How to Reduce Involuntary Turnover

Employers spend a lot of time and energy trying to reduce employee turnover.  This often means making large investments in their workers and their company culture in the effort to retain top talent.  But what happens when you’re the one asking your employees to leave?  When an employee is terminated, rather than leaving of their own volition, it’s called involuntary turnover.  This process can not only be emotionally taxing but also financially costly, since it takes a lot of time and money to screen, interview, hire, and train a new employee to take that person’s place.  In fact, the U.S. Department of labor estimates the cost of a bad hire at 30% of an employee’s first year salary.  However, although bad hires may seem like an inevitability, there are measures you can take to reduce your rate of involuntary turnover.

One of the best ways to avoid involuntary turnover is to hire the right people in the first place.  This starts with cultivating the right applicant pool.  Your candidates’ first impression of your company is usually through job posts, and for this reason they are invaluable for attracting the right kind of talent from the start.  Be sure your job descriptions accurately describe job requirements, expectations, and company culture.  A carefully written job post can help attract not only more total applicants but also more qualified applicants.  This way you’ll have a larger group of candidates to pull from when hiring.

That being said, more options don’t always make hiring easier, especially when you need to sift through a lot of candidates.  Pre-employment testing is one hiring tool that helps you highlight top applicants in your talent pool regardless of how many applications you receive.  By administering testing early, you get standardized, objective data on your applicants, enabling you to prioritize who you want to reach out to first.  It also acts as an additional source of predictive information that can help you make more informed hiring decisions.  For instance, pre-employment testing can get at the heart of some of the most important job requirements for a position, including an applicant’s cognitive aptitude, personality, and acquired skills.  In fact, cognitive aptitude has been repeatedly shown to be one of the best predictors of success in a job.

Another way to be sure you’re hiring employees who are a great fit is by combining all the tools at your disposal to learn about a candidate before you hire.  For instance, by themselves, reviewing resumes and conducting interviews can be unreliable, potentially leading to bias in the hiring process.  However, when you combine information from resumes, interviews, and pre-employment testing, you gain a much better understanding of your applicants and are more likely to make a smart hiring decision that will ultimately reduce your turnover.  As a matter of fact, companies that have incorporated all these elements into the hiring process have seen improvements in training completion rates and overall employee retention.

There are also steps you can take to make sure your new employees start off on the right foot once they’re hired.  An important part of an employee’s future success in a company is making them feel like part of the team.  Group lunches and activities can help everyone on your staff feel connected and engaged in the workplace.  You may also want to assign new employees a mentor or buddy to help them feel welcomed and supported as part of a standardized onboarding procedure.  It can help make them feel more committed to the goals of the company.

Training is also a big part of employee retention.  If a new worker isn’t properly trained, they are much more likely to have lower productivity and end up performing poorly.  It may be helpful to develop a consistent training program that you can use for your new hires, so you are using both you and your employees’ time as efficiently and productively as possible.  Setting your new employees up for success from the beginning means that they’re more likely to succeed and become an engaged, productive team member.

Involuntary turnover can be costly to a business, but there are ways to reduce instances of employee termination.  By using all the tools available to gather predictive information before you hire, and by giving your new hires the support they need to succeed, you can minimize your risk of involuntary turnover and improve your bottom line.