Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018.
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 14 cities across the U.S. this fall.
Gain the skills you need to rise to the next level in your career. Jon us at SHRM's Leadership Development Forum, October 2-3 in Boston.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
Companies can purchase myriad assessments to test whether job applicants are qualified to do a job and how well. But you can’t buy a test to measure whether they will enjoy doing it enough to stay, said Richard Finnegan, CEO of C-Suite Analytics, during one of the April 30 sessions that kicked off the 2012 Talent Management Conference & Exposition being held near Washington, D.C., through May 2.
Finnegan said in his session, “The Secret Is Out: How Realistic Job Previews Impact Turnover,” that the only way to determine candidates’ staying power well is to present them with realistic job previews that “smack their senses.”
“Realistic job previews are representations of jobs that show their attractive and less attractive parts,” said Finnegan, who is the author of the book Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad (Davies-Black; 2010). “The trick is to determine how we develop job experiences that smack their senses of smell, sight, hearing, touch and taste instead of job descriptions.”
There are a number of job attributes that candidates can be exposed to in realistic job previews, noted Finnegan, including:
“They must display the highest reasons for [the job’s] turnover, bluntly, and they should encourage some otherwise qualified applicants to drop out or show you indications of concern so you don’t hire them,” he said. “After walking through a realistic job preview, candidates who are wrong for the job should say, ‘There is no way in the world I’m going to do this.’ ”
Seven Steps to Success
Finnegan walked through several industry examples of job previews to describe a seven-step design flow chart that companies can follow to create effective, realistic job previews.
First, he said, learn the grittiest job aspects from the subject matter experts—the employees who do the jobs. Next, research reasons why employees quit or get terminated. But he cautioned, “think beyond just the high-turnover jobs,” which often are “not a company’s high-cost jobs,” when developing job previews.
Identify the best presentation methods that impact the senses, then develop realistic job previews with clear instructions and scripted messages. Also, design follow-up interview questions and a discussion guide that can be used by certified facilitators to learn candidates’ real reactions to the preview.
“When you ask candidates the follow-up questions, key in on the nonverbal cues that reveal their true job impression,” he said. “If you can’t do this, you are relying on them to screen themselves out rather than the company screening them out.”
Finally, track the percentage of applicants screened out by job previews.
“You should know your turnover rates,” Finnegan said. Realistic job previews are instant turnover-cutters, so credit yourself with having saved your company the exit price for the job each time a candidate you would have hired drops out, he advised.
To learn more about retention from Richard Finnegan, visit SHRM Online to listen to a rebroadcast of his webcast, “Onboarding + Stay Interviews: Involving Managers to Reduce Early Turnover.”
Theresa Minton-Eversole is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Join us for the largest and best HR conference in the world, June 23-26, 2019 in Las Vegas.
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies