When it comes to employee retention, there’s no such thing as “too much.”

Successful companies can avoid the costs and challenges of unanticipated attrition by carefully examining their company culture, observing what makes employees want to stay and leave, and promoting the drivers that keep employees happy and committed to their job and the company.


But in the effort to improve retention, experts are now looking past present employees and turning their attention to the hiring process. Forbes recently publish a story about seven ways to improve retention, and chief among those was being selective with candidates during the hiring process.

The Wall Street Journal encouraged the same practice, writing that the hiring process is the “single best way to reduce employee turnover,” and that companies should “interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers and co-workers.”

3 Ways Selective Hiring Can Help You Improve Employee Retention

What are some ways to help optimize your hiring process to focus on improving retention? Here are some top tips from FurstPerson on how to meet that goal.

#1 Leverage Interview Questions

Make sure the best candidates are given a chance to separate themselves from the rest by using unique, investigative interview questions. These questions can target certain personality traits, or examine the candidate’s likes and dislikes to see how they compare to the job or company culture. Having a good understanding of company culture and bringing talent in that aligns with that is key to retention, and if you understand that culture you can ask interview questions that help promote it.

You can also take advantage of less common interview questions to learn more about the candidate, which will provide insights on a candidate that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Using the interview process can help weed out early candidates who won’t be a good fit, while also focusing on what areas are critical to retention in your organization. 

#2 Use Assessments

Assessments can vastly improve insights on a candidate by providing statistics and analytics on a number of different traits, including personality, skill sets, and the ability a candidate has to perform a job. Through the use of assessments, a candidate can demonstrate their ability to do the job they’re applying for through job simulations, provide a look into who they are by taking personality tests, and answer questions that target specific skill sets that are critical to the success of the job.

All this is able to provide statistics to the hiring team that enable them to make a better informed decision about whether or not to move forward with a candidate, while giving them qualitative data to back that decision up. The added benefit of using assessments is that the candidate gets to evaluate the job they’ll be doing as well – so when the candidate takes a job simulation assessment they can see if that’s a job they’d like to do day in and day out. If the job doesn’t fit for them they can withdraw from the hiring process, thereby reducing early stage attrition while making the hiring process naturally more selective.

#3 Take Advantage of Data

The use of data in the hiring process – whether it be predictive analytics, big data, or something else – has become one of the fastest growing trends in talent acquisition, and with good reason. The use of data to make informed decisions about who to hire and who not to hire has unlimited benefits, from having qualitative information that better informs the hiring team, reducing compliance concerns, to avoiding less-qualified candidates who may interview better than they perform the job.

There are plenty of challenges still associated with the use of data in the hiring process, and many companies are still learning how to take advantage of these metrics, but beginning to use data in your hiring process not only makes the process more selective, it also creates better informed decisions and can help improve retention.

Employee retention is crucial – from the ability to drive revenue, to reducing the cost of having to replace employees due to attrition. To learn more about the cost of attrition in your organization, download the interactive Cost of Attrition Worksheet below.