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Conquer Your Staff Turnover - Recruiting and Keeping the Best People

Employee turnover is a measure of how frequently employees leave your business. As a recruiter you will be well aware of how important it is to retain your talented employees. In this article we’ll look at what you can do to reduce your staff turnover, and ensure the best people want to join and stay with your recruitment business.

Causes of high employee turnover

High staff turnover is a pressure point for many businesses, so it’s not surprising that the causes have been the subject of many different studies, and the same causes keep coming up. The vast majority of employees who leave their employer do it for a combination of these reasons:

  • More money and/or better benefits

  • To progress their career

  • Because their manager is ineffective

So, if your turnover is higher than you’d like it to be, what can you do about it?

Hire the right people

A report by Jobvite states that less than half of workers believe job descriptions reflect the actual job responsibilities and nearly a third have left a job in the first ninety days because it wasn’t what they expected. As a recruitment business you should have an advantage here, but with these statistics in mind it’s worth taking a look at your hiring process to make sure best practices are being followed.  

Keep up with the market

Your employees are working in the recruitment industry, and that means they will be very aware of the employment market and their place in it. It’s important to keep up with this market, and make sure you employees always feel that their contribution to your business is valued.

Once your employee has an offer from a prospective employer it’s often too late  - by that point they’ve already invested in moving on, and even if you persuade them to stay they’re likely to revisit that decision if another “better offer” catches their eye. It’s far more effective to pro-actively update employee pay and benefits to ensure they always feel that they’re properly rewarded.   

Establishing talent management processes that identify top performers and correcting pay imbalances by conducting racial and gender pay equity analyses can also limit compensation-related turnover.

Discourage unwanted behaviours

One of the most important tools in improving your staff turnover is control over your company’s culture, and your main challenge in doing this is dealing with so called “toxic” employees. These are employees who make their colleagues’ working life harder or less pleasant, for example by being overly critical, gossiping, undermining their colleagues or only looking out for themselves.

Many businesses will forgive this kind of “bad” behaviour on the basis of strong individual performance. However, this overlooks the cost of lower morale in the team as a whole, and it shows your employees that you don’t care about their wellbeing. If they see you prioritising short-term profit over their working life, they will do the same and they’ll be more open to a “better deal” when it comes along. 

Rewards and recognition

Going hand in hand with competitive salary and benefits, rewarding and recognising your employees is also very important. This has two main positive effects, helping your best employees to feel valued and appreciated, and reinforcing the behaviours and qualities you value as a company.

This will be more effective if it doesn’t only concentrate on commercial performance, again allowing you to “engineer” your corporate culture by saying “this is who we are and what we value as a company”.

Prioritise work-life balance

More than half of workers say employers encourage them to work on the weekends or after hours, and 30% have found themselves working on a project past midnight. Also, the number of workers who said they left a job because of the commute has increased by 400% in the last decade.

With the best will in the world, it’s often difficult to know what your employees are going through in their personal lives, which means you could lose great people for reasons that are not under your control. For this reason, it’s better to be as flexible as possible; when your employees have a conflict or an issue in their personal lives, do you want your company policies to offer a solution, or another problem to be solved?

When implementing policies like hybrid working or flexible working hours, it’s important to ensure everyone feels able to take advantage of them. Without that, well-meaning efforts risk breeding resentment among those who don’t take advantage of them, and feelings of guilt and inadequacy among those who do. To avoid this issue, leaders should stress that work-life balance is a company-wide priority.

Pay attention to your corporate culture

We’ve mentioned the importance of corporate culture a few times already, but what does it mean? It generally refers to the shared attitudes and beliefs that define your workplace and affect the experience of your employees. A positive corporate culture can be a powerful tool in your quest to build a strong team and keep them motivated. However, according to the Society for Human Resources Management, nearly a quarter of people dread going into work, so getting it wrong can really hurt those efforts.

Development and progression

After more money and better benefits, the most commonly given reason for leaving a job is career progression. Therefore, if you want to keep your employees it’s important to ensure they can progress their careers without leaving.

You’re much more likely to attract and retain ambitious and talented people if you invest in their development and give them a clear route to where they want to be.

Monitor your turnover

If you want to improve anything about your recruitment business you first need to understand your present position. Routinely monitor your staff turnover, including which roles turn over more and where there might be issues that could be solved.

If you have questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468483 or email

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