside to explain why they disagree with an idea or a decision and talk it through with you. A bad employee will tell other people how and why they disagree with you, but will never mention it to you at all. If at the interview stage, your potential employee has nothing good to say about the company they’re working for, it’s a strong sign that they fall into the latter category. It’s possible to remain loyal to a company or an employer even in the process of leaving them, and the people who do that are the people you should want to hire.
Seek People Who Believe In Your Industry
As the old saying goes, if you work in a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your whole life. Far too many people accept a position in an industry they hate because it pays well. They can fake enthusiasm for a while, but they can’t do it forever. Whether consciously or subconsciously, they’ll always be on the lookout for a position that pays a similar salary within an industry that they’re more passionate about. It doesn’t matter how capable a candidate might be if they don’t have a strong desire to build a career within the industry you work in. You might employ the most exceptional salesperson in the world, but if they secretly wish they were doing something other than sales, they’ll eventually go looking for whatever that ‘something’ might be. Your ideal candidate should be able to tell you their career plan, and the whole plan should involve working in the same field your business operates in.
The above tips aren’t foolproof. Nothing in recruitment is foolproof. If you don’t want to repeat the same recruitment process for the same positions every two or three years, though, it might be better to hire a competent but committed candidate than an outstanding but less committed one.