Current attrition rates are proving to be an expensive problem for employers. Employees are still quitting their jobs at a higher level than in 2019, and this turnover is imposing significant direct and indirect costs on businesses.

There is no easy answer to the attrition issue, but according to Jacob Zabkowicz, Vice President & General Manager, RPO, Global, “One effective way to reduce voluntary quits is to try to hire people who are more likely to stay. While this may seem like an obvious point, candidate selection processes are not always designed to recruit for retention, especially if they lack cultural assessment tools.”

The problem with cultural mismatch in hiring

"Employers usually design their assessment process to identify candidates who are a strong technical fit,” explains Zabkowicz. “However, less weight is given to the alignment between the individual’s and the organization’s values and working style. The traditional reasoning is that the new starter will be brought into the culture over time and will adapt to 'how we do things around here'."

In today’s workplace climate, however, new employees are increasingly willing to resign if they do not feel comfortable with the culture and values of their new surroundings. A magnifying factor here is the change in working practices. “It takes longer for natural assimilation in a remote/hybrid world as there are fewer opportunities for observation and shadowing. In addition, it’s harder for employers in a hybrid set-up to notice any cultural mismatch and take remedial action,” adds Zabkowicz.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing

More than RPO — talent realized

Do candidates share your company’s values?

The ideal assessment process will identify the candidate’s level of alignment with the values of an organization. Are they likely to feel 'safe' to show up as their best selves? Will they feel engaged and inspired to do their best work? Will they thrive and grow in their new team?

One of the criticisms of cultural assessment is that it can exclude under-represented groups and entrench monocultures. David Napeloni, Vice President, Client Services, explains how to avoid this: “If it’s properly designed, the assessment process will do the opposite. It will feel inclusive, remove bias and shift hiring managers away from recruiting in their own image.”

Hiring managers must buy into the concept of cultural assessment in order to get it right. It’s important to upskill anyone involved in interviewing, or interacting with, candidates, whether they are members of the Talent Acquisition team or managers in the wider organization.

Maximize the value of assessment data

A further boost to retention can be provided by the data and insight captured during a robust assessment process. “We have progressive clients who are taking the results of skills and cultural assessments and feeding them into the personal development programs of new employees. Right from the start, managers are equipped to set performance goals and determine coaching and learning needs,” says Napeloni.

One of the factors commonly cited for quitting in the first six months is a lack of relevant training. Therefore, understanding what initial training to provide can make an impact on attrition rates among recent joiners. Looking further ahead, providing employees with a credible personal development plan will aid longer term loyalty.

No assessment process is foolproof, but a holistic approach that takes in values and culture as well as skills and behaviors will always identify high performers who are more likely to stay.

Learn more about how TA leaders can lower attrition rates through effective onboarding practices and smarter attraction methods or by downloading our new paper on Talent Acquisition and Attrition.

Download the paper

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