Why a Signature is No Longer a Done Deal in Hiring

Guest: Rachel Bitte Jobvite, Onboarding, Rachel Bitte

In 2018, the American workforce looks very different than it did in years past. The rules around hiring and recruiting have evolved, just as the relationship between candidates and companies has changed. Today’s hiring landscape is still somewhat candidate-centric, an environment where job seekers will actually reject a company before they even interview due to negative reviews on Glassdoor.

Even once you get a promising candidate through the interview process, a signature is no longer a done deal in hiring. Nearly one-third of job seekers now say they have left a job within the first 90 days of starting, according to Jobvite’s latest survey. While the reasons for doing so vary, most of them are firmly in your control.

Let’s go through what you need to know about the new recruiter-candidate dynamic, and how you can make sure those who sign on the dotted line stick around long enough to make an impact at your company. But first, we need to know what is causing newcomers to jump ship in the first place. Here are the top three reasons U.S. workers say they have left jobs within the first 90 days.

The day-to-day job wasn’t what they expected

Forty-three percent of workers cite that their day-to-day role wasn’t what they expected as the reason for leaving in the first three months. A less experienced recruiter might see this and think there is not much you can do to change employees’ sentiment toward their position (after all, they were the one who applied for and accepted the position). But that wouldn’t be entirely true. Rather, it’s about setting realistic expectations and accurately mapping a candidate’s motivations and interests.

First, recruiters and hiring managers need to accurately present what the role is all about. They need to build in time for every step of the interview process to share more information about the role and allow the candidate to ask questions to everyone they meet. There are a couple of easy ways to do this, such as providing a tour of the office and allowing the person to connect with a potential peer or manager on job responsibilities.

The second component to eliminating turnover for this reason is to truly understand the motivations of the candidate. We call this motivational fit, and it addresses some of the jobseekers’ short and long-term goals, and how those mesh with the role they’re applying for. Figure out what speed of work or complexity of projects suits them best, whether the industry or location is a long-term match and more importantly, not just whether they can do the job, but if they’re willing to do the job.

An incident or bad experience drove them away

Of those who left before the first 90 days, another 34 percent report an incident or bad experience is what drove them away. While you can’t control every interaction or experience a new hire has in the office, you can take some steps to mitigate the risk of a single, bad instance driving them away. The key to this lies in the onboarding process and particularly introducing them to the right people.

Every new hire should be introduced to a peer that can serve as their office buddy or someone they feel safe to share their feelings with and ask “stupid” questions. Having someone in the office they trust to serve as their guiding beacon can be the difference-maker between them staying or bouncing when something inevitably goes awry.

Another way to stay connected with your new hires during that crucial early period is to assess onboarding surveys. Through internal questionnaires, you can gain valuable feedback on both the onboarding process and the worker’s feelings about their new job at large.

At the end of the day though, nothing tops routine check-ins between the hiring staff and the new hire at the 30, 60 and then 90-day marks. Executives and HR teams can also schedule monthly meetings to check-in on employees, identifying any potential problems early before they bubble over.

Company culture (or lack thereof)

Another one-third of employees claim that company culture was their reason for backing out. There are two reasons why this happens: 1) recruiters misjudge how the candidate will mesh with the company culture or 2) interview teams present an inaccurate view of the company culture to the candidate.

Jobseekers today are looking for authenticity and transparency when it comes to the recruiting process. So, if you embellish on the company culture aspect, then you set yourself up for hasty employee exits in the near future. Rather than waste everyone’s time, it’s best just to level about the most important aspects of the workplace culture. Lay out the important facts, such as: what you are, what you do, what you care about most and more. And make sure your website describes your company in a way that is transparent and authentic.

When it comes to today’s candidate-centric environment, recruiter-first processes and transactional relationships aren’t going to cut it anymore. Today’s workers expect more of a personal touch, where brand experience and culture blend seamlessly.

The candidate-recruiter relationship must put the jobseeker journey front-and-center, as the equation to finding the perfect match is more symbiotic than ever before. Both job seekers and recruiters need to get what they want here for this to work. If you make that happen, you’ll continue to add great new employees to your roster who won’t bail before they make an impact at the company.


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