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How Structured Hiring Can Address the Great Resignation

In March 2022, 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

That volume of workers voluntarily separating from jobs was a 13-month high. It represents a churn rate of 3 percent rate of employees who choose to contribute to the Great Resignation.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector is one of the most volatile, according to the BLS statistics. Retail trades alone accounted for 931,000 quits for the month.

Why is the Great Resignation persisting and what can organizations do to stem the tide of people voluntarily leaving their jobs? 

Core Causes of the Great Resignation

It’s important to consider the root causes of job departures during the Great Resignation. When considering these factors, employers also need to dig deeply to assess whether the issues preceded the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In some cases, the issues were there well before the pandemic; in others, the pandemic provided the final push that has led millions to reassess what they do and for whom.

Let’s take a look, for example, at age. A Harvard Business Review study showed that resignation rates were greatest among employees between the ages of 30 and 45. The rate of resignation increased more than 20 percent between 2020 and 2021.

Why? The researchers postulate that one reason has to do with employers themselves. The growth of remote work, the researchers surmise, may have made employers skittish to hire younger employees. The lack of in-person guidance and training of younger employees may have pushed employees to look for mid-career professionals instead.

These slightly older employees are a bit more seasoned and do not require as much guidance to hit the job running. As a consequence, there is more demand for those mid-level employees, giving them greater leverage to explore new positions.

The pandemic’s uncertainty, coupled with financial volatility, may also have caused mid-level employees to avoid a job change. What’s happening now could be the result of pent-up desire to change that is not fully realizing itself.

Structured Hiring as a Solution

To address the melt of employees across the country, new hiring approaches are necessary. The need is especially clear in areas like retail where the losses are mounting daily.

Structured hiring is a solution designed to address some of the issues at the core. By focusing on the hiring process from a holistic vantage, companies can identify employees who are more likely to last. 

Structured hiring begins with the process of role definition and continues until a hiring decision is made. It’s rooted in three core tenets:

  1. The job’s business objectives define the characteristics of an ideal candidate
  2. Employers use a deliberate process and rubric to assess candidates
  3. Data and evidence drive hiring decisions

There are two decided advantages to using structured hiring in your organization.

The first is better hiring outcomes. Too much of hiring processes today is performative. It comes down to who performs best in an interview, what questions are asked and how the answers to those questions are evaluated.

If there is no consistency to the questions asked and no uniformity to how answers are gauged, the process is inherently flawed. It will end up coming down to likability and who is “a good fit.”

Structured hiring takes a far more deliberate approach. Using structured interviews, for example, questions are asked consistently, allowing for similarly consistent candidate evaluations.

A structured approach also provides for better hiring experiences for all involved. Experience matters greatly, even for candidates who are not hired. By providing a fair, consistent and thorough hiring process, your organization will improve its employer reputation.

If candidates feel they are treated fairly and with honesty, they’ll come away with a good feeling about your business. Recruiters who know where candidates stand and where the process is will also feel better about working with you.

Interviewers and hiring managers will have a clear sense as to the timeline, decision-making processes and final outcomes.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Structured Hiring

Structured hiring is a 6-step process. Here is a closer look at each phase.

  1. Role Kick-Off

The kick-off meeting is essential. It helps set the parameters for the job and the characteristics needed in a successful candidate. The meeting should be used to address three goals:

  • Alignment of the job’s business objectives
  • Definition of the skills, traits and qualifications for success
  • Roles and responsibilities of the search

A word about the last goal. This step is critical and is where recruiters define the process that will be used. The recruiter needs to know what kinds of candidates to send to a hiring manager, who will act as the subject matter expert for the role. 

The recruiter will build the rubric and scorecard, structure interviews, draft interview questions and suggest an outreach list. The hiring manager will provide feedback on drafts and profiles and write technical pieces, such as tests and other evaluative tools.

  1. Scorecard Definition

The scorecard defines the desired skills, traits and qualifications for candidates. It should include clear needs for the position and be exhaustive. The traits identified should not overlap and the scorecard should provide a complete picture of the ideal candidate, 

  1. Interview Planning

Interview planning helps find the right candidates with relevant experience and skills. It should measure all candidates around the same framework and help reveal what candidates stand out.

  1. Interview Kit Creation

What questions are you going to ask? The interview kit will contain all the questions to be asked. It also keeps the interviews consistent across candidates. Doing so gives you data that is unified across the interviewees to make a balanced decision.

Some questions are for verification purposes, e.g., “Do you have experience in …”. Others are behavioral or situational, asking for past examples of how a candidate handled a situation or how they would approach something at the job.

  1. Sourcing and Interviewing

This area focuses on where you will place ads, push the posting or ask for help from external recruiters or employees. It’s important to articulate this approach up-front and create a timeline that incorporates all of the various stages of sourcing and interviewing.

  1. Round-Up

Once all the interviews have been completed, it’s time to gather the data and work in tandem with all key parties to come to a decision. A round-up meeting is where you can discuss finalists. It’s here you’ll determine to whom to make an offer, actions required to make an offer and how to facilitate a timely hire.

The structured hiring process is a deliberate, strategic and transparent process. It will result in stronger hires and satisfied participants. 

Mike Cioffi

Mike Cioffi

CEO & Founder | Tire Business Author

Being apart of the Tire industry since the start of his career, Mike Cioffi manages a recruitment team in the industry. With years of knowledge from business operations, recruiting, and running a business himself, Mike Cioffi writes in-depth content often seen on Crain Communications publications specific to the needs of the industry.


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