New year, new job.
January is the most popular month for employees to look for new opportunities. But that doesn’t have to mean starting the year with an epidemic of departures.
People leave their jobs for all sorts of reasons.
Any thriving business will want to see a healthy level of turnover in its staff. But what if your people are leaving simply because their colleagues are leaving?
We call this the Turnover Contagion Effect (TCE) and it’s something that every business should care about.
You may have experienced Turnover Contagion yourself. It’s that growing sense that “everyone” in your team is job hunting, and it’s been around for as long as people have worked together.
Your colleagues may not have told you directly that they’re searching. But when there’s a sudden spate of funerals, urgent repair visits or caring for holidaying parents’ goats (all true stories) you may get a sense that something’s up.
Then there are the colleagues who are cagey about letting you see their screens. And of course the ones who quite blatantly tell the rest of the team that it’s only a matter of time before they leave.
However confident and secure you may feel in your role and the organisation, it’s only natural to begin to question your position.
Have your colleagues spotted some major flaw in the business that you’ve overlooked? Do they know something you don’t? Should you put some feelers out there, just in case?
But if you’re observing that disintegrating team from the Human Resources department, you’re probably asking rather different questions.
How did TCE start? Can you stop it spreading further? And how can you prevent it from happening in the first place?
Turnover contagion stems from co-workers sharing how they’re feeling and how they’re valued at work. When it’s positive it contributes to more productive working environments and more engaged workers. But when workers are looking around it breeds unrest – it becomes contagious. And once TCE starts it can be hard to stop.
And it seems to be getting worse nowadays, for a variety of reasons;
Add these together and you may also experience a fifth factor.
When your business starts to suffer from TCE you might think there’s an upside. A long-awaited clear out of rotten wood. A way to make savings on employee costs. A chance for re-organising a dysfunctional department. And yes, all those can be somewhat true.
But whenever you lose a team member there are costs, apart from the obvious ones of losing their production and having to recruit and train a replacement. And these costs far outweigh the benefits.
And as you lose more and more from a team you also risk the engagement and morale of all of their former colleagues. In fact, that’s the greatest risk of the Turnover Contagion Effect – that it spreads further.
As our recent White Paper says (2), “… failing to monitor and moderate turnover can result in leaver behaviour becoming a cultural mainstay of a particular role type, or an accepted norm in the business as a whole.”
Like most infectious diseases, TCE is easier to prevent than it is to cure. But if you do find that you’re already suffering from TCE, there are a few dos and don’ts.
Reduce Social Communication
It’s certainly NOT effective to apply one commentator’s suggestion of trying to “…combat the social environment that stimulates turnover”.
That social side of work may be spreading the contagion, but it’s also the foundation of the strong sense of belonging to a business and a community that encourages people to stay.
Trying to move desks further apart, ban Tweets and Facebook posts or prevent canteen gossip will cause more problems than it solves.
Instead, it may be more productive to consider the root cause of the lack of organisational commitment.
You should be asking:
But as mentioned, it’s easier to prevent than cure, so better still is to start at the beginning.
Think about who you hire and how you look after them when they start work.
Are you hiring people who align well with your company culture and values? Are you hiring people with the personality and behavioural traits that make them more likely to stay and perform in your company?
If you’re unsure, that’s where you should start. Try to find out what makes people stay with your organisation. What do your long tenure employees have in common? With your newfound knowledge of your ideal candidate, identify the applicants that fit the bill and prioritise them in your shortlist.
This may sound like a difficult task, but nowadays there are even analytics and technology solutions that can do this for you.
Once you’ve found the right people you still need to look after them and help them commit to your organisation. Introducing each new hire to your company in a motivating induction
process, where they get to know other workers, will give them a strong start.
As they become truly embedded they’re your best hope for preventing future outbreaks of Turnover Contagion.
At Sapia, we help you find your shortlist of candidates who are more likely to stay in your specific business. We combine your data with our workforce and data science to scientifically screen your applicants and predict who is more likely to succeed. And that can also include how well those candidates will fit into your team, your organisation and your community.
(1) Felps et al. “TURNOVER CONTAGION: HOW COWORKERS’ JOB EMBEDDEDNESS AND JOB SEARCH BEHAVIORS INFLUENCE QUITTING” © Academy of Management Journal 2009, Vol. 52, No. 3, 545–561
You can try out Sapia’s FirstInterview right now, or leave us your details to book a personalised demo
About the awards
“HR Tech is now a $400bn global industry that enables employers and recruiters to put the right people in the right jobs and perform better,” said Becky Wilson, Editor of TALiNT International magazine. “The Talent Tech Star Awards will highlight the valuable contribution of HR Tech to the UK economy in a campaign brought to life by interviews with finalists and panel of judges.”
“The TIARAs are distinguished by the rigour of its judging process and the quality of its judging panel,” said Alex Evans. “We assess the impact of Talent Tech solutions on clients, candidates and employees through 5 key metrics. These are excellence in delivery; innovation; sustainable value; business growth; and purpose.”
