Finding, recruiting, and keeping top talent are how the country’s best companies stay ahead of the competition. Observers talk a lot about the time, effort, and thought companies put into finding and recruiting top talent, but there usually isn’t enough focus on keeping top talent.
Maintaining a Focus on Retention
In general, companies have a strong incentive to keep turnover levels low because it’s expensive to hire and onboard new staff.
“While the exact costs of employee turnover vary, there’s no question it’s something employers need to manage,” writes Christina Merhar in an article for PeopleKeep. “Some studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $60,000 a year, that’s $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training expenses.”
More specifically, companies should be paying attention to employees who are truly key to the organization’s success. These could include key executive positions, but they might also include those with valuable skills, experiences, or abilities that would be difficult to replace.
These star employees are deserving of extra attention to ensure they’re happy where they are and not an easy target for headhunters or at risk of starting a business of their own.
The Importance of Being Proactive
The mistake many companies make when it comes to employee retention is identifying potential issues only when an employee is already unhappy, is already looking for other opportunities, or already put in his or her notice. It’s a mistake for companies to assume their top staff will always let them know if they aren’t happy with their job or want more money. Companies need to proactively engage those staff early and often.
In today’s economy, it’s people more than anything who set great companies apart from good companies. Human capital is truly the most important asset most companies possess.
To that end, it’s essential that companies not only find and recruit top talent but also keep that talent. A key part of any retention strategy must be identifying attrition risk early and taking steps to mitigate that risk, especially as it relates to top staff.