Recruitment Turnover: 9 Reasons Why It’s High in the Profession

Most everyone would agree that the most important factor in determining the long-term level of profitability for your firm is your ability to attract, hire, train, maintain and retain consistent producers. However, many owners and managers believe that having high turnover of recruiters and professional staff is just part of the business. They cite such recruiting industry myths as:

  • You can never tell until you get them on the desk.
  • It’s impossible to predict if an individual has the motivation to be successful in this business.

Some people might even reference the skills gap. And the biggest myth of all:

Hire in masses, train in classes, and kick them out on their _ _ _ _ _.

And they ask the question, “Why is it that we can recruit top talent for our clients and yet seem to have difficulty in recruiting top talent for our own firms?

Comfortable process: the enemy of production

Owners and managers answer this question by stating that, logically, this is not a difficult business to understand. However, emotionally most people cannot handle it. They are too insecure or suffer from low self-esteem. This generally appears shortly after the individual is hired, when the manager begins to see them establish a daily work pattern. This work pattern can best be described as:

Concentrating on comfortable processes rather than positive results

In other words, whether they realize it out not, the new employee settles into a pattern where they focus on non-threatening activities (excessive Internet researching, endless emailing and text messaging through recruiting software, repetitive recruiting database searches, going through the same resume screening checklist, and recycling the same non-productive but friendly prospecting calls) versus focusing on achieving positive results (making phone contact with key decision makers, writing properly qualified searches or new temp/contract staffing business, developing fresh recruits and making placements). This is usually where the manager determines the new employee is not right for the business and a termination follows.

Unfortunately, in many cases the termination does not take place for some time yet as the manager is trying to rationalize the process. This is one of the mortal sins of poor leadership – not being decisive.

The cycle then repeats itself. Being uncertain as to whom, and, in many cases, how to hire, the manager commits the same mistake until eventually their company, through sheer numbers, is able to attract and retain a group of marginally successful producers, or the alternative – they go out of business. Sound familiar?

This pattern of turnover in our business is not a given. However, if the tenure of your staff averages less than three years and you have been in business more than five years, you do have a turnover problem.

The exception to this is if your company is on a continuous growth curve where the press of increasing business necessitates the addition of staff.

In studying the reasons for turnover, we began our research by looking at our client companies and contrasting those firms in similar industries that suffered from high turnover with those firms which were successful in retaining their good people and building strong tenure.

Next we conducted a similar study for our industry (this study is continuous and on-going for both search/recruiting firms and temporary/contract firms).

Causes of high recruitment turnover

Based on this continuous research, we were able to isolate several key factors, which are controllable, that contribute to the high turnover rates in our industry. These factors include the following:

  1. A lack of understanding regarding whom to hire
  2. An inability to attract the right type of individual to hire
  3. Mutual mystification in the hiring process
  4. Unrealistic expectations on the part of both parties
  5. A lack of identifiable and realistic performance standards
  6. Inappropriate, out-dated, or non-existent training programs
  7. Too much emphasis on training and not enough on results
  8. Lack of appropriate leadership and management support
  9. Failure to understand the nature of personal motivation

In order to decrease turnover and increase profits, you need to understand each of these factors and how to correct them if they are present in your firm . . . and that’s exactly what I will discuss in my next post for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog.

Train your hires to avoid recruitment turnover!

Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars in our Recruiter Training Library. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.

In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:

For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.

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Terry Petra is one of the recruiting industry’s leading trainers and business consultants.  A Certified Personnel Consultant since 1975 and a Certified International Personnel Consultant since 1989, Petra has extensive experience as a producer, manager, and trainer in all areas of professional search, including retainer, contingency, and contract, as well as clerical/office support and temporary.  For more information about his services, visit his website or call 651.738.8561.