A study conducted by LinkedIn found that Canada, with a rate of 16 per cent annual turnover in the workplace, placed fourth highest in the world for employee turnover. The rate in the U.S. was 13 per cent.
According to Gallup, the cost of replacing an employee can range from one-half to two times the person’s annual salary. In the U.S. that would translate to a minimum cost of US$1-trillion a year to employers for voluntary employee turnover.
The Trump White House is a good example of how turnover can affect performance. According to the Brookings Institution – a non-profit, public policy organization based in Washington – the total turnover of the President’s group of advisers or executive office staff throughout the tenure of the current administration, soon to head into its fourth year, is up to 80 per cent, as of Nov. 14, 2019. What’s more, 33 per cent of the positions have turned over twice or more during this time span and a large number of changes have been due to not only resignations, but “resignation under pressure.”
There are many reasons for high employee turnover – problems with the manager, lack of work-life balance, a poor fit for the job, co-workers not committed to quality, pay, benefits, career advancement, recognition and lack of connection to the organization or to senior management. But a big trigger for many of these problems is “hasty hiring.”
If President Donald Trump needed someone who was “tougher” for a certain job, why wasn’t that requirement filled when the person got hired in the first place? Hiring should never be taken lightly.
Hasty or unplanned hiring can be motivated by “good to have” or “just need to fill a position.” Neither is a good reason to hire someone.
So, instead of hasty hiring, HR should apply strategic recruiting; you don’t just hire, you hire to resolve a problem or to strengthen the organization with new talent because it is a must. Strategic hiring uses the organization’s data to help you understand the impact of the new role for that organization, but first, understand why the role is key for the organization’s success.
In addition to applying retention strategies in your organization, here are three steps to take:
1. First, think about the problem you want to solve.
The best employment decisions require at least medium-term planning in advance, which can mean three to six months. This decreases the chances of hiring the wrong candidate who isn’t properly vetted and who may lack requisite skills, attitude or abilities. Such planning involves monitoring the organization’s rate of growth and HR data tied to the bottom line (i.e., employee burnout and/or loss of productivity, increase in sick days taken and/or the number of customer complaints). Doing so allows you to determine if you need to hire to sustain your growth, or you need to hire to decrease pressure in the organization.
2. Identify the assets that are needed for the new position.
Ask some important questions. Is this a unique position? What positions will need to work closely with the incumbent in the new position? Who will the new hire support and, by the same token, who will be supporting them? Also, what resources are currently available for the execution of this role and what else may be needed?
3. Tie the organization’s vision and goals to the position in your company.
In terms of vision, think about what impact your organization wants to have. What does the organization aspire to become? Another good question to ask is how do you want your clients to describe your organization? And what do you want your client to say about their experiences with your employees, including for the particular role you want to fill?
When filling a new position, it’s wise to think about the organization’s goals for the next two, three, four and five years. That may involve revenue objectives, new markets to open, and how this new position is going to affect those goals. These are all important considerations for the hiring process.
How you respond to these questions will help you understand why the role is necessary and the importance of selecting candidates who possess not only the skills, but the attitude and abilities that, hopefully, are aligned with the visions and goals of the organization itself.
Carine Lacroix is Founder and CEO of Reneshone, a Toronto-based HR company.
This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab.
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