Staff retention and recruitment is the key to a companies success

May 2014

Staff retention and effective recruitment strategies are key to any companies success and if they are not managed effectively will not only lead to low productivity and a demoralised workforce but cost companies a small fortune. 

A recent study by Oxford Economics for income protection specialist Unum has shown that the cost of recruitment to employers in the UK is estimated at £4.13 billion with accountancy staff being one of the highest at £38,463 per head. This figure excludes the cost of any recruitment fees and is primarily made up of the cost of getting a new employee trained and up to optimum performance.  The cost also includes the time HR and Managers spend in managing the recruitment process.  Additionally, companies need to deal with the negative and destabilising impact that staff turnover has on their employees. Staff will often start wondering what the underlying reasons are behind staff leaving, even if there are sound reasons, and start to look over the fence at what opportunities are available.

Sheridan Maine have recently launched their 2014 salary survey which included a comprehensive survey on benefits and retention and revealed that 57% of employees felt that their companies’ benefits package needed to be reviewed in order to remain competitive.  What also came out of the survey was the importance now being placed on quality of life factors that enable staff to juggle their home and work commitments. Whilst salaries in 2013 did not change significantly we are forecasting they will begin to rise in 2014 with the economy steadily improving and opportunities being created.  Britain's growth forecast has been increased by the European Commission to 2.5 per cent and with unemployment falling at its fastest rate for 17 years, things look to be on the up.

The war for talent is therefore heating up quickly with qualified and skilled workers becoming more difficult to retain and source.  The impact of losing talent and needing to recruit is therefore a double edged sword as it not only leaves behind a void of knowledge, expertise and uncertainty but ultimately costs companies a significant amount in lost productivity. This can also be a vicious circle where companies rush to back-fill a role resulting in the wrong person being hired which starts the whole cycle all over again.

It is therefore essential for companies to ensure they have strategies in place to retain their top talent and recruit the right people. This can be easier said than done however there are two key points that we would recommend:

1. Review your salaries and benefits package to ensure that you are competitive within your market sector.  Talk to staff about what is actually important to them and try to be flexible in your approach to providing benefits. Our survey highlighted that it’s not always about the money and non financial benefits can sometimes be as attractive to employees. As Bill Gates, Chairman & CEO of Microsoft said, "The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area."

2. Invest in your recruitment strategy.  Rather than seeing recruitment as a cost and a nuisance to the business, see it as an opportunity to bring in fresh talent that will ultimately lead to increased productivity.  As Steve Jobs, Chairman & CEO of Apple said, "The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world."

Click here to view our online salary and benefit retention survey or click here to view details of all our salary surveys including our detailed London and Public Practice surveys.