I was recently discussing with a General Manager the unprecedented success the sales team was experiencing, having made 24 revenue budgets in a row. Spectacular results under normal circumstances, but even more so with a turbulent economy. While there isn’t just one reason for this success, it wasn’t lost on me that they had retained all of their talented salespeople over that same period. More than ever, it drove home the point that retention is a critical component in achieving sales goals.
While there are many strategies for retaining your talented people, it all begins with making sure you are hiring the right people in the first place. This is where a Realistic Job Preview (RJP) can play a big part in helping you and your candidate figure out if the job is a good fit. When you hire someone that not only has the right talents, but also the right fit for your company, you increase the likelihood of retaining that person and lowering your turnover costs. (Curious about what the turnover costs are for you, specifically, for just one position? Click here for a Turnover Cost Calculator.)
What is a RJP? A RJP is usually a brief video or PowerPoint presentation that gives a candidate a feel for what it’s like to work at your company, by presenting a balanced overview of the position. It communicates the responsibilities, challenges, expectations and rewards of the job.
Why do a RJP? Research has shown that having candidates experience a RJP increases retention by as much as 10%. Some experts estimate that RJPs screen out between 15% and 36% of applicants*. Wouldn’t you rather people decide the job isn’t right fit for them BEFORE they go through the job interview process with you?
How the RJP benefits you, the manager. Just as we continually reiterate to salespeople that they must “manage” clients’ expectations, an RJP helps you “manage” a potential new employee’s expectations.
- Because the RJP gives candidates a specific, realistic picture of the job and the company, they know better what to expect, and if hired, they don’t experience “buyer’s remorse” after they start.
- Another way in which RJPs can reduce turnover is that employees who are made aware of the challenges of the job in advance, are better able to cope with them when they arise, and less likely to leave.
- RJPs also communicate an “air of honesty” to applicants. New employees tend to be more committed to their job because they feel the company represented itself honestly.
Different types of RJPs. A RJP can be done as a brochure, or orally presented in an initial interview, or even a detailed email. However, I think the most effective ones are those that are short videos or PowerPoint type presentations. You want the RJP to help a candidate “visualize” what your company’s environment, values, culture, and employees are like, in addition to giving the balanced overview of the specific position. An RJP is NOT a branding or marketing piece.
How to do a RJP. You can be as creative or straightforward as you want to be. The most important component is that it is BALANCED. It needs to convey both the ups and the downs. Be realistic. Consider some of these options:
- A video where several of your salespeople talk about their job; what they like about it, its challenges and rewards, what it’s like working for you and your management style, and what they like about the company.
- A “Day In The Life” video that shows the candidate an average day on the job with one of your salespeople.
- A “Meet The Team” video that enables the candidates to see and hear from their potential co-workers. It can also include a tour of your offices and “introductions” to other key department heads.
- A PowerPoint presentation that uses photographs or video clips along with an audio narration – highlighting key information about the job, your culture, and your company.
* Research studies can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realistic_job_preview
Here’s an interesting infographic on the costs of turnover…