While nearly all (98%) Northeast Ohio organizations conduct interviews as a means of evaluating job candidates for both exempt and non-exempt positions, data from the 2015 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey reveals interesting differences among those that utilize other methods of selection.
Differences in selection methods for exempt and non-exempt positions
Drug testing, physical exams, and employment knowledge or ability tests are performed more often for candidates applying for non-exempt positions. On the other hand, more employers use reference checks and pre-screening phone interviews for exempt positions. In addition, compared to non-exempt positions, ERC’s research found that 25% more organizations invite candidates applying for exempt positions back for a second interview.
Using a select variety of valid assessment tools such as those mentioned above is important for hiring the best of the best. Considering that the current biggest challenge for local organizations is finding and hiring top talent, you might be wondering why there is a lack of consistency in the methods of evaluation for the two types of employee groups.
Why aren’t candidates being evaluated on the same scale?
Recruiting the most qualified candidates should be the focus of all organizations, whether the available job is exempt or non-exempt in nature.
This begs the question: why aren’t non-exempt employees being evaluated on the same scale? Some might argue that hiring an hourly worker should require less effort due to the high voluntary turnover rate common amongst such positions.
Here’s the twist: is it possible that employees are leaving so often because they weren’t the right individuals for the job in the first place? If the common goal truly is to find the best person for the job, organizations may want to think twice about simply hiring a warm body to fill a vacant position. By having a more reckless hiring protocol for non-exempt employees, organizations could be setting themselves up for disappointment in the future.
Of course, hiring the most qualified people requires a pool of qualified candidates. So first things first—it’s time to evaluate the effectiveness of your recruitment strategy.
Take an introspective glance at the message your organization might be sending to prospective employees by considering the following:
- Are your job postings accurately and clearly reflecting your organization’s brand?
- Have you identified the necessary core qualifications and characteristics that would make an individual successful in the role?
- Do you treat applicants with courtesy and respect to ensure a positive candidate experience?
- To what degree do you utilize social media in order to reach a wider expanse of the talent pool?
- Do you communicate with your applicants throughout the recruitment process in order to keep them in the loop?
- Does your organizational culture make this a workplace of which people are (and would be) proud to be a part?
Once you have a grasp of what it takes to attract the most qualified applicants, you are more likely to set your organization up for success in your hiring efforts. When the well-being of your organization is your passion, you have the right to be picky (as long as you are in compliance with EEOC laws). There may never be a truly perfect candidate, but there will surely be plenty of great ones.
The true cost: Hiring an average employee over the best employee
What is the cost of hiring an average employee over the best employee? The notion that the evaluation process for hourly work doesn’t need the same rigor as for salaried positions can prove to be a very expensive assumption.
An article from Monster.com points out that poor employment of non-exempt workers “can come at a huge cost: hourly workers who commit many errors, offend customers and ultimately leave you at a competitive disadvantage.”
The Center for American Progress found the cost of turnover for employees making less than $30,000 a year (such as hourly retail workers) to be 16% of an employee’s annual salary. If losing between $3,000 and $5,000 for one poor hire is not a concern for your organization, consider the sheer numbers. In 2014, hourly workers made up 58.7% of all salary and wage employees. When one mediocre hire turns into thousands, such a base doesn’t elevate your organization in the presence of competition.
If this helps to put things into perspective, hopefully the consistent use of reliable hiring metrics and a standard of excellence for all your future hires seem more worthwhile. Being “lax” in your hiring methods for non-exempt work sets your organization up for collapse in the future; requiring high standards across the board ensures a solid foundation upon which your organization can grow. After all, who wants to strive for mediocrity?
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