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To cut turnover, give applicants a realistic view of job

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

Issue: How much should you, or the hiring manager, "sell" a position versus giving the full picture, warts and all?

Risk: Providing an overly rosy scenario will create disillusioned new hires, sparking higher turnover and starting the hiring process all over again.

Action: Improve retention by providing a realistic job preview, using the techniques outlined below. Teach hiring managers to do the same.

In their zeal to attract good candidates, HR people and hiring managers often make the mistake of showing job candidates only a shiny, happy picture of the organization. Smiles, everyone!

That's not smart.

Once people realize that their new jobs aren't the low-stress, fast-promotion, stimulating workplaces they were promised, they'll either zone out or walk out.

That's why it's best to present applicants with a balanced picture of the position, the department, the workplace and the organization culture. By doing that, you allow applicants to bail themselves out if they're not comfortable, which saves your organization time and money, plus cuts down on turnover.

By offering realistic job previews, you're simply giving applicants a clearer idea of what it would be like to work in that job. Two examples:

"A day in the life." An electronic manufacturer suffered high turnover among new employees in its "clean room," where employees had to wear full body suits.

The solution: The company started requiring candidates to participate in a full-day job simulation before they were hired. Many applicants dropped out, but those who stayed knew what to expect. As a result, turnover in the clean room dropped dramatically.

Web-site tools. Many organizations have added sections to their recruiting Web sites that offer realistic job previews.

Texas Instruments, for example, offers a 32-question, multiple-choice Fit Check, which allows people to gauge whether they'd fit into the company's culture and work environment. See it at recruit/docs/fitcheck.shtm.

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