businessman wearing a helmet and sitting in a construction siteHiring for a high-turnover industry is no picnic. In fact, it probably feels like you’re always in the process of recruiting. Fields from hospitality and retail to customer service and call centers suffer from high turnover, with great talent often leaving shortly after you’ve filled an open seat.

According to a survey by FurstPerson, the average turnover in a call center is about 40 to 50 percent. A 2011 survey by Hay Group found retail turnover to average about 67 percent for part-time employees, while 50 percent is the turnover rate for non-management hospitality employees.

These are startling numbers, so it’s no wonder filling a high-turnover position can be a nightmare. For recruiters, staffing pros, and hiring managers it can feel like a never-ending battle, with talent leaving the position or company as soon as you get new hires in the door. While there’s no way to prevent turnover entirely (if only!), it is possible to cut down on your losses by hiring employees who fit.

Here are just a few ways to make your life easier when hiring for high turnover industries:

Use Social Media To Build Up A Talent Pipeline

The Society of Human Resource Management tells us the average time-to-hire is between 29 and 43 days. With high employee turnover, you certainly can’t afford to wait over a month to find your next superstar hire. Thankfully, social media is here to the rescue.

Currently, 94 percent of recruiters are using social media, and it’s not hard to see why. With social media, you can find out more information about a candidate and connect with him or her on a personal level before ever picking up the phone. Social media is an especially useful tool for building up an all-star roster of talent for your pipeline.

Since you know your industry has a high turnover rate, don’t stop recruiting after you’ve filled a specific position. You can connect with great talent in Twitter chats, on LinkedIn discussion groups, and through top-notch thought leadership blogs. Connect with these talented candidates and keep tabs, so you’ll have someone great in mind the next time a position opens up that you need to fill.

Evaluate Candidates Faster

Another way to cut down the troublesome time-to-hire is to find new tech tools to evaluate a high volume of candidates. For instance, using one-way video interviews, you can cut out the time-consuming phone screen and connect personally with only the best candidates.

In the one-way video interview, candidates answer an employer’s written questions on video. These video interview answers can then be viewed at any time, making it a snap to screen a large volume of candidates with relative quickness. Unlike a traditional phone screen, which traps you on the phone for a half hour or more, you can bypass a candidate if they’re all wrong for the position after a few seconds.

In fact, research from the Aberdeen Group has shown you can evaluate 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform only a single phone screen. This allows you to focus your time and energy on the candidates who will make good hires, instead of wasting time on the wrong people.

Connect Personally For Talent Willing To Stick Around

Cutting down on time-to-hire is great, but it doesn’t strike at the root of the turnover problem. To do that, you need to find candidates who fit the company and position like a glove. By using social media and video interviews in the preliminary steps of the recruiting process, you’ve ensured the people who make it to the interview stage are more likely to add real value to the company.

In the interview, ensure the candidate’s career goals match up with the position. For example, if you’re hiring a call center worker, you should look for someone with career aspirations in sales, customer service, or leadership. These candidates will be able to further develop their skills in the position, meaning they’ll find actual value in the call center job.

Don’t recruit using a “warm body” approach, even if you’re hiring for a high turnover industry. New technology is making it easier than ever before to isolate great people, connect personally, and find the best fitting talent. The reward will be hires more likely to stick around and add value to your company.

What are some of your tips for hiring in high-turnover industries? Share in the comments!

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