Reducing staff turnover in recruitment teams

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It's ironic, really. Recruitment companies need their own services more than any other industry sector. In the UK, annual staff turnover averages out at 15%. The recruitment sector, on the other hand, loses 43% of its employees every year. Even call centres do better, with 16%. Looking to reduce staff turnover in your team? Here are some top ideas.

Only 57% of recruiters stay in one company for nine months or more. Each replacement comes with heavy costs; the UK average is £12,000. It's not just the price of recruitment though. Training costs and loss of productivity also add up. And that's before you get on to indirect costs, such as the impact on business relationships and team morale.

There's been lots of discussion as to why the recruitment sector has such high turnover. Are recruiters overselling the prospects of a glamorous and high-paid lifestyle? Are candidates expecting a less sales-oriented environment? Maybe it simply takes a special type of character to deal with the high levels of rejection.

Ready for mission "reduce staff turnover"? Let's get started:

Start right

Glassdoor lets you see common interview questions for recruitment consultant roles. It's got all the classics that you'd expect: why recruitment, why us, why now? Questions that rely on the candidate to know what working in the role will be like.

What if you turned the tables? Think taster days, particularly if uni grads are a key talent source for you. Think social media content – a day in the life and so on. Addressing this issue head-on would require bravery. After all, recruitment is competitive. Handled right, it could make for one hell of a campaign.

All on-board

Strong onboarding processes affect staff retention by 82%. That means making a good first impression and following it up with clear goals and support. For more ideas, check out our recent blog post on how to get onboarding right.

It undoubtedly helps to have thick skin to work in recruitment. Is it nature or nurture? Many companies are now making resilience part of their soft skills training. Why not consider adding it to your programme?

Think rewards

Recruitment is a tough gig, no question. Talk to your team about how to inject positivity into the day-to-day. A bit of fun at work never goes amiss – whether that's deal celebrations, team games, recognition for a job well done or just a bit of a giggle.

If you don't already have a regular employee survey, it's well worth the effort. The reassurance of anonymity means you get a heads-up on key employee concerns. And the time to act before people think of leaving.

Build support

Do employees leave companies or just their managers? The jury's still out. It won't hurt to make sure you've got the basics covered: goal setting, regular one-to-ones, performance reviews and so on. Then think one step further, whether that's coaching or peer mentoring. Again, your current team is a great place to start this conversation.

Watch the data.

Exit interviews can shed light on your turnover rate. Is the team member leaving to go to another recruitment company? Or are they leaving the industry as a whole? What are they willing to share about their reasons?

A mixture of quantitive and qualitative data can help you track progress over time. It will also help you to see how much goodwill is left at the end of the working relationship.

What would you do to reduce staff turnover? Let us know your top tips.

Photo by Michael Jasmund and Neil Thomas on Unsplash