Recent research on employee turnover has identified a number of inexpensive practices that any employer can use to promote employee retention. In this blog entry we address one of these practices: realistic job previews.
Realistic Job Previews
Realistic job previews (RJP) are designed to give the job applicant much more information about the job than is usually provided in a typical two or three paragraph job description. The purpose of the RJP is to give the candidate as much information about the job as possible so that they can make an informed decision about their own suitability for the job. In order for the RJP to be successful, it must objectively outline not only the positive aspects of the job but also the potentially negative or unique aspects of the job as well.
Things you can do to give applicants an RJP and reduce turnover:
- Create a PowerPoint presentation that shows pictures of employees performing the job
- Make a short homemade video showing employees performing the job
- Testimonials from current employees about the more difficult aspects of the job
- For online applicants, record a brief message that can be played or create a visually appealing table outlining the different aspects of the job
- Short job simulations (assembly/factory work)
Information from your exit interviews with departing employees can also be very helpful in deciding what to include in your realistic job preview. Departing employees are likely to have a wealth of information about their jobs and are more apt to share their opinions about the less than favorable aspects as well.
We have found realistic job previews to be particularly helpful in helping job candidates focus on the less desirable aspects of the job, e.g., telephone contacts with unhappy customers, frequent travel demands, on call status, working a graveyard shift, performing work that is physically demanding, working weekends, repetitive work that can be boring, etc. Knowing this beforehand can help candidates make informed decisions.
Using these quick and easy approaches to creating RJPs can save your organization time, money, and resources in the long-run due to reduced costs associated with turnover (e.g., training, recruitment, selection, overtime for employees that are filling the cracks, lost productivity, etc.).
How many employees in your organization have left or been transferred because their job was not what they thought it would be?