Telling the truth about SME life today

Discovering the DNA of hiring and retaining the best talent

Around 40 per cent of new employees leave their respective companies within a year according to research, typically because they did not meet expectations, or the role failed to match what was pitched to them at the outset. Given that such high levels of staff churn are both expensive and resource-intensive, companies can ill afford to accept it. With this in mind, bosses are turning their attentions to lengthening the employee life cycle. While improved job satisfaction is often synonymous with extended employee life cycles, achieving this involves a co-ordinated strategy focused on the provision of growth opportunities, personal development and upward mobility.

Behavioural science is a relatively new discipline which represents a more robust and diligent bridge between the employees’ and the organisations needs. A short definition of behavioural science is the compilation of on-the-job core behaviours for a specific position which are then used to recruit, select, onboard, and develop hires in those target positions.

Through behavioural science, job seekers are able to capitalise on career development and increased job satisfaction by scientifically being matched to the right job and being developed to their full potential. When behavioural science is aligned with the employee life cycle, it supports an employee experience to maximise satisfaction and growth.

Best fit

The seeds of success are planted at the beginning of the employee life cycle. Achieving a good fit for a role is the first key to the puzzle. Some organisations focus only on fit in terms of skills or CV keywords, but those facts only tell a small part of the story. They do not provide deep insight into longevity, culture fit, or productivity potential. The secret ingredient is behavioural fit, which captures the things managers can’t see on paper. Through the latest technology, organisations are able to compare an individuals behavioural preferences to a behavioural benchmark.

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The individuals behavioural preferences are based on actual performance data, and the behavioural benchmark is based on skills statistically proven to represent success on the job. Statistically, the closer the match to the behavioural pattern, the higher probability a person has to achieving success based on actual performance related to the job.

This process can be scaled to the employers needs and ensure that all levels of positions are filled with top-quality hires, while maximising the employees contribution and satisfaction in the organisation.

Finding the best fit can pay off in financial savings and earnings as well. For example, a well-known restaurant chain deployed a behavioural science solution to select new employees using a behavioural benchmark built on successful incumbents. After tracking more than 2,200 waiting staff and the tips they received, new hires that were named best fit by the behavioural science tool surpassed the established tip goal 43.6 per cent more often than candidates that were hired despite being deemed a poor fit by the behavioural tool. In this case, better fit to the job directly improved job satisfaction and performance, even to the extent of the top waiting staff receiving higher tips from restaurant patrons.

Post-hire applications

Because employee behavioural preferences have already been captured in the selection process, the organisation is able to leverage that data throughout the employee life cycle, beginning with the onboarding process. Once the employee is matched to a position based on best fit, valuable information is available to the manager or management team. This includes preferred learning style, communication style, and other unique insights that support strong communication.

This way, relationships are built from the ground up with a solid foundation. It is important to recognise that the first 90 days are crucial to success in the employee life cycle. In fact, in many organisations, the highest levels of attrition are linked back to the first 90 days. In a recent study of 44,482 associates, more than 45 per cent of terms occurred in the first 90 days. By leveraging behavioural science, managers and employees are able to better understand and communicate with each other.

Read more about coaching and developing employees through the use of behavioural science.


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