Replacing an employee can cost up to 400 percent of his or her salary–a fact that could make any business executive cringe. Fortunately, you can reduce employee turnover and save your company thousands of dollars by improving your quality of hire.
To get started, the first thing you’ll need to do is define what a quality hire looks like for each of your open positions. This way, you’ll have a point of reference when measuring and improving your quality of hire. To ensure your benchmarks are accurate and effective, consider these five factors when you're creating them:
Key Values and Traits
A study published in Personnel Psychology proved that when employees don’t fit your company culture, they don’t perform as well and they are less engaged at work. On the other hand, if a new hire’s values and behaviors align with your company culture, he or she is much more likely to meet the criteria for a quality hire and stay at your company longer. So make a list of your organization’s values, and identify any additional traits your employees need to succeed.
Here are some values that quality hires tend to possess:
- Willingness to learn
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
Progress and Results
Every business needs employees who will help the organization accomplish its business goals and mission. So if an employee is contributing significantly to pushing your business objectives forward, their value as an employee increases. But if an employee often produces disappointing work, or often fails to get their work done, their quality depletes. Of course, new hires may struggle at first, but the qualified ones will show progress and consistent improvement.
Here are some results that quality hires will often produce:
- Becoming more efficient or productive over time
- Developing new skills
- Successfully completing assigned work tasks
- Increasing their industry knowledge
- Generating positive brand awareness
- Supporting or driving business revenue
Attitude and Influence
Even if an employee fits your company culture and drives impressive results, they may still negatively impact your work environment or company. For instance, maybe they are disrespectful toward employees, customers or even your brand. This isn’t the case for quality hires. A quality hire doesn’t damage your company reputation or inhibit the people who work for you. On the contrary, quality hires enhance your customers’ experiences and inspire other team members to perform better.
Here are some attitudes that quality hires will likely display:
- Friendly and outgoing
- A team player
Level of Engagement
The Corporate Leadership Council reports that engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization than disengaged employees, and they produce better work. In other words, quality hires and engaged employees go hand-in-hand. If an employee is highly engaged, they become more qualified for their role. So for each of your roles, define what it would look like if an engaged employee was filling it. Then, when you are looking for the right candidate, assess whether or not they’ve displayed these characteristics in similar roles.
Here are some actions that quality hires may take:
- Completing work outside of regular business hours
- Contributing ideas in meetings and ad-hoc initiatives
- Proposing solutions to improve business procedures
- Producing more or better work
- Referring other job seekers to the company
Work Habits and Skills
Work tendencies play a huge role in how successful your employees are. If one of your team members is often disorganized and behind schedule, they likely won’t provide as much value. They will probably make more mistakes than a quality hire would, and they will produce less work in more time. So when you’re trying to decide what a quality hire looks like for a certain position, think about what skills and tendencies they need to succeed in that role. Keep in mind that quality hires will have both the hard and soft skills required to successfully execute their job duties.
Here are some soft skills that quality hires often possess:
- Highly organized
- Great attention to detail
- Excellent customer service
- Ability to think critically
- Ability to work under pressure
As you set performance objectives for each of your available roles, reference the categories and examples above to guide your decisions. But most importantly, remember that your performance objectives should align with your company culture, work environment and specific job duties. This way, you will know exactly what a quality candidate and hire looks like for your organization.