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Interviewing Tips to Assure Long-Term Employee Retention

long term employee retention handshake pictureWhen hiring a new employee, your company’s goal is not just to select the best candidate for the job, but also to retain that employee for years to come.

Companies shouldn’t be afraid to be selective. Many hiring managers make the mistake of settling for a candidate for the sake of quickly filling a vacancy, which may cost more in the long run.

How do you choose the right candidate among hundreds of applicants? Through a careful evaluation and screening process, the odds of hiring (and retaining) a great employee increase substantially. These four steps will put you on the right path to hiring who will be a valuable asset in the long-term.

1. Involve at least one other stakeholder in the interview process

Invite at least one other company employee to interview future staff members, especially an individual who will have future business involvement with the new employee. Select a second person to review resumes and interview based on the relevant role she will play in the position.

2. Pay attention to the candidate’s job history and length of stay

While every job candidate has a unique background, pay particular attention to how long candidates remained in their previous jobs. A candidate with longer years of service at fewer companies may prove to be looking for a long-term employment solution. If that candidate is also a good match in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities, strongly consider scheduling an interview. On the other end of the spectrum, if a candidate hops from one job to another without any longevity with one company, you may want to reconsider if the individual will be worth the investment long-term.

3. Use a skills test as part of the interview

Many candidates look great on paper. But if the position requires specialized skills, give a skills test or performance exercise as part of the hiring process. For example, if you are hiring a writer, ask the candidate to create an original writing sample after the interview. If you are looking for a company spokesperson, require a sample presentation. A skills test will help you get a clearer picture of the candidate’s abilities.

4. Carefully craft your interview questions for employee retention discovery

Do not simply ask standard interview questions when looking for a viable long-term employee (although those questions have value too). Ask open-ended questions that allow the candidate to demonstrate the ability to perform specific tasks. Ask pointed questions aimed at demonstrating how a person handles conflict and difficult situations. Perhaps base the scenarios on difficult personalities or customers the candidate may encounter in your business.

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