Most of the Business owners come across these questions, at least once in their lifetime.“ What should I do to retain my employees’ long term?” Well, hiring an employee first and then figuring out the policy to retain that employee later doesn’t work. Actually your employee retention policy starts from the day you decide to hire someone.  I would like to share the story to demonstrate, how my client was able to hire and retain an employee for 6 years for a position that had very high attrition.  

Our client is a manufacturing company with 800+ employees. In the year 2013, they were struggling to hire a Critical Maintenance Department resource. Every time they hired the candidate, the candidate would leave in a couple of months or sometimes days & weeks. They were stuck in this loop of hiring for that one position again and again. This situation sounds familiar to most of us, isn’t it?

Then we got the opportunity to hire and design the retention policy for this position. Before initiating the recruitment process, we decided to find out the root cause of this. We thoroughly studied the company profile, roles & responsibilities of this role, the culture of the organization, and challenges faced by the company & candidate.  Based on the research we requested the client, to modify some aspects of the job and the interview process. The new job designed was very difficult to source, unlike the former role designed. Initially, the client was interviewing a lot of candidates to close the mandate.  We were able to present only 3 candidates which were of course the EXACT MATCH. Of this one candidate was selected in 2013 and he is working with the company to date.

So, what different did we do from others, that the company and candidate did not leave each other for 6 years? We focused on the basics:

  1. Keep Realistic Expectations: Understanding the most challenging aspect of the job role and develop the sourcing strategy accordingly. I would never ask anyone to compromise on the basic skills required to do the job. It can cost dearly. However keeping in mind the reasons for employee attrition in the past, we need to make changes in some aspects. For Example: if there is a problem retaining someone with a Management degree, hire someone with a Bachelor’s degree/Diploma good academics double the years of experience.
  2. Honest & open communication regarding the critical aspects of the job/career: Strengths/Weaknesses, well nobody is perfect, every candidate as well as the company has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Please note, weakness is a very tricky word. Only consider something which cannot be improved as weakness, others are shortcomings that can be easily overcome with continuous improvement efforts.  In the above story, during the interview, both the employee and employer were overselling their positive points. The most challenging part of the job role was missed with the fear of candidates losing interest.  We communicated the challenges as it is to the candidate, result as expected 80% of them dropped, however the remaining 20% we the right ones for us. 

Employee retention is an ongoing journey; it’s not a destination to reach and stay. There has to be continuous nurturing of the relationship from both sides. The above article will surely help you reduce the attrition substantially.

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