5 Ways to Retain Employees Pre-Hire

Woman having a job interview

Retaining employees is critical in a hot job market. Employers don’t want to lose their top talent, and employees want to work at an organization that aligns with their priorities while feeling appreciated and valued.

However, turnover has been at an all-time high these past two years as we’ve experienced the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle. Therefore, to attract and retain the right employee for the right job, employers should consider retention before the candidate is even hired.

A recent survey shows that 49 percent of employees want skills development, up six percent from 2021. However, most employees don’t know where to start gaining new skills. Additionally, 29 percent of employees don’t feel “optimistic” about future opportunities for training or upskilling.

Discussing employee growth opportunities at the start of the hiring process allows candidates to acknowledge that they will enjoy a growth trajectory in your company’s open position.

Let’s look at five ways to retain employees during the pre-hire process.

1. Write Good Job Descriptions

Writing a good job description allows you to not only attract talent but to attract the right talent and help you find qualified candidates by serving as the first impression for job seekers.

However, in addition to highlighting the position and its benefits, recruiting professionals should focus on available employee growth opportunities. For example, discuss how your team is expanding and how this position will contribute to your company’s growth.

Remember, when fine-tuning your job descriptions, focus on goal-oriented candidates, creating excitement around this position and your company.

2. Emphasize Your Company Culture

Your job descriptions also allow you to highlight your company culture, showcasing your commitment to professional development. For example, you can focus on promoting e-learning, learning journeys, mentorship, and workforce collaboration in your job descriptions.

Also, employers can showcase learning opportunities by posting or sharing employer brand videos and employee testimonials. You can also showcase your learning opportunities on social media channels and your career page.

The more you highlight your company’s growth opportunities, the more likely you’ll attract and retain candidates who will thrive in your company’s environment.

3. Be Intentional With Your Interviews

Additionally, you can highlight your learning culture during candidate interviews. Ask questions that would allow candidates to demonstrate their growth mindset.

Soft skills typically indicate a love of learning for candidates. For example, if a candidate is resilient, they may not get frustrated when struggling to learn a new skill. Instead, they’ll try again through resiliency and perseverance.

Structure your interview questions intentionally, allowing you to solicit insight into a candidate’s soft skills. But, don’t forget to standardize your interview questions, keeping unintentional bias in check.

4. Hire for Soft Skills

Soft skills are sometimes more challenging to assess than hard skills, such as computer programming, financial planning, or copywriting. So, although you should ask interview questions encouraging a candidate to discuss soft skills, you can also identify these competencies through pre-hire assessments.

With pre-hire assessments, recruiting professionals can identify a candidate’s soft skills at the top of the funnel, ensuring that the candidate is not only a culture fit, but the type of candidate that will thrive at your company.

5. Focus on Upskilling

Throughout your recruiting process, don’t forget to focus on upskilling – another critical opportunity for employee growth opportunities. In a recent IT/software industry survey, the connection between lack of upskilling and retention was striking:

  • 90% of respondents wanted more learning and development opportunities from their employer
  • 41% of respondents stated that “limited career progression” was a top reason for leaving a job, outside of salary and benefits
  • 58% of respondents stated they looked for skills development as a top criterion when searching for a new job

By showcasing your company’s commitment to upskilling, such as offering training courses, creating mentorship programs, and promoting from within, job candidates will see your company as an opportunity where they can foster their career growth – wanting to stay for the long term.


This post was originally published by Cangrade.

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