The Looming Turnover Explosion

Opportunity: The Looming Turnover Explosion

One of the anticipated issues which are looming over many businesses as the economic recovery continues its slow progress is a predicted explosion in employee turnover. Staying put and hanging on to what you have has been the primary motive of most employees for the past few years, whether they were happy in their jobs or not.

Adecco recently published the results of a workplace survey that indicated that more than half (54%) of employed Americans indicate that they are likely to look for new jobs once the economy turns around. Among the younger employees (18 to 29), that number jumps to 71%.

Whether or not a high percentage of these actually make job changes, these are chilling figures that describe the outcome of poor job fit and employee dissatisfaction in clear terms. Of interest to us as recruiting professionals, when you look at the number of younger workers in particular, is the opportunity to implement a number of initiatives that can address the selection of employees in their early career choices and have a compelling impact upon future retention.

It starts with selection. Employee retention has many facets that impact upon the human resource practices of an organization. But, without an effective selection process, you aren’t starting with enough of the “right stuff”. It starts at the beginning and it starts with the most basic positions within an organization.

Those employers who have invested heavily in refining the recruitment process for entry level positions with very clearly spelled out criteria for both the skill potential as well as the behavioural fit for their successful employees have reaped huge rewards. A prime example is a well known firm in the chemical manufacturing industry who has achieved significant success with both employee retention and performance. Employee turnover is rare in this organization and almost completely driven by lifestyle choices that change as an employee’s family circumstances change. The business result is spectacular and the best indicator of success is shown in the simple fact that they are the only manufacturer of their products who continues to manufacture in North America. They can compete with off shore suppliers because of the quality and efficiency of their work force. Their training costs are associated with building new skills on an existing base; not training new employees on basic skills. Their human resource support focuses on coaching and mentoring not recruiting and conflict resolution. Their workers focus on productivity, safety and team cohesiveness.

Today, as employers suffer the consequences of less rigorous selection practices for entry level employees, the opportunity is there to hone their tool kit and apply modern practices such as psychological assessment to those hires. The days of bringing them onboard and seeing how they work out is a hit and miss process that is way too expensive. As we saw in feature article last month, the true cost of replacing a stock clerk in grocery is $1,300. If that is the case, then what is it for the professional positions when employers hire new graduates to form the foundation for their future?

So – think about it – why don’t more employers use effective selection tools at the front end of the hiring process – for all jobs. Screening job seekers through a valid and reliable assessment as part of a diligent hiring process will dramatically improve the quality of applicants that they invest their valuable time with

Good selection tools can no longer be viewed as an expensive luxury but rather as a cost effective necessity.

Written by:  Lynne Wallace, QuikApps Inc. June 11, 2010