Candidate interviews and assessment re-imagined! Through a smart chat interview of 5 free form questions, our AI uncovers soft skills, role-specific traits, and written communication skills of every applicant. This gives customers a bias-free ranked list of every applicant. We capture no sensitive information like gender, age and race.
Candidates love it – we have a 95% completion rate and a 99% satisfaction rating.
This is amazing, the most I’ve ever got out of a job application when I’ve never expected anything. You guys are going above and beyond to support employers and employees. This feedback has greatly improved my application and interview skills and has given me new insights to aid me in future employment.
I found this tool very magical, if I can put it this way. It just has a way of showing the inside part of someone. The outcomes are exactly what I have been feeling about myself, what a junior friend told me not long ago.
Wow this evaluation hits the nail on the head. Each of these are a perfect description of who I am and my beliefs working in a team environment.
The judging panel brings together expert perspectives from senior HR and Recruitment industry leaders, investors, and advisors. Together they make the TIARA Talent Tech Star Award a powerful and prestigious endorsement. The panel includes:
Are you interested in using an award-winning solution in your business to improve the candidate experience? Let’s chat
Sapia (Formerly PredictiveHire) was also named the Top 3 Best Conversational AI in HR Solution at CogX
We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with iCIMS, a leading HR Tech provider. This collaboration will enable iCIMS’s vast network of over 4000 global customers to experience the power of Sapia.ai’s unique chat-based interview tool, enhanced with ethical AI.
As the market leader in HR software with an impressive market share, iCIMS empowers the human resources functions of 40% of the prestigious Fortune 500 companies. Recognizing the value of partnerships, iCIMS has curated a robust marketplace that connects customers with over 750 software and service partners, enabling organizations to build and grow their teams with ease and efficiency.
According to Barb Hyman, CEO of Sapia.ai, this integration marks a transformational moment for iCIMS users, revolutionizing the way they hire by streamlining the process and eliminating bias while elevating the candidate experience.
“iCIMS shares our vision that when the right talent joins the right team, the entire organization thrives,” says Hyman. “The perfect alignment of our platform with this vision is why we are incredibly excited to partner with iCIMS, a global HR technology provider that truly recognizes the value we bring to the table at Sapia.ai.”
By partnering with companies like iCIMS, we’re working to make ethical AI for hiring accessible to organizations worldwide, eliminating any friction in adopting new hiring processes. The seamless experience for both hiring teams and candidates ensures a smooth transition to this innovative solution.
Our groundbreaking AI Smart Interviewer empowers organizations to conduct interviews with candidates through chat conversations. Leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP), this cutting-edge technology accurately assesses soft skills and communication abilities, while eliminating the bias inherent in traditional screening methods such as CV reviews. Our AI focuses on candidate potential, surpassing the limitations of signals like past experience or education.
“Traditional candidate selection methods have long been inefficient and inherently biased,” explains Hyman. “At Sapia.ai, our customers are experiencing remarkable results, with reductions of up to 83% in time-to-hire and up to 62% decrease in churn, thanks to the AI’s commendable recommendations.”
Striving to be the preferred ethical AI solution for hiring, at Sapia.ai we believe that partnerships with industry leaders like iCIMS are essential to our mission. Together, we’re poised to revolutionize the hiring landscape and help organizations worldwide harness the power of ethical AI.
Visit the iCIMS marketplace listing here
Right now video screening is the solution of choice for many, given the challenges of recruiting during the pandemic. Every day I’m asked about video solutions, and every week there seems to be a new video solution for hiring.
This isn’t people simply switching to Zoom, but rather embracing AI video platforms where you are judged by algorithms. Often algorithms crawl these videos to identify top candidates. This is not great. In fact, it’s horrifying. Not all video interviews are bad, given the pandemic it’s often become a necessity as a default for face-to-face interviews in the final stages of a recruitment process. But when it comes to top-of-the-funnel screening with first interviews, video interviews lead to biased outcomes.
Put simply, image and video recognition is built to favour white faces. In the documentary Coded Bias an M.I.T. Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini found that the algorithm couldn’t detect her face–until she put on a white mask. There are hundreds of validated research findings which confirm this.
Video invites judgement. It adds stress to the candidate with added pressure around hair and makeup, picking the right fake backdrop (yes, there are hundreds of advice columns on this), and practising and rehearsing your answers until you nail the recording. It turns a simple interview into a small theatre production.
Not everyone is comfortable on video, most especially introverts, people with autism, and people who feel marginalised. These factors do not influence or speak to a person’s ability to do a job, but by using video as part of the interview process they are put at a deep disadvantage. What percentage of people are you excluding just by using video?
Chat is a better option. It solves the challenges of remote interviews while being inclusive.
Try it for yourself, we’ll send you real results.