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Staff retention – worth the effort?

16/10/2018
Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Highly skilled employees set your business apart and finding individuals with the right talent takes time and resources. This is why companies need to consider the importance of retention, rather than just focusing on recruitment. 

Resignation rates are at 15.5% according to XpertHR. That figure is a five-year high, the need to improve retention is evident. Reducing turnover of staff isn’t just a cost-saving exercise. Staff that stay with you, are highly skilled and happy in their job make for a more profitable business that runs with fewer disruptions. 

Cost of recruitment

Recruiting new employees is a cost to your business. According to research published by Glassdoor, the average time it takes to hire a new recruit in the U.K. is 27.5 days. This means one-twelfth of a year is spent on reviewing CVs, carrying out preliminary interviews, secondary interviews, communicating with recruiters and checking references. Factor in multiple hires, and that figure increases significantly. 

Considering the amount of resource, time, money and effort hiring takes, it’s evident that concentrating efforts on retention becomes far more beneficial.

It’s never too early to think about retention

Onboarding is the first step towards retaining talent. Yes, of course, it’s more effective to retain existing talent than recruit new talent, but sometimes a new hire is what your business needs. Even before they start, a new employee needs to feel looked after – keeping in touch regularly and sending a welcome pack that explains benefits and expectations makes the perks of working with you clear and maintains their interest levels. 

Brexit might be a source of uncertainty for many industries, but it seems to have sharpened the mind on one thing – ensuring your staff feel valued. CIPD found that 26% of organisations ‘report a greater emphasis on developing existing staff’. The report also highlighted that more organisations are involving employees with their business strategies and encouraging them to contribute their own ideas. 

Management is your best defence against staff leaving

When staff feel secure and supported at work they are less likely to look elsewhere. Management must demonstrate excellent leadership skills, this isn’t just managing the workload or a team with exacting standards, it means having good soft skills too. 

If you want to keep hold of your best employees, then you must also encourage them to manage themselves and be invested in their careers. Maintain regular contact with them through formal appraisals, informal and open discussions and put the ball in their court. If they feel that they have a say in their own work and career they’ll be more engaged and more likely to stick around.

Training and Development

These two words are the most important words in your vocabulary if you’re going to successfully retain staff. If your employees don’t have what they need to do the job then their focus and energy will be put towards finding a new position elsewhere. The Distance Learning College found that 69% of employees are ‘open to better opportunities’ and a huge 40% of staff leave within a year if they have received poor training. 

A strong training plan for new starters will equip them with the knowledge they need to feel confident on the job. Encourage staff to think about their own development, support their plans and listen to them. Investing in your people shows that you’re dedicated to them and will increase their commitment to you.

Recruitment costs vs. benefits

Recruitment takes time, effort and resources. There’s no denying that the right hire at the right time can make a huge difference to the business, yet a revolving door of talent increases the cost of recruitment exponentially. Retention starts to look a lot more appealing if you weigh the cost of recruitment against the benefits of retaining staff. Time spent training and looking after your best talent will pay you back dividends, with happier staff, you’ll have happier clients, and your business will be all the more competitive. 

If you enjoyed reading this blog you might like our other post: Talent drought: How to attract the best against the odds.

And if you’re recruiting now, you can talk to one of the team on 01772 259 121, or you can register your vacancy online.

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