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Avoid Becoming a Stepping Stone Employer

You’re about to wrap up your selection process, and within the next day or so, you’ll make a final decision and settle on your chosen candidate for a critical open position. You have only one small problem: your preferred candidate is just a little TOO perfect. They’re ambitious, highly energetic, and a bit overqualified for the role. They have every credential you require, plus a few more that you haven’t even asked for. There’s no question that they’ll excel at this job. But how long will they stay here? How can you make sure your talented applicant will still be with you on this day a year from now? Keep these tips in mind.

Be direct.

If your candidate seems overqualified for the position and naturally ambitious or restless, address the issue head on. And consider doing this before you make your final decision. Simply express your concerns and allow the candidate to answer as they choose. For example: “You seem like a great fit for this role, but I’m concerned you may not stay with us very long if you find something else. Is this really the kind of work you’re looking for over the long term?” As they answer, read between the lines.

Ask for a verbal commitment.

With an at-will agreement, there’s no way to enforce a simple verbal confirmation made during an interview. But this confirmation may have more power than you realize. A simple exchange involving a spoken agreement or a handshake may influence her decision not to accept or search for another role immediately after stepping into this one.

Work hard on retention.

Find out exactly what this employee will need in order to stay happy and thrive in the role at hand. Discuss this in detail before you make a formal offer. If you can’t afford the salary she requires, for example, work with your payroll department to raise your offer. As an alternative, you can improve her benefits package, or provide other perks that may compensate for the deficiency. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure their working conditions are acceptable and their advancement plans align with the long term needs of the company.

Tackle problems before they arise.

If there are any aspects of this role that your candidate may not like or may find boring or unpleasant, get this out of the way upfront. Explain these specific challenges and ask your candidate how she intends to handle them. This can help both of you identify potential problems long before they appear on the horizon.

For more information on selecting and retaining the most talented candidates on the market, reach out to the experienced staffing team at PSU.

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