Reduce Employee Turnover with Better Applicant Screening 

By Dara Dolinsky

Quote Graphic: "the average turnover among blue-collar workers is at 20%" from Supply Chain Brain
According to Employee Benefit News, the average employee exit costs 33% of their annual salary. If your average employee makes around $40,000 a year, you lose $13,200 every time an employee leaves. According to Supply Chain Brain, the average turnover among blue-collar workers is at 20%.

So why are people leaving? Hays Report surveyed 2,000 professionals, and 43% said they were looking for a new job due to corporate culture. If you happen to have high turnover, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a terrible corporate culture, but it is a strong signal that you aren’t hiring the right people for your culture. Many blue-collar roles tend to have long shifts, hard work, and night shifts. This can be extremely stressful for the average person. You want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to hire qualified and dedicated employees to decrease your turnover. 

For many companies, but blue-collar businesses in particular, building a culture that feels like family is a top priority. You hire people you would trust to pick up your kids from school or dog sit for you when you’re on vacation. But when the growth of the company is also a top priority, and you have to fill jobs quickly, a rushed and complicated interview process can result in some bad apples in the bunch. Bad culture fit creates a higher turnover, disrupting business operations, and costing you thousands of dollars.

Smart Filters, Smarter Hires

The key to finding good hires is to screen all your applicants efficiently. A quick way to filter is to make sure you are asking the right questions at the beginning of the application. Decide what your three most important qualifications are for the job, then position those questions as the first three on your application. This way, if you need an employee with a CDL license, you can get that information as soon as you look at the application. You won’t waste time sifting through disqualified applicants.

Infographic on blue-collar application screening questions
Stop Chasing, Start Reeling

If you’re continuously calling the same applicant repeatedly just to set up an interview, do you think they’re going to stick around once you hire them? When it comes to first contact, make sure you are screening out the unresponsive ones. If you’re calling someone for the third time and they haven’t answered, you’re just wasting your own time. Take them out of the loop. Even if they’re qualified, if they are hard to reach, do not offer them a job.  

You are wondering why someone who doesn’t answer you right away in the hiring process would make a bad fit. It could just be bad timing. This is true in some circumstances, but more often than not this can point to an unreliable employee. If you’re scheduling jobs, and someone needs to be on call you want to have a guarantee that they will answer. If it is common for your line of work to have shift or assignment changes, you need to be certain that they will see and respond to those changes. If you have a change in policy, you need your employees to follow the guidelines. Employees that are unresponsive can cost the whole team wasted time, money, and effort. 

If someone doesn’t answer on the first call, there is still a chance. Many people don’t pick up the phone for numbers they don't recognize since there has been a massive increase in robocalls. We have found that a great way to curb this issue is by texting. According to Campaign Monitor, text messages have a 98% open rate. Sending a text means your candidate will most likely see the message and respond quickly. If there is no response, you can move on. Sending text messages and getting quick responses means you can move candidates faster through the hiring process, leaving you with more people to choose from instead of chasing them down. 

Don’t let retention rate cost your company money; fix the problem from where it stems. Be thoughtful about whom you hire, and don’t just grab anyone who comes along; if you’re interested in seeing how smart filters and text messaging can revolutionize your hiring, schedule a meeting with one of our specialists here.