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Losing staff? Are you investing your talent budget in the right places?


If you’re a hiring manager in an industry experiencing skills shortages, chances are that those in your board room are experiencing high stress levels.

Think for a minute.  You’ve spent all this money on finding new employees, what comes after that?

Our research has found that during the employee’s first three months, employers make the decision to move employees out in less than 10% of cases. Even fewer employers transition employees between the end of probation and the eighteenth month of their employment.

What’s happening with the other 90%?

You might be surprised to know that it in this period it’s the employee, not the employer who generally makes the decision to move on.

Three reasons why employees move on

Pre three months:

  1. Employees believe they are the right person for the organisation, but just in the wrong job. This is poor job definition.
  2. Employees believe they are the wrong person in the right job. This is poor recruitment and selection processes.
  3. Employees have a circumstance that has arisen beyond their control.

Post three months:

  1. Poor attachment. This is completely within the employer’s control.
  2. Uncontrollable circumstances beyond the employee or employer’s control.

Four steps to better budgeting

Given those results, here’s where we think organisations should spend more of their money.

First, review your recruitment processes, including job review and definition. Think about what you are measuring in any on-boarding surveys.

Second, make sure that all managers responsible for the selection process, or even just a part of it, have undergone some form of selection training.

Our research shows that only 20% of hiring managers have participated in formal interview training.

Third, if your recruitment is sound and you are experiencing attrition between three to eighteen months, then focus your managers’ attention on attachment – the strength of the bond your employee feels to you and your organisation.

Low attachment equals higher risk of attrition and unproductive performance.

Fourth, there are actually many different drivers that influence employee attachment. These include the professionalism of your recruiter, communication through the process, orientation and more.

Assess your new employee’s attachment from your perspective.  After, meet them regularly throughout their first 120 days to review the drivers, including your employee’s development and progress relative to their fit for the job.

After assessing both perspectives, you will find a much closer alignment between how you see their attachment, and how attached the employee actually is.

The discussion following that to resolve any differences could be as simple as a cup of coffee.

We think that’s a well-rounded investment for your budget!

Anthony Sork is the MD of Sork HC, experts in leadership development. He has been awarded two patents for his work in employee attachment.  Find out more at http://employeeattachment.com

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