Keys to Reducing Turnover through Effective Hiring


Bad hires and high turnover are costly. In fact, 80 percent of turnover is the result of poor hiring decisions, according to the Harvard Business Review. A bad hire means you have to repeat the process of recruiting and interviewing candidates, and hiring and training a new employee. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that these costs, in addition to the productivity lost when other employees are forced to pick up the slack, equal one-third of a new employee’s annual salary.

In addition to draining company resources, turnover resulting from bad hires can stall growth and affect employee morale. Externally, high turnover can damage an organization’s reputation and relationships with customers and business partners. People may start to question your judgment.

Effective hiring begins with conducting a job analysis and developing a profile of the ideal employee. Establishing requirements for experience, education and background are important, but this won’t tell the whole story about the employee you want to hire. What behaviors, attitudes and personalities are required to succeed in a certain role? Creating a benchmark based on the behaviors, attitudes and personalities of your organization’s top performers. By placing people in positions that match not only their skillset, but also their personality traits and behavioral profile, you’ll reduce turnover. Also, what red flags should eliminate candidates from consideration? All of these characteristics and factors should be included in the job analysis and employee profile.

The next step is to develop a job description that targets the best employees. Focus less on providing a list of skills and experience requirements and more on defining what specific tasks the candidate will be expected to perform. This will help you match the right person with the actual job rather than a certain skillset. Remember, the best candidate doesn’t always make the best employee. The best candidate may be able to check off every skill and background requirement on the list, but the best employee will be able to do the job well.

Conduct multiple interviews and let current employees help you evaluate candidates. There is no silver bullet for evaluating candidates, so use different approaches in multiple interviews, including performance-based and behavior-based questions. Pre-screen by phone to ensure each candidate meets your most basic requirements. Ask for input from top performers who will be working directly with the new hire. People can learn how to give good interviews. The key is to get beyond the rehearsed, textbook answers in order to identify the best employee.

The recruiting of employees should be a standardized process that both saves time and reduces turnover rates. This process should be assessed regularly to determine what is effective and practical and remove steps that are cumbersome and ineffective. By improving your process, you’ll attract the best candidates and hire the best employees.


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