Retention Is Key: Companies Shift Focus From Sourcing and Hiring to Retaining Talent

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by Traci K and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software

In 2011, the recognition of a lackluster candidate talent pool was reflected in the concentration organizations gave (and still give) to sourcing and hiring methods. Attracting passive candidates, identifying the potential in applicants rather than simply focusing on lacking experience, these were always strategies, but did not get as much attention in overall strategic planning when great applicants were easier to find. What hiring managers and recruiters have come to understand is that simply because there are many unemployed, it doesn’t mean there are many who are employable for the vacancies they have to fill. While it’s not a favorable situation to lose a good, tenured employee, the organizational impact that turnover makes is exponentially more negative in comparison to five years ago. It takes longer now to identify a new candidate. Company headcounts have decreased and employees have taken on more responsibility. This combination doesn’t reflect a promise of current experienced employees nor an abundance of time to get new hires trained.

The old rule of thumb for many positions was around an 12 to 18 month downtime after losing an employee. This is the amount of time it would typically take to hire a replacement as well as the process to bring a new employee up to speed from training until they begin contributing to the business. This timeline may now be closer to 18 to 24 months with the extended hiring process and decrease in training resources. If you hire a lot of employees in the Generation Y age range, possibly feeling the strain of their stereotypical lack of loyalty, a one to two year tenure will not see allow you to see penny of ROI for the new employee. The estimated cost of turnover has gone up.

With that knowledge, organizations have not only aspired to hire smarter, but an increased focus on retention has emerged. Engagement objectives dropped off the grid for numerous companies when the economy took a dive around 2008. These programs and initiatives were easy to cut as employees were expected to be content simply because they still had jobs. As things are rebounding, even though positions have not opened up in a way to allow employees the confidence and freedom to start looking at a move, workers are beginning to feel the strain of four years of lackluster employee focus. Organizational talent may not be rushing for the door, but they are not exactly producing to their full potential either.

The Aberdeen Group, an organization devoted to research studies and providing business resources, has completed three beneficial studies analyzing trends and impacts. The next few articles will focus on these studies, identifying Human Capital Management Trends, Engagement impact and opportunities, and creating a Talent First Culture through integrated Talent Management processes and tools. Hiring smarter, engagement, retention and succession planning have been identified in the past few years as critical strategies. Learn the impact of these key processes and how to make the changes necessary to make your organization thrive.

Traci K. is an HR professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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