Hiring is difficult. The resume may look great, the cover letter may sound brilliant and the references may sing praises, but if in six months the new hire is leaving, something clearly has gone wrong.

For any company looking to take its business to the next level, this type of high employee turnover could keep it grounded. Not only is it tough on the morale of your loyal employees, but it is also a huge waste of time and resources.

So how do you fix it? The key to closing the revolving door in your company is to change who you hire and the way you hire them.

1.     Create a structured process.

The first step to solving your company’s retention issue starts before anyone walks through the door for an interview. Creating a structured hiring process ensures there is a standard for the type of employee that you’re inviting to an interview, and that the people coming in are capable of meeting those prerequisites.

First, begin with a clearly defined job profile that outlines:

  • The exact tasks and duties associated with the role
  • The ideal or necessary qualities needed to complete those tasks
  • The experience one would need to succeed in the position

Giving a very detailed account of the position allows applicants to essentially screen themselves. Internally, a thorough checklist of necessary attributes makes it easier to determine whether the person applying will excel in the role or not.

2.     Screen the applicants.

Once the open position has a collection of applicants, set up multiple screening processes to save the company time and resources. Depending on your industry there may be a standard aptitude or writing test that exists for your type of work. If not, get creative. Have the applicants complete an assignment that is similar to what their daily work would be like. Send them a list of potential scenarios to test their creative problem solving skills. The point of multiple screenings is to further assess the qualifications of your applicant before bringing them in for an interview.

3.     Interview the candidates.

It’s time to finally meet your candidates! To get the most out of an in-person interview, follow these six tips.

  • Start slow. We’ve all been in the hot seat at one time or another and can appreciate some friendly small talk before the actual interview begins. Your nervous applicants will relax a little bit, and you’ll be able to see more of their personalities. This helps determine from the beginning if they are or are not a good fit for your company culture.
  • Mention that you’ll be checking references at the beginning. Applicants are more likely to respond honestly if they know that you’re actually going to contact their references. Without this assurance, they could be tempted to exaggerate or embellish their previous performances or roles.
  • Bring a partner. When two people conduct the interview, there are two sets of notes to reference and two different perspectives on the potential employee. This will help in the deliberation stage when one person is indecisive or unsure. Also, if there are two people listening, you’re more likely to catch an applicant’s inconsistencies or realize when things aren’t adding up.
  • Ask for stories. Questions that demand stories reveal context and show you how applicants approach problems. You’ll also get a clearer picture of what exactly they did at their previous jobs.
  • Answer thoroughly and follow up. An in-person interview is a two-way street and top talent will use this time to assess your company. Be honest about company struggles, issues previous employees may have faced and your company culture. If applicants know exactly what they are signing up for, they’re less likely to be surprised or overwhelmed when they start the day-to-day work in their role.

Hiring is a lengthy process. Taking the time to find great, loyal candidates will save your company time and resources, and close that revolving door for good!

This story was originally published in SmallBizDaily.