Usually, you’re excited and happy to offer someone the job. But sometimes, you’re in such a hiring rush that you make an offer to a less-than-perfect applicant.
Unfortunately, hasty hiring decisions can harm morale, culture, and your business's bottom line. So, how can you meet recruiting needs without sacrificing applicant quality? Defining your applicant standards before beginning the hiring process is a great place to start.
Why are applicant standards necessary?
Why are companies so determined to develop better hiring practices? The alternative is just too expensive. Creating applicant standards can help you easily avoid making bad hires and set your company up for success in the long run.
Hiring has the potential to be a long-term issue or solution
Getting the right person in the right seat is essential. A bad hire can cost an organization up to 30% of an employee’s first-year earnings.
According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for leisure and hospitality workers is $21.07. This means that those employees make around $43,825 a year. Replacing a worker like that would cost a company $13,147, not to mention the cost of the new employee's salary.
Retention is critical to long-term hiring success
We know retention can greatly impact your company's bottom line. When you retain people longer, you spend less on hiring, and your customers are better cared for.
Top franchises use many strategies to retain their hourly workers. From providing significant benefits to listening to team members, increasing retention is vital for every company. For example, Shake Shack focuses on sharing common values with their employees, starting with making the right hires.
Hiring the wrong person can impact everyone
Organizational morale is important. Working a shift with someone who is a bad fit for the organization can be a bad experience for even the best employee.
According to Gallup, disengagement is having a massive impact on company culture. A whopping 18% of employees are actively disengaged, with only 32% engaged. These numbers have made drastic shifts in the last few years.
Companies need to hire the right people and meet their expectations to improve the workplace for every employee.
How to create your company’s applicant standards
Once you’re ready to set your company's applicant standards, how do you go about it? Here are the steps you should take to decide who fits your company's culture.
1. Define your non-negotiables for the entire company
Every company has non-negotiables. These guiding lights help us make the best decisions and create confidence.
When creating applicant non-negotiables, think about the things you can't teach. Non-negotiables for the entire company are typically soft skills. For example, you may want your employees to be respectful or have ambition.
2. Define non-negotiables by department/role
After considering the standards that will apply to every worker, it’s time to define what attributes are critical to what roles.
Department and role-level standards are where the majority of applicant standards come from. Ask yourself what qualities are absolutely necessary to succeed in every position you’re hiring for. If, at minimum, an applicant meets these standards, you should consider them a good hire.
3. Make setting standards a group activity
Depending on the size of your organization, setting applicant standards might be a corporate responsibility or be left to individual business locations. Regardless of where the decision lies, make sure to solicit opinions from team members across different levels of the business.
Hear from other HR and recruiting team leaders, general managers, and existing workers. They know best what it takes to succeed on the job (and have probably seen enough bad hires to know what warning signs to steer clear of).
4. Create a rubric
Once you have a system, write it down! Systems only work if they are readily available and easy to use. Rubrics will make hiring fair while creating an easy process for recruiters and hiring managers.
Once you have a rubric, make it a part of the hiring process. It’s easy for frameworks to sit on a shelf, but checking applicants against your rubric should be a built-in step in your hiring checklist.
5. List standards in your job descriptions
Are you judging applicants based on standards they don’t know about? While it might be interesting to get an unfiltered view of each potential worker, that doesn’t set them or you up for success.
The job description is the perfect place to let applicants know what you’re looking for and what matters to your business. Consider how you format your description and highlight your non-negotiables using bullet points or a bolded font. Also, list your non-negotiables first or in their own section so everyone is on the same page.
6. Revisit your standards regularly
Marshall Goldsmith wrote a famous book about success titled, “What Got You Here Won't Get You There." This title alone is helpful to remember when considering applicant standards for your business. As your team grows, you might be looking for a slightly different applicant. Your criteria need to be fluid and evolve with your business.
If you are in hypergrowth mode, you may need to revisit your standards 2-4 times a year. For most companies, reviewing your standards annually will work well.
It’s not too late to set applicant standards
Whether you’re a new business or you've been around for decades, it's not too late to buckle down and create applicant standards. Understanding the difference between good and bad hires can help you build a great workplace.
Start by defining which traits or competencies are truly non-negotiable. From there, you can make these standards actionable by creating a rubric to judge potential employees. Last, it's important to revisit your applicant standards regularly to ensure they still work for your company.
Workstream is a hiring platform that helps employers get 4x the number of qualified applicants. The world's most trusted brands use Workstream to optimize job board postings, automate screening and interview scheduling, communicate via text message, and streamline the onboarding/training process. See what all the buzz is about by scheduling a demo or email us email@example.com!