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Reduce Costly Turnover With Job Benchmarking - Column #175

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Wise business owners endeavor to reduce the high costs of turnover and maximize their return on investment with new hires. Still, businesses experience turnover for a variety of reasons, and the expenses associated with finding, hiring, training and developing new team members are very real.

Studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of a team member’s annual salary. The costs are high because they include not only loss of revenue, productivity and training expenses, but also the time, energy and stress involved with hiring someone new. 

When new team members are hired through the usual means, they typically start out strong. But if their behaviors, motivators and competencies don’t match what’s needed to perform the job at a high level, their attitude and productivity typically deteriorate, and they’ll likely move on or need replacing. This will put you in the position of having to go through the lengthy, time-consuming, often-frustrating and expensive process of attracting, hiring and training someone new.

The average business hires new talent through a standard process of placing ads, accepting applications and resumes, interviewing “qualified” candidates, asking a few routine questions and then hiring based on who’s liked the most and “appears” to be the best candidate. Without an in-depth analysis and real understanding of the position itself — it’s key accountabilities — and the type of person that will perform the job at its highest levels, the success ratio falls off quickly and the high cost of turnover affects the bottom line yet again.

This is where the proven process of Job Benchmarking comes in. Through this sophisticated approach, businesses dramatically reduce errors in the hiring process by eliminating biases and producing the needed information and clarity to hire effectively.

In the first phase of the Job Benchmarking process, we identify and I meet with the subject matter experts — three to seven team members that have a direct connection or experience with the position to be filled — to clearly define the position and identify its key accountabilities. This is done from the perspective of the job itself: What activities must be done on a consistent basis for the job to be performed at the highest level?

During the second phase of this process, I work closely with the subject matter experts to rank individual key accountabilities in order of importance and time requirements. I then guide them through the completion of the job assessment in which they indicate the competencies, motivators, values behaviors and acumen the person needs to perform the job at the highest level.

With the Job Benchmark finalized, the next step is to identify the most qualified candidates and have each one complete a simple online candidate assessment. A report compares each candidate’s assessment results to the identified parameters created in the Job Benchmark. This sophisticated tool provides clear-cut, unbiased information revealing the person or persons best suited for the job and culture of the company.

In the final phase of the process and with solid hiring information in hand, we interview the top candidates using behavioral-based methods and explain the key accountabilities of the position. This procedure clearly defines the position and manages the expectations of the new hire.

Once the new team member is hired, I typically engage them in professional development for successful on-boarding and further development of their behaviors and competencies for optimal job performance.

The benefits of Job Benchmarking for hiring new talent are numerous. Studies have shown retention increases 30 percent and productivity improves 50 percent. Retention increases because personal motivators match the necessary motivators for the position. Productivity rises because behaviors and competencies align with the requirements of the job. Symmetry between the job and new hire takes job performance and team member satisfaction to new heights.

The rewards of Job Benchmarking to the company, its team members and customers are inescapable. As biases are removed and clarity and alignment created, the door to more successful hiring appears. Business owners who want to experience the highest levels of happiness and success must strive to retain top talent and increase the engagement of their teams. If this is you, the accurate and effective process of Job Benchmarking could be just what you’re looking for.

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