Effective Hiring Critical in Reducing Turnover


Anthony Casablanca, VP of Operations for the Batesville Casket Company and Hillenbrand, Inc., recently penned an incredibly useful column for BizVoice regarding his approach to filling positions. (Casablanca was named as the 2009 Ogletree Deakins/HR Dimensions HR Professional of the Year):

The candidate has been selected to come in for a face-to-face interview. Depending on the role, this is a one- to two-day process that includes a plant tour, customer business center tour, between two to six hours of interview time with both the hiring manager and the HR department lead, as well as several one-hour sessions with other members of the interview team (normally people who will interact with the person in this position).

During this phase, everyone has an assignment. The people conducting the tours are “soft selling” the company and helping us gauge how the candidate conducts himself or herself in a non-interview setting. You would be amazed at some of the feedback we get. The six-hour interview with the hiring manager and HR lead is conducted in a very structured way, although it is very conversational. We are looking for behavioral patterns, starting with high school and progressing through the candidate’s most recent roles.

This culminates in a detailed interview report (generally between four to eight pages long). The report is written by the hiring manager, who is expected to provide a summary of the candidate’s personal life and work history, and describes the candidate’s behavioral patterns – both strengths and weaknesses. They are also required to make a call on the candidate’s talent level, fit for the role and potential next roles. If we cannot see candidates moving to that next role, we will more often than not pass on hiring them.

How do we know this works? Our human resources team has developed metrics around our success rate of hiring “A” level talent. The HR team goes back to the hiring manager after six months and asks if the new hire is performing well, and if he or she is still considered an “A” talent. This is repeated at one year. Currently we get it right about 70% of the time.

For more on this topic, you can consult our ePub, The Interviewing Guide – 2nd Edition. Authored by attorneys from Ogletree Deakins, this online guide is now available for just $49. The book is also available in our Hiring & Firing/Leave Issues Package.

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