You’ve Hired the Best: Here’s How to Keep Them

26 May 2021
Black and white graphic of a team of people representing employee retention

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of our clients, who, when I first started working with them, had a staff attrition rate of 30%. While this is exorbitantly high, in the Fintech and Cyber industries it’s not unheard of. The cost to replace great talent can be anywhere between 50% and 150% of base salary. So, let’s talk about retention – and how businesses we’ve worked with have achieved lower attrition rates.

Why you’re losing great employees

There’s a never-ending list, right? Perhaps someone decides to relocate. Or maybe it’s just a simple case of a more attractive offer coming along. But I’ve been in this business for years, and I’ll be honest with you. A lot of the time, high turnover rates are because of the business, not the talent.

Here are the two most common reasons I’ve seen for recent hires deciding to walk out of the door:

1. Lack of clarity

Businesses have a definite tendency to oversell the role they’re hiring for. They oversell it to their internal talent acquisition teams; they oversell it to me, too. To be honest, it’s easy to see why. Businesses desperately want to attract the best, so they dress up the role, the environment, and pretty much everything else to really ‘wow’ impressive candidates. They market themselves in one way, and act in another. So it’s not surprising that new hires turn around and say “this isn’t what I thought it was!”.

2. Barriers to success

Picture this. You’ve made a great hire. A real forward-thinker with the confidence to come in and implement change. But your team isn’t on board. This is incredibly common when hiring disruptive change agents who want employees to deviate from their norm. Your new hires instantly become ‘the enemy’. They’re antibodies that eventually get rejected from the business because they’re unable to do what they came in to do. There’s only so many barriers to success that one person can take.

Retaining your best talent

At Innovex, one of the best things we’ve ever done was to implement a candidate aftercare programme. We now work with executive leadership coaches and psychiatrists to support both the candidate and the client during those first 6 months. We check in regularly, and ensure that the expectations of the client and those of the hire are staying aligned. And if they’re starting to deviate, we’re there – we’re ready to work on it, and find ways to ensure both sides of the equation are happy.

We also strongly encourage our clients to implement some sort of feedback platform. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a confidential questionnaire is all it takes. Anything that allows new hires to share their thoughts, tell businesses what they’re doing right when it comes to supporting staff, and highlight room for improvement. Don’t underestimate the power of just listening and adapting to staff needs.

Of course, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be competitive, either! This is something that we’re really trying to drive home at the moment; the fact that offering something different or unique can make your business a great place to work. Right now especially, when Fintech and Cyber Security firms are hiring rapidly, candidates have so much choice. Self-care days and Zoom-free Fridays are a step in the right direction. You need to think about staying ahead of the market – and that means offering competitive remuneration, opportunities for professional development, and much more.

Pushing the boundaries of search & advisory