If you have read my Linkedin profile, you already know that I spent the early days of my career working at a call centre as a Recruitment Manager.

I was brought in to develop a hiring strategy to tackle their whopping 184% annual turnover rate. We had to hire 25+ employees a week just to maintain their staff base, which equated to 1,300 hires each year.

While this may sound extreme and specific to that industry, the reality is that 1/3 employees will not survive their first 6 months. Studies show that of those who resign, the number one reason was that the role or company did not meet their expectations.

The most common reason employers terminated a staff member was abased round “fit” — either performance or cultural fit. Time after time, those reporting higher rates did not have a formal hiring strategy or onboarding process, and often no employment contract or offer letter.

Here are the steps you should take:


To find the right talent, make sure you are looking in the right places. Every industry and job type is different, so do your research. Where do your ideal candidates spend their time? It may make sense to search online, use social media, or even attend networking events.

It’s also great if you can get some referrals, but still conduct your due diligence. I have seen countless situations where a relative or “friend of a friend” has been hired solely based on a personal referral. The reality here is that most friends and family members have no clue how a person will perform in a work environment, or if they are truly a good fit for the opening. They know that this candidate is a good person, and this can make for some difficult decisions down the road.


So how do you get to know someone and their skill set? It takes time!

You will often hear people say, “hire slowly, fire quickly” and it is SO true.

Here are some important steps to take during the screening process:

  • Conduct multiple interviews, meetings, and discussions in different locations with different people. Include future team members and internal customers
  • Ask for work samples, or give them a homework assignment to demonstrate their abilities
  • The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, so actually check their references — just asking for them is not enough!
  • Conduct a Behavioural Assessment (I use The Predictive Index) to confirm job/team match. I always recommend to my clients that they focus on job/team/company fit during this process. If you have that, the other skills can be developed through training and coaching.

Check out this Free Hiring Toolkit for more tools used during the screening process.


The offer process should outline the expectations of both parties.

Be sure to put it in writing, because without a formal contract or offer letter, you run the risk of expectations not being met, as well as increased liability if the employee leaves. Also be prepared for salary negotiation, and decide in advance how high you are willing to go.

You can find more information on the benefits of creating an Employment Contract here. (*link to blog: Does your Business Have an Employment Contract? It Should.)


Now that you have hired, what’s next?

An onboarding process maps out their first days, weeks, and even months to ensure each employee is set up for success. Without a formal process in place, you risk having new employees who are without the adequate support they require to become successful in their roles.

 Your process should include:

  • Company integration
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Logistics
  • Training, coaching, and mentoring
  • Ongoing communication


Check out If you Don’t Onboard, You will Offboard for more information on building an onboarding program.

Follow these steps, and you will significantly increase your hiring success while decreasing your turnover!

Sarah Mullins is the founder of uptreeHR, a Halifax based human resource consulting firm that is passionate about helping business owners manage their people, set clear expectations, and increase performance. We truly believe you can treat your employees well, create an amazing culture, and not break the bank.

To book a complimentary 30 minute consult with Sarah, click here.

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