When to Make an Offer to Get a Resigning Employee to Stay

October 5th, 2012

Your staffing strategy has never been better. Your last four hiring decisions have been brilliant, and your managers and employees appear to be thriving busily in an atmosphere of respect, trust, and shared dedication. When you walk through your workplace, you see cheerful workers in every direction, and your bottom line suggests that you’re clearly doing something right. But you haven’t done this on your own. You can easily count off a handful of people throughout the company who hold this entire operation together. Regardless of their management level, these invaluable employees are natural leaders and you know perfectly well that you wouldn’t be where you are without them.

Just as you’re patting yourself on the back for the efficiency and productivity of your staffing strategy, one of your very best employees walks into your office with a dreaded announcement. She’s about to leave.

Counter a Resignation: Simple Steps

First, don’t give up just yet. There’s a strong possibility that your next few moves can change her mind and keep her onboard. But be careful. There’s a fine line between a happy, productive employee and resentful, conflicted prisoner trapped in golden handcuffs. Ask a few tactful questions, then act accordingly.

First, find out why she’s leaving. And listen to her tone, not just her words. If her answer is abbreviated and dismissive, you’re odds of keeping her are slim. A strong personal component, like a family obligation, may also elicit a clipped and determined explanation. But if there’s any chance that she hasn’t fully made up her mind, her answer will be longer and more detailed, and may even sound open-ended, as if she’s not making a declaration but asking for advice.

If another local company is luring her away with a higher offer, ask her to give you twenty four hours to counter it. Then work with your accounting and HR departments to see what you can come up with. But you’ll be lucky if her decision is only about money. More likely, many factors will be involved, including her long term career goals and how they may conflict with the opportunities she’s finding here. She may also be unhappy with some aspect of this job in ways that she’s kept hidden or handled on her own until now.

If she’s dissatisfied for one simple reason, pounce on the problem, and do it today. If her relationship with her manager isn’t working out, for example, take decisive action to open communication channels and resolve the issue. If she has commuting difficulties or workplace access problems, don’t just wave goodbye. If you do, you may be letting a simple obstacle take away one of your most valuable company assets. Is she struggling with housing, childcare, or a health issue? Test the limits of your creative problem solving skills and find a way to restructure her benefits and perks to bring her back on board.

Just don’t make promises you can’t keep. In your rush to secure this employee, consider all long-term costs, and don’t set her—or yourself—up for a future of resentment and compromise. If worse comes to worse, just have faith in your staffing strategy and remember that whatever you did to find her, you can probably do again.
Before you put together a last minute deal to keep a valuable employee on your team, contact the NC staffing experts at PSU. We can help you limit potential mistakes as you move forward.

Are Phone Interviews the Best Option For Narrowing Down Candidates?

September 14th, 2012

A meticulous candidate search can reduce hiring risk and yield great rewards, especially over the long term. But no staffing strategy is 100 percent perfect, and while screening with a fine tooth comb can produce excellent employees, it can also require considerable time and financial investment. You can cull a stack of resumes down to the top twenty candidates, and then call each of the twenty in for a full interview, which may require transportation costs and necessitate pulling interviewers off the floor for hours at a time. Or, you can make use of an inexpensive tool that’s already in place: the phone.

Phone Interviews: Making the Most of a Simple and Powerful Communication Tool

Phone screenings require little more than about fifteen minutes per candidate, and can be conducted with no transportation or overhead costs. Dozens or hundreds of candidates can be screened in an hour (depending on how many screeners are involved), and the process can be standardized and streamlined for efficiency and fairness. Just make sure each call follows the same format, and that phone interview questions are tightly focused on the needs of the position.

Have your screeners listen for clear red flags and yes or no answers to simple questions, such as the following:

1. Do you have a BS degree in computer science or a related field?
2. Are you interested in a job that will require you to travel at least 50 percent of the time?
3. Are you willing to be on call at night and during the weekends?
4. Have you ever managed a staff of at least five people?

Potential Pitfalls of the Phone Interview

Be aware that a phone screening and a true interview are separate endeavors with separate goals. While a real interview allows a hiring manger to assess a candidate’s personality, character, deep background, and cultural aptitude, a phone call offers a very limited window into these areas. The phone screening should not be used for final round hiring or real skill assessment. Among its limits, the phone can reveal false signs of promise and can also allow great candidates to slip away.

Instead, use the phone simply to refine a huge population of candidates into a narrow and manageable pool. Filter out those who are not interested in the challenges of the job, hold less than the minimum qualifications, or have no plans to accept the position if it’s offered. Keep things simple and don’t allow your phone screeners to make assumptions or overreach.

If you need specific guidance while developing your phone screening questions and protocols, contact the NC staffing experts at PSU. Put our experience to the test and make sure you get the most out of your screening and interview strategies.


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