Job Benchmarking: Cut costs and increase ROI

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

All businesses experience turnover for a variety of reasons and endure very real costs associated with finding, training and developing new team members. Wise business owners endeavor to reduce the high costs of turnover and maximize their return on investment with new hires.

Extensive studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of a team member’s annual salary. The costs are high because they include not only loss of revenue, productivity and training expenses, but also the time, energy and stress involved with hiring someone new. When you add up all of these factors and spread them across the entire time your business has been operating, it’s easy to see your bottom line has taken a significant hit and will continue to do so until you change your hiring process.

When new team members are hired through the usual means, they typically start out strong. If their behaviors, motivators and competencies don’t match what’s needed to perform the job at a high level, though, their attitude and productivity usually deteriorates and they will likely move on or need replacing. This will put you in the position of having to go through the lengthy, time-consuming and often frustrating and expensive process of recruiting, hiring and training someone new.

The average business hires new talent through a standard process of placing advertisements, accepting applications and resumes, interviewing “qualified” candidates, asking a few routine questions and then hiring based on who’s liked the most and “appears” to be the best candidate. Without an in-depth analysis and a real understanding of the position itself — along with its high payoff activities and the type of person that will perform the job at its highest levels — the success ratio falls off quickly and high cost of turnover is realized.

This is where Job Benchmarking comes in. Through the statistically accurate and proven process of Job Benchmarking, sophisticated companies dramatically reduce errors in the hiring process by eliminating biases and producing the needed truth and clarity to hire effectively.

In the first phase of the Job Benchmarking process, I meet with subject matter experts — one to five team members that have a direct connection or experience with the position to be filled — to clearly define the position and identify its key accountabilities. This is done from the perspective of the job itself: What activities are required on a consistent basis and what type of person will it take to perform the job at its highest levels?

During the next phase of this highly effective process, I work closely with subject matter experts to rank individual key accountabilities in order of importance and time requirements. I then guide them through the completion of a job assessment in which they indicate the competencies, motivators, values and behaviors the person will need to perform the job at the highest level.

Once the Job Benchmark is finalized, the next step is to identify the most qualified candidates and have each one complete a simple online candidate assessment. A report compares each candidate’s results to the identified parameters created in the Job Benchmark. This sophisticated tool provides clear-cut, nonbiased information revealing the person best suited for the job.

Then comes the final phase of the process. With solid hiring information in hand, we interview the top candidate using behavioral-based methods and explain the key accountabilities of the position. This procedure clearly defines the position and manages the expectations of the new hire.

After the new team member is hired, I work with him or her to help with the transition to the new position and further develop behaviors and competencies for optimal job performance.

The benefits of Job Benchmarking for hiring new talent are numerous. Studies have shown that productivity improves 30 percent and retention increases 50 percent. Productivity rises because the person’s behaviors and competencies align well with the requirements of the job. Retention increases because personal motivators match the necessary motivators for the position. Symmetry between the job and the new hire is what takes job performance and team member satisfaction to new heights.

The rewards of Job Benchmarking to the company, its team members and customers are inescapable. As biases are removed and clarity and alignment created, the door to successful hiring appears.

Business owners who want to experience the highest levels of happiness and success must strive to retain top talent and increase the productivity of their teams. If this is you, the accurate and effective process of Job Benchmarking could be just what you need.