Retention of Staff – What to do to keep them

Client Advice


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Got a New Employee ?

How Are you Going to Keep Them with You?  To retain them?

How are you Planning their Onboarding. Induction and Probation?

As a recruiter who specialises in recruitment for growing business I talk to business owners about the whole recruitment process, from the job description through to what they will be doing to keep their employees once we find them that ideal person. I often hear them say that they do not have “onboarding”, probation or induction processes.


They don’t  realise that they need to take responsibility for the retention of their staff – that what they do with them once they are onboard will affect whether they stay and their ongoing performance and productivity.  Often, no thought is given as to how to get the best out of the individual they are hiring and how to keep them in the business once they have hired them – the retention part of the recruitment process.

Why Consider This?

Sometimes companies may  have had a bad experience recruiting in the past. Often, they are really worried about the “whole recruitment thing”.  Maybe they haven’t managed people before.

“You take people on, you spend a fortune with a recruitment agency and then they leave” and yet when you ask why people leave, they are often unable to tell you specifically. Or , they will tell you vaguely, that the candidate didn’t fit in, didn’t grasp what was expected of them and will admit that they didn’t and still don’t have a process for training and onboarding.

If you are all  working within a specific framework that all parties understand and that has been clearly outlined in writing to the new starter, you will find it so much easier to manage the process and avoid conflict and confrontation.

Replicate the Process as you Grow

Of course once you have this process in place – it is the same for all new recruits to your business – you follow the same process template for your onboarding.

Don’t Miss a Meeting

Never miss a review meeting, always give them at least one weeks’ notice of the meeting and communicate clearly in writing the purpose of the meeting and you will find it much easier. You should prepare for the meeting too. If you have any issues or concerns about how they are doing their work- you need to do that in the meeting.

I like to think of your new recruit as a lovely lush plant all ready to be dug in to your garden display. If you give no thought to where you put it, or what you put it next to, or what direction it is facing, and then you don’t water it ,there is of course a chance that it will grow somehow. There is also a fair chance that it will die immediately or be OK for a little while and then it will wither and die.

So, when you are planning your next recruitment campaign do take time to fully consider the post hire, retention piece of the campaign.

Make a plan

  • What is their probation period?
    What level are they required to achieve for them to be confirmed in their role?
  • How are you going to communicate these points to the new hire? In their offer letter/contract? In their first Induction meeting?
  • Who is going to have their Induction/Probation meetings with them and to what format?
  • Who is going to train them? On what? Which software or internal process or standards do they need to know?
  • How do they know what your company standards are?
  • Do they know what to do if they don’t understand something or have a problem? Who do they go to?
  • Do they know what kind of culture you want in your business?

Having those performance review/probation review meetings with your new employee, lets you know how your new recruit is getting on, what training needs they have, and if they are fitting in generally.

Benefits of the Review Meetings

Something we can overlook is the value of what a new employee has to say about us and our business. The questions they ask their reviewing manager, can offer a different perspective of what we do every day. Done correctly and in the right way these conversations encourage our staff to comment and contribute, they help us embed the values and culture of our business, which in turn will help to make our employees feel valued and involved in the way the business is run. Which means of course that they will stay with us longer and are more productive.

If you feel unclear or worried about all of this part, don’t worry – you are not alone and it isn’t actually difficult once you break it down.  You can follow the above plan, research if for yourself on line and of course an experienced recruiter or HR consultant will be able to help you with this.

By the way, when you are choosing which recruiter to work with – ask them about this post hire and retention part of the process, and if they don’t seem able or interested in supporting you with this – I would suggest you look elsewhere! Someone you are paying for recruitment services will want your new employee to stay with you. Their reputation depends on it!

In Summary

Thinking about and planning for retention is essential. If we spend money on a luxury item, that is not like anything we have had before, it would be much better to work out , before we buy it,  what we need to do to take care of it, to get the most out of it and how to keep it running at optimum level…… wouldn’t it?

Recruitment isn’t just about the candidate accepting your offer of employment after all. Talk to your recruiter about the whole recruitment story – not just about sending you CVs.



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