Are you investing your talent budget in the right places?

If you’re a hiring manager in an industry experiencing skills shortages, chances are that those in your board room are experiencing stress levels moving in the opposite direction to the unemployment rate. You’ll be talking how to spend your talent budget in designing attraction programs focused on sniffing out, enticing out and engaging hidden talent.


But think for a moment.


Do you know what are you spending your money on, and why? Our research shows that during the probationary period employers make the decision to move employees out in less than 10% of cases. This fact should surprise you, given that this is the point of a probationary period. Even fewer employers transition employees between the end of probation and the 18th month of their employment.  


So what’s happening with the other 90%? Why do people leave?


In this period it’s the employee, not the employer who generally makes the decision to move on and it usually for one of one of three reasons:


Pre three months

1) Employees believe they are the right person for the organisation, but just in the wrong job. This is poor job definition.

2)  Employees believe they are the wrong person in the right job. This is poor recruitment and selection processes.

3)  Employees have a circumstance that has arisen beyond their control.


Post three months

1)  Poor attachment. This is completely within the employer’s control.

2)  Uncontrollable circumstances beyond the employee or employer’s control.


Given the above, here’s where we think organisations should spend more of their money.


If you are experiencing high attrition within the first three months, then review your recruitment processes, including job review and definition. Think about what you are measuring in any onboarding surveys. You should also ensure that all managers responsible for the selection process, or even just a part of it, have undergone some form of selection training. Interestingly, our own research shows that only 20% of hiring managers have participated in formal interview training.


If your recruitment is sound and you are experiencing attrition between three to 18 months, then focus your people managers’ attention on attachment. That’s the strength of the bond your employee feels to you and your organisation. Like a parent child relationship the first formative period is critical to whether an employee trusts you, whether they feel secure and whether they feel accepted and like they belong to your organisation. Low attachment equals higher risk of attrition and unproductive performance.


There are actually 20 different drivers that influence employee attachment.  These include the professionalism of your recruiter, communication through the recruitment process, the first day welcome right through to how clearly senior management articulate their vision.


If you assess your new employee’s attachment then meet them regularly throughout their first 120 days to review the drivers, your employee’s development and progress relative to their fit for the job, then you’ll find a much closer alignment between how you see their attachment, and how attached the employee actually is.


The discussion following that to resolve any differences could be as simple as a cup of coffee.


A much investment all round, we say!

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