Reduce Turnover by Showing Applicants ‘A Day in the Life’

In their zeal to attract good candidates, HR people and hiring managers often show job candidates only a shiny, happy picture of the organization.

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. That saves your organization time and money, and it cuts down on turnover.

Here are two examples of companies that provide realistic job previews:

1. Job simulation. An electronics manufacturer suffered high turnover among new employees in its "clean room," where employees had to wear full body suits.

The solution: The company began to require 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.

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

Texas Instruments, for example, created a multiple-choice Fit Check, which allows people to gauge whether they would fit into the company’s culture and work environment. See it at Click on "employment."