Best Practices For High Employee Retention

As an HR professional, you know that transition for new hires is a time of great inefficiency. New employees need training and time to adapt to an organization’s culture. When a new employee leaves the organization too soon, this increases inefficiencies within the HR department, who must begin the cycle of candidate engagement, job ads, interviews, and orienting new employees all over again.

But high turnover rates also decrease the efficiency of the organization overall, producing a greater number of new employees with less knowledge of organizational procedures and practices. So, how do HR departments ensure a new hire will last?

Quality of Hire Metrics & Recruitment Metrics

Keeping tabs on Quality of Hire (QoH) metrics is important in determining the factors that make some employees last. New hires’ productivity levels, their performance assessments, and retention rates are all factors that can be quantified to calculate Quality of Hire—an HR department can’t rely on anecdotal evidence for why Employee X left before Employee Y.

When new hires with good performance reviews and a high level of productivity suddenly leave the organization, then you know it’s time to investigate causes within the organization rather than pinpointing hiring practices. On the other hand, establishing recruitment metrics that try to predict a candidate’s ability to last within the organization may be data that is even more vital to the HR department.

While there’s no crystal ball, defining the most important factors that keep people in their positions will be good to know before you hire a candidate and will lead to a better quality of hire and better retention rate. From clearly communicating an immediate supervisor’s managerial style to establishing whether the job is a career move for a candidate may help predict how well a candidate will fit and also thrive within the organization.

Employee Satisfaction Assessments

Not every factor lies in the hands of the HR department. The larger corporate culture, for example, may foster an atmosphere of competition rather than inclusivity, attracting some while turning away other employees who feel it’s not the right fit. How you increase employee perception of the organization and employee satisfaction is a complex matter. The simple solution: ask them. Employees undergo performance assessments regularly, and this should be a two-way street. Organizations need regular assessment too, and there are an increasing number of ways to keep in communication with employees through social media and assessment apps.

A company that is responsive to their employees establishes a better relationship with those employees. Even if you can’t increase salaries, making employees feel heard and acting to improve their work-life where complaints are manifold is a big step towards making progress in increased retention rates.

Branding & Recruitment Marketing

While the HR department can keep tabs on employee satisfaction, it’s not plausible nor is it their position to change the culture of the organization. It is, however, important for HR departments to communicate the organization’s culture to job applicants. This may come in the form of recruitment marketing, clearly establishing a brand, and ensuring that bad reviews on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed are not miscommunicating the organization’s culture or giving future job candidates an inaccurate impression of the organization. The other very simple solution is clear communication of the organizational culture within job ads. This is key to finding the right fit for your next hire and keeping them.


Quality hires are more likely to stay in an organization if they have the opportunity to grow, and can witness that as part of the organization’s culture. If there is no mobility, and little chance for growth or promotion, good employees will leave to find this elsewhere. This is a basic rewards system. Your HR department should establish candidate pools for internal hiring. This may feel less desirable in the short term; for the work flow for the HR department, transitioning one person over to another position only to find you have another new position to fill can feel like you’re shuffling the deck. However, this practice will lead to higher retention rates in the long run. Employees who are promoted don’t just stay in their new position. All other employees may find encouragement in this practice and plan to stay longer if they can see that opportunities are on the horizon.

Once you establish clear metrics, understand where employee retention rates are high and where they work better, it’s important to model what works and adjust when things are not working. Find the problems; fix them. This requires putting the time into collecting data and employee assessments that will pay off in the long run.

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