Revolving Door

Some things never change.

I pay a lot of attention to the job boards and hiring activity in the local area. As both a contractor and a fairly connected person, it's always good for me to know who's hiring etc. I makes lots of referrals.

One thing I've noticed is that there's a certain group of companies who must be adept at hiring. They must be adept because they keep doing it over and over, often for the very same roles. Now, an optimistic view is that they must be experiencing significant growth (yay!) as they keep adding more people.

Due to my afore-mentioned connections however I know it isn't growth that's driving all these hires.

It's a revolving door.

En parlance these firms struggle to hire people as fast they lose them. What's up with that, and why can't they keep peeps?

Quite simply the reason these firms struggle to keep new hires is the disconnect between recruiting and hiring managers. There's fault on both sides of the equation.

Recruiters in poorly managed firms are out of sync with the business often offering incomplete information at best about roles and complete fabrication at worst. Whether uninformed due to lack of initiative, or the complexity of the firm, the end result is the same. Without good information about the culture, work to be done and roles and responsibilities recruiters fill in the blanks to the degree that they can and leave candidates ill-informed.

Clearly the lesson here is that to be a good recruiter – to well-match candidates to opportunities – one has to really understand the business.

Hiring managers too though are complicit in the hiring merry go round. Sometimes, under the pretext of being 'too busy' (since they're short-staffed – see the vicious cycle here?) they ignore the input of recruiters and fail to fully disclose the working conditions and expectations. Or, they describe a best-case scenario when the truth is far from it.

Why is it important for managers to do a more complete job of informing the recruiter? Because that's your link to the candidate pool – better candidates expect better information. If the recruiter doesn't have it, more able candidates see that and read it for what it is: a sign of an unhealthy work environment.

Candidates become new hires over night, one day unemployed and the next on the payroll. But they don't become committed for about eight weeks. In other words, just becuase they're drawing a paycheck doesn't mean they're fully enagaged and have signed up for the long haul.

When first hired most of us drink from a firehouse for a few weeks trying to understand the norms and practices of our new workplace home. This is a stressor for most of us, and one of the things we rely on to mitigate this are the descriptions we heard about the office while being romanced. We look for the keys we were told about as we try to acclimate to our new surroundings and colleagues.

But when our world is out of sync because the input we relied on is bad we feel cheated and confused. And, if we suffer enough disappointment in these early days we become committed not to our new employer, but to leaving.

Want to stop the revolving door? Respect the roles of recruiter and hiring manager and give each other the information you need to be succesful. You'll slow that exit rate to a trickle.



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