How To Lower Your Employee Turnover Rate By Hiring Honest Employees Who Fit Their Jobs

by | Apr 11, 2013 | Blog, Recruiting

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

How To Lower Your Employee Turnover Rate By Hiring Honest Employees Who Fit Their Jobs

Let’s take a second and visualize your perfect employee. Are these some qualities that came to mind?

  • Show up when they’re supposed to
  • Work hard when they’re there
  • Don’t engage in risky behaviors
  • Get along with co-workers
  • Stay with you longer

Now, wouldn’t that just be the perfect employee? This may sound impossible, but it’s not!

It all comes down to sorting out the catfish and finding employees that fit the job. But more on that later. Let’s continue with the perfect employee dream. These employees are:

  • Much more likely to be top performers
  • Enjoy their job more than those who don’t
  • Stay engaged – go the extra mile
  • Become innovators and leaders

So why is this dream employee just a dream? Unfortunately, negligent hiring processes produce a high employee turnover rate that makes these dream employees look less and less attainable and more and more like unicorns (really appealing, but impossible to catch).

Let’s look at some average numbers:

  • Let’s say an estimated cost per hire is $5,000
  • Then, annualized employee turnover rate is about 25%
  • And peak employment is 28 people

So the annual employee turnover rate for the average company could cost the bottom line $35,000 if not more! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. (For more on calculating the cost of your company’s hiring and turnover, scroll to the bottom of the article.)

If we take a look at the rest of the iceberg – it’s all about performance and risk to the company. Low performers, by definition, do less. On the other hand, top performers in any job do the following:

  • Produce 3 to 6 times as much as those who are just barely holding on to the job
  • Do it with less absenteeism, injuries, management effort, and risk to the company.

How do we hire these dream employees? How do we make these “unicorn” employees more than just a figment of an employer’s imagination?

Let’s take a look at your current hiring process and assume you get most of your information from applications and resumes. If you fall in that category, we have some bad news for you.

A majority of applicants stretch the truth on applications! Those darn catfish!

Catfish? Yup, we said it. Nowadays, “catfish” has become a term for somebody who pretends to be somebody else usually online and usually in a romantic relationship. (Google Manti Te’o or the MTV series “Catfish”—you won’t regret it.) After the Manti Te’o scandal, the word “catfished” became synonymous with getting fooled, hoaxed or pranked. And that’s exactly what candidates are doing to employers.

These numbers might shock you:

  • More than half of candidates, 55% lied about length of past employment.
  • Past salaries, 52%
  • Criminal records, 45%
  • Former job titles, 44%
  • Former employers, 34%
  • Driving records, 33%
  • Degrees, 28%
  • Credit, 24%
  • Schools attended, 22%.
  • Some 15% percent falsify their social security numbers!

Wow. Okay, but you still have the interview, right? Unfortunately, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that 63% of all hiring decisions are made in less than five minutes of the interview process.

How good can your information be? Especially when an interviewer has less than a 15% chance of discovering a lie on a resume or application (according to HR Magazine).

Now, let’s break down the perfect hiring process to find those great employees we talked about in the beginning.

First, you need to expand your selection pool. But you don’t have time to interview hundreds of people! And we aren’t expecting you to. You need a way to screen this large selection pool before they even step foot in your conference room.

Avoid the “catfish” by screening for:

  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Work Ethic
  • Substance Abuse
  • Faking

You can do this by administering an Honesty-Integrity Assessment that allows you to compare your candidate with the whole American working population on those critical issues.

Let’s say for instance your candidate gets a score of 3 or less in the Integrity category. This means they fall in the least desirable 16% of the American working population. Do you really want to hire this person? By eliminating, anyone who scores less that 4 on the scales, you won’t interview the bottom 1/3 of your candidates! What a relief!

The results also give you sample interview questions that allow you investigate pairs of answers that just don’t add up. For instance, if Sally puts that she got fired from her last job, but then later answers that she has never been fired, this may be a red flag for you to bring up in your interview.

The results will also help you ask critical questions, for example:

Sally states that the things she has taken (stolen) from an employer were not enough to hurt their business. You would be provided with this sample interview question:

How would you define “important” materials and property as it pertains to your statement that the things you have taken from employers were not particularly significant? What sort of things were these?

If you start using Honesty-Integrity Assessments you have won about half of the hiring battle.

  • Your employee turnover rate will go down.
  • You won’t waste training on people who won’t be around, anyway.
  • Your attendance problems will go down. Your worries about employee behavior will diminish.
  • You will put more money on the bottom line!

So what’s the other half of the battle? Finding people who fit the jobs of course! Come back next week to find out how you can match the perfect people to your jobs.

Until then, would you like to know your cost of hiring turnover? Download our Cost of Hiring Worksheet and Turnover Calculator by clicking here or filling out the form below.

To learn more about hiring assessments, click here.

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