I want to share some insights regarding the concerning statistic that only 14% of employees who secure a job through answering ads and a resume submission manage to remain employed for three years or longer. Eighty-six percent have left the company in 3 years or less! Understanding the factors contributing to this low retention rate is crucial for your organization’s future recruitment strategies and talent acquisition efforts.

With a review of recent industry data, and over 30 years as a recruiter, I’ve identified several reasons that may help explain this phenomenon:

  1. Lack of Alignment: Candidates who apply through job ads often have limited knowledge about the company’s culture, values, and long-term goals. As a result, they may not possess a genuine alignment with the organization’s mission, leading to job dissatisfaction and disengagement from the company over time.
  2. Skills Mismatch: Although candidates may meet the basic qualifications outlined in the job description, there could still be a significant gap between the skills they possess and the skills required to thrive in the role. This mismatch can result in decreased job satisfaction and reduced chances of long-term success within the organization. This is what I call hiring a “Find” and not a “Fit.”
  3. Unrealistic Expectations: Job advertisements tend to highlight the positive aspects of a position while downplaying potential challenges. Having pre-conceived expectations is like having a pre-condition of a disease. An example of this most people can relate to is buying a used car. You hope it’s going to be reliable, comfortable, and enjoyable to own. But those kind of expectations just set you up for disappointment. It’s the same way with a new job. As a result, candidates may develop unrealistic expectations about the role, the work environment, or the growth opportunities available. When these expectations are not met, employees may become disillusioned and seek alternative career paths – which means answering more ads and sending out more resumes. This behavior has led to the largest group of employed candidates labeled “Job-Hoppers.”
  4. Limited Cultural Fit Assessment: Hiring decisions based solely on a haystack of resumes tend to overlook the importance of cultural fit. The lack of a comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ values, working styles, and interpersonal skills can lead to a poor match between the employee and the organization’s culture, resulting in early departures. Remember, you are not hiring a resume…you’re hiring a person.

To address these challenges and improve employee retention, consider implementing the following strategy:

Enhance Recruitment Channels: Fact: 46% of recruited candidates stay on the job for 3 years or more (3x longer than the “Resume Slingers” above.

Exploring alternative recruitment methods, such as working with outside recruiters, attracts directly-approached and vetted candidates who are unaware of your job opening. A focused industry recruiter will present a group of qualified and interested top-performers for your open positions. Your hiring cycle will be shortened and there is much less lost revenue from not having critical positions hanging open for long periods of time.
By implementing this strategy, you can increase the chances of recruiting employees who are more likely to stay employed for three years or longer, enhancing our overall workforce stability and productivity.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or additional insights on this matter, I encourage you to share them with me in the Comments below.. I work with growing companies to build a stronger and more engaged workforce. “A “Fit” not just a “Find” is more than a slogan. It’s the way I’ve run my business for over 30 years!