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It may seem strange to address the subject of turnover given the current state of the economy and still-high unemployment rates. But according to a recent article in the Society For Human Resource Management’s Staffing Management Magazine, turnover, particularly early turnover, is a costly problem that many industries are facing despite the economy.

The article, titled “Hiring Candidates Who Will Stay,” draws the conclusion that early departures are often a result of employees not knowing enough about the job before going in. It provides data from a survey conducted by University of Florida business professor, John Kammeyer-Mueller, in which 1,000 employees were questioned a month into a new job and then continually over the next two years. He asked questions such as “How much information did you have about the job?” What Kammeyer-Mueller found is that the less they knew about the job before they started, the more likely they were to leave.

To combat early turnovers, the article suggests that employers provide “Realistic Job Previews” (RJP) so that candidates have all the information they need before starting a new job. Ideas for the RJP include having on-site previews lead by trained facillitators or subject-matter experts, disclosing high turnover issues and the worst parts of the job, allowing candidates to meet with a high-performing employee in the area they are applying for, and using online previews to help provide applicants with an early vision of what the job would be like. Of course, employing these methods will thin out the crop of qualified candidates an employer can choose from, but if they ultimately select someone who will stick around, the article contends that the extra time and effort will be worth it.

While these are all great suggestions that you may want to pass along to clients that are having trouble with early turnover, the article leaves off what we think is the “Ultimate Realistic Job Preview”… Contracting! By offering positions on a contract-to-direct basis, employers can provide a candidate with more than just an idea of what to expect. The candidate can actually work the job to determine if it is the right fit for them. And better yet, the employer can determine if the candidate is a good fit for the organization. If it doesn’t work for either party, they can simply walk away and try again!

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