Retention is directly related to new employees having a clear understanding of the position upon hiring. Candidates who ultimately succeed can hit the ground running because they are doing exactly the job they thought they were going to within the environment they expected.

Conversely, those who experience a significant disconnect start off behind the curve and can have a hard time getting in sync with the leadership and their team. This problem can be minimized by incorporating a better way to explain the job to candidates.

Best Practices

Start by having the tough, honest conversations up front. Whether the competition is fierce, or we have multiple choices, it is always good to honestly explain priorities, culture and benefits.

Many of us even make the effort to connect the salary of the position to the level of work and the experience variance of the expected candidates; in addition to that, we should also discuss the typical raise process and promotion schedule

For example, explain the range for the position and the skills and experiences required generally expected for each step. And for those advanced practitioners who have a hiring range that is not the same as the full range, explain that to the candidate so they can plan ahead.

Having this conversation up front changes the dynamic of the interview process. Salary, often the most important to both sides, is addressed and any misconceptions or expectations can be dealt with immediately.

Types of Work

With an understanding of the culture, salary and literal interpretation of the job description, it is helpful to discuss the practical application of the job duties by describing the three major types of work and how these play out in this role. Specifically: desk work, thinking time and meeting commitments.

Whether by a simple pie chart or a discussion of percentages, it is extremely illustrative to be able to explain the quantity and quality of each type of work. Doing so not only provides a clear picture of how the employee will spend his days and weeks, it also helps him understand how the organization’s priorities and culture look on a daily basis.

For example, while the basic discussion for a project manager position may sound the same, after explaining the salary and potential growth of the position, the candidate has a clearer picture of the long-term potential.

If we add to that clarity an explanation of how much time the candidate will spend in meetings per week, the picture becomes more vivid. Paint on the details of how often similar employees sit at their desks to work and the frequency with which they are free to think about their work in a manner that affords the opportunity for creative problem solving or out of the box thinking and the candidate will really know what it is going to be like to work within the organization.

The bottom line is, you need to stop trying to sell candidates on how great the organization is. Instead, explain the good, bad and ugly, clearly upfront.

Doing so will help ensure everyone is on the same page when the candidate joins the team which will result in good morale, strong culture and better retention.