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By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Employers are going to have to work harder this year than any other year to keep staff, as a telling report from the Hay Group reveals that there has been an almost 13% increase in worldwide employee turnover since 2012. And the report forecasts that global employee turnover will rise from 20% to 23% between now and 2018.
It’s likely then that many of you will be strengthening your employee engagement processes to discourage turnover, but many of your turnover cases may have been unsuitable hires which could have been avoided with more effective screening. It’s possible to design a hiring process which favors both competent and loyal employees, by incorporating realistic job previews (RJPs).
So, what are RJPs? They speak for themselves really; as RJPs give a candidate information showing both the positive and negative aspects of working with you. Why would you do that? Telling employees about the negative aspects may sound counter intuitive, but it’s not. RJPs draw on the idea of a psychological contract. This means that when an employee joins you there is an unspoken, informal agreement between the employee and employer which includes the mutual expectations of both parties around: pressure, risk, management culture, conflict, long hours, culture, etc. And because this psychological contract is not made more explicit, either employee or employer may break the contract at some point, thus creating conflict and a potential turnover situation.
Realistic Job Previews enable you to show the employee the negative aspects of working and to explain many of those informal aspects of the psychological contract that are normally overlooked. This way the employee doesn’t get a rose tinted view of the business, only for their hopes to be dashed, and disappointment and disengagement to set in. Studies show that RJPs work to reduce employee turnover as they reduce the initial job expectations and increase job satisfaction.
Make sure you are fully informed before using realistic job previews. To work effectively they should not be overly negative but should be a balanced portrayal of the good and bad aspects of your culture. A typical format might be a video showing some co-workers talking about a typical day at work, including both the ups and downs, and talking very specifically about several aspects of the job in question.
If used in the right way, Realistic Job Previews can help boost staff retention in a challenging staff retention climate.