Stay Interviews- what are they and how can they help retain talent?

When was the last time you interviewed your employees to learn about their career aspirations and why they work at your company?

If it was way back when you hired the person then it might be time to think about conducting “stay interviews” with your team.

A stay interview is an opportunity to ask for employee feedback to learn more about their experience with the organization, what keeps them motivated and engaged (or not!).

Conducting a stay interview can be a daunting prospect – but it doesn’t need to become an invite for employees to complain if its handled thoughtfully and with respect. Employees need to know their opinions matter and that employers will try to make improvements based on the feedback.

It may take time to earn the respect and trust needed to ensure that employees open up about deeper issues that they have hesitated to bring up before. Over time, if you can demonstrate that you really do want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly you will earn that trust!

It can also be a way to start a conversation with an under-performer about any skill development or tools they need to perform at a higher level.

Here are some tips to make the most out of a stay interview.

  • Make it important and schedule it outside of your regular check ins or performance reviews.
  • But, keep it light and informal too. Let the employee know the discussion is about how their job is going, how they enjoy working at the company and what you can do to support them – it’s a time to listen.
  • Keep the conversation going – Don’t shut down the employee if they bring up something you disagree with or potentially don’t have the budget for.
  • Thank the person for taking the time to speak with you. Set expectations that this is an opportunity to listen but not every suggestion can be acted on.
  • Identify any issues that were brought up multiple times – be creative in solving for issues such as requests for training that might not be in the budget. Maybe you could launch a mentorship program where newer employees can learn from more experienced co-workers.
  • Follow up is critical.  Let your team know if any desired changes could or couldn’t be made and why.

Stay interviews help your employees understand that you recognize and appreciate them and are taking an active role in their professional development. They also help you discover any “at risk” employees who might feel like they have plateaued in their current position.

Replacing your best employees can be time-consuming and costly. Stay interviews are a solid strategy to help you retain your business’s top performers.

BlueFire HR can create custom training and guidance in conducting Stay Interview strategies designed to meet your business needs. Reach out today and see how we can help! For more information, please contact us at hr@bluefirehr.com, 773-793-1362 or at 888-892-9597.

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Elevating the Candidate Experience

It’s a candidate’s job market! A great candidate experience is a must have as part of your talent acquisition and planning strategy.

A great candidate experience is one that makes it simple and easy for passive candidates to apply and one that gets you the right fit for the position.

If your hiring process requires candidates to jump through hoops such as completing lengthy online applications, multiple interviews, long intervals between communications or requires candidates to complete a project on their own time, then it’s high time to reevaluate your processes.

Analyze the steps in the design of your hiring process from the job posting to the sending the offer letter to streamline your time to hire.

  • Define what skills and abilities you are seeking – the job posting should provide a strong sense of the company culture as well as the job responsibilities
  • Be selective and reach out to only the most qualified candidates; let under qualified candidates know they are not a match but encourage them to apply for other opportunities.

Here are some ways you can streamline your hiring process and still hire the best fit:

  • Applications: Keep the application process short and simple. If you use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) ask a few brief pre-screening questions.
  • Communication is key: Let candidates know you received their resume and when they can expect to hear from you. Communicate with candidates throughout the hiring process.
  • First contact: Your initial outreach sets the tone for all future communication and its important to be friendly and respectful.
  • Agenda: Prior to the interview let the candidate know who they will be meeting with and approximately how long it will take – be sure the candidate is aware of the time commitment and can be relaxed and comfortable. Offer refreshments and a restroom break in between interviews.
  • Interviews: decide in advance who should meet with the candidate; do they really need to meet with six different managers who will ask the same questions? Instead, decide on just one or two interviewers and prepare “areas of focus” for each interviewer to inquire about. One might tackle soft skills such as listening and empathy and the other could tackle the technical skills required to do the job.
  • Updates: if the candidate is not a fit, let her/him know as soon as possible.
  • Feedback is important: Many candidates are left feeling confused after having great interviews but not getting the job. Giving them brief feedback on the reasons for your decision and encourage them to apply for other openings you may have.

Ensuring candidates have a great experience will increase your chances of converting your candidate into a new team member!

Have you found the ideal candidate? – Fantastic! The step is to prepare the offer. Learn more about how BlueFire HR can help you create an irresistible offer package.

BlueFire HR provides full cycle recruiting and custom Recruiting and Hiring  strategies designed to meet your business needs. Reach out today and see how we can help! For more information, please contact us at hr@bluefirehr.com, 773-793-1362 or at 888-892-9597.