Employee Retention Starts the Day a Candidate Says Yes

Hire the Best - Use for Web applications, emails, etcThere are 4 stages in the hiring process: Identification, Sourcing, Screening and Recruiting. By the time you get through those stages, you’re exhausted and can’t wait to get back to doing your job. Just when you want to get back to normal, your candidate is in anything but a normal state.

Here is what I have learned from 30+ years of hiring “A” players. First, they have to divorce themselves from their current relationships—both customers and co-workers—and they have to keep their spouse reassured that this was a good move for them. In addition, your “A” player has to contend with his employer’s efforts to retain them by offering increased pay, more responsibility, more accounts, a better territory or a promotion.

So, just when you want them to get to work, their tension level elevates!

The fourth stage of the hiring process–recruiting—starts before the offer is made and after the offer is accepted.

Here are 6 recruitment tips:

  • First, you have to reinstate why you and your company is a good move for them. This should be in writing and in alignment with their career goals. (You do understand their career aspirations don’t you? Think of what you do for your juiciest prospects and double it.) Give them something to show their spouse other than the compensation plan.
  • Coach them on how they will respond to their current employer’s efforts to retain them. (I actually role-play this scenario with them and even load their lips with the right things to say.) Think of this as pre-sales call planning.
  • Welcome AboardAfter they accept, send them a “new job” greeting card that is signed by everyone in the department or branch.
  • Do “check in” calls at least 3 times before they start. Call and talk to them. Do not do this through email.
  • Get them to come in prior to their official start date just to do the HR paperwork. This gives you another chance to touch base and reinforce their decision was a good one.
  • Send them a welcome letter that outlines what they can expect their first week. The more detail the better—down to the hour, who they will meet with, what they will learn and what they can expect.

After they start:

  • During their first week, have them interview the different department heads so they can learn how the departments function and how their jobs interact.
  • Debrief what they learn at these meetings.
  • Hold a weekly debrief and set out the agenda for the next week.
  • Conduct an on-going assessment of what they have learned about the company, your products and services, your sales process, pricing strategy, etc

Do this hand-holding the first month and you’re off to a good start.

If you want an outline of a new hire orientation program, click the link below.

Outline of an Onboarding Program for Salespeople