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Employee Retention Begins At the Time of Recruitment

Updated on May 7, 2015

Employees: The Most Valuable Asset

So, what is all this hype about employee retention? Nothing much, except for the fact that there were 4.9 million hires and 4.7 million job separations in February 2015 alone in the United States, according to statistics released in April 2015 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. The reality is that turnover puts a huge burden on any business in terms of direct costs, such as severance pays, signing bonuses, advertising job openings, exit and recruitment interviews and much more. However, businesses also have to deal with the indirect cost of losing talent as well, such as disruption of business operations, effect on morale and productivity, dissatisfied customers, safety of information, loss of intellectual capital and more.

Why Retention Should Begin at Recruitment

“A focus on exceptional recruiting makes for a smart retention strategy,” says a recent report on Retention Success by Manpower. The report goes on to emphasize that the top talent of one business does not necessarily automatically translate into top talent for your business too. The person you choose to recruit should not only have the skills to fill the specific job requirements but should also have the personality traits and behavioral characteristics that will fit right into your organization’s culture. This means that the employment branding you create for your business and the actual hiring technique will attract the right people and start you off on the right foot in building a long-lasting relationship.


Just After Recruitment

This is when the real work in employee retention begins. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the new recruit successfully integrates not only into their new position but also within the organization as a whole.

According to a paper on Employee Retention: Reducing Recruitment by Increasing Retention by Drake International, “it is the responsibility of the company’s key stakeholders to develop these expectations prior to any sourcing for a new position and communicating it to the new employee.” Therefore, it is crucial to create an induction program that is not limited to an orientation on the first day or first week but is an ongoing process to build employee satisfaction and engagement.

It is also a good idea to be aware of the trends in employee incentive programs, and tweak the company policies on a regular basis to take these into consideration. These incentive programs should be documented and shared with all relevant staff members.

Steve Jobs on Managing People


The Ongoing Process

The effort to retain top talent starts even before the new hire joins the company, with the pre-joining communications you have with him/her and how you prepare the workplace to welcome a new member. Following the initial induction or orientation program, it is essential to ensure that your organization offers the key motivators that have been found effective in retaining talent.

According to Employee Retention Guide: How to keep your top talent on board, published by AICPA, there are six motivators that have proven their effectiveness in retaining employees. These motivators include respect and acknowledgement, compensation, flexibility and time off, camaraderie and fun, personal development opportunities and increased responsibility and challenges. This means that an organization that wishes to retain its intellectual capital should build an environment of trust and mutual respect, give employees the authority and responsibility to get things done, recognize achievements and reward performance, offer mentoring and training programs on a regular basis and a clear career path.

Clear goals and constant feedback can go a long way in making the path to career development transparent for key employees.


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