5 Tips to Keep Retention Levels High

People Sitting at their Desks in an Office Setting

According to a pre-Covid Gallup review, employee turnover costs US companies upwards of $1 trillion every year. Keep in mind that this report came out in 2019, meaning it preceded the pandemic and the subsequent resignation trend.

As a general rule of thumb, hiring employees is substantially cheaper than replacing them.

As US companies are currently struggling with an unprecedented number of resignations, let’s review some tried and true methods to lower attrition and increase retention levels.

1. Make Good Hiring Decisions

Be strategic in your hiring protocols. Matching up both the candidates’ skill set, as well as the cultural match can pay substantial dividends when making long-term placements. Take the time to learn about your candidates’ current pain points, short- and long-term career goals and consider investing in behavioral testing to identify your candidates’ intrinsic motivators. This information will prove invaluable for hiring decisions and coaching strategies. If your firm is working with a strong recruiter, they should provide this information to the hiring manager. If internal recruiters are sourcing candidates, ensure they are gathering this vital data during the initial screening process, prior to making introductions.

If a candidate is solely motivated by higher compensation to make a move, they will often be ready to leap at other opportunities for another dollar. Look for people that have a passion for the work, and that have exhibited a sense of loyalty to their employer in the past.

As we all know, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, so a stable job history should be weighted heavily in the applicant’s favor.

In addition, because we are currently in turbulent times, be sure to gauge the candidate’s ability to work under pressure in potentially changing environments. Ideal employee profiles consist of intellectual flexibility, emotional stability, and self-motivation. These character traits should be evident in qualified candidates. A hiring manager must be realistic about how much support and direction this individual will be receiving and then hire accordingly.

Keep in mind that recruiting takes significant time and energy. You must match the applicant’s skill set with functionality and break down the specific responsibilities of the role to the candidate during the recruitment process. Be transparent about the anticipated level of support provided, as well as the autonomy required to manage the workload, pace of work, and other employer expectations from the get-go.

No one should ever feel deceived after starting a new role, and the goal should always be to pleasantly surprise new hires, rather than bitterly disappointed.

The loss of a new hire within the first 90 days is almost always preventable if you follow these simple steps in establishing the proper expectations on both sides, right from the start.

Two Women Sitting on Opposite Sides of a Window-side Table During an Interview

2) Make Changes Based on Exit Interviews and Surveys

Exit surveys/interviews are the one undisputed positive thing to come out of unexpected employee attrition.

Exit interviews literally offer a treasure trove of insights. They provide an unvarnished perspective into your employee experience and can inspire some of the best improvements to your organizational structure.

Actively listen and invest the time and attention that this priceless, unfiltered feedback deserves. Prioritize the ‘that map downstairs doesn’t look right’ from the ‘your RSM is a micromanager, has trouble controlling his temper and is possibly a sociopath”.

Place greater value on feedback when you hear multiple people telling you the same thing. However, regardless of whether only 1 or 5 people share a concern…do your best to fix it.

3) Conduct Stay Interviews

Employees need incentives, and we’re not just talking about monetary incentives.

They need to feel valued for their contributions through verbal and written feedback, so they don’t feel the need to seek it elsewhere.

Here’s what you can do to validate their feedback while sharing your own.

  1. Conduct bi-annual company-wide surveys to gain insights.
  2. Hold quarterly one-on-one performance reviews to discuss progress, listening for any concerns while asking open-ended questions.
  3. Create a positive team culture. This can include team lunches, award ceremonies and other employee recognition programs.

4) Offer Incentives to Stay

We are currently in unprecedented times. Top talent, and even mediocre workers are being actively pursued by hiring managers and recruiters. If superstars are getting a couple of recruitment calls a day, then realistically even the lowest-performing person on your team is fielding one or two calls per week.

In the current War for Talent, chances are some of your direct competitors are flashing sign-on bonuses and coming up with all sorts of creative ways to entice people to switch teams.

If your employees can see both short and long-term benefits to staying on your team, you can avoid them being allured by such offers.

Help counteract those temptations by offering incentives of your own.

  1. Tout the benefits of seniority by highlighting career path options for well-performing employees.
  2. Consider offering quarterly/semi-annual bonuses, or unique benefits like concert tickets, stock options, lawn service for a year, or anything creative you can come up with to make your workforce feel valued and appreciated.
  3. A terrific way to find out what would be of most value to your team is to ASK! Demonstrate that you care about your team by conducting regular surveys. Ask them what types of incentives most motivate them. Nothing engages someone’s interest more than asking them what they want.

5) Team Up with ISC for Executive Recruitment

In today’s hyper-competitive battle for talent, there is no smarter way to ensure that your hiring managers will have the opportunity to interview the best and the brightest, than to partner up with a high-caliber executive recruiting firm. Ideally, you will choose a recruiting team with a proven track record of success within your industry. There is some amazing employee sourcing technology available these days, and the best recruiting firms invest in such tools. This allows their recruiters to be laser-focused when identifying and delivering exceptional candidates to their clients’ interview table.

That is where International Search Consultants comes in.

ISC has been providing top talent to our clients since 1999. Our team consists of 15 highly experienced recruiters utilizing all of the top tech tools available in the industry, to strategically target & deliver very specific professional skill sets.

Hiring needs?  Get in touch with ISC today to build the best team for your organization!

Candidates, feel free to send your resume to for immediate and confidential consideration.

Find out more about our proven #1 track record!

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Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants. You can reach Ann directly at 888-866-7276 or email her at .

Jaami Clement is an Executive Recruiter with ISC and can be reached directly at 888-866-6625 or email her at .