Here’s Why Talent Retention is a Major Priority for HR

A new survey finds that retention is top of mind among many HR practitioners.
By: | July 26, 2019 • 2 min read

It’s clear from at least one survey that HR professionals are more concerned with retention than talent acquisition.

A recent pulse survey conducted by the Next Concept HR Association of its members (from organizations of all sizes) found that 80% agreed with the following statement: “My organization would run more smoothly and productively if we could find a way to hold on to our best workers.” By way of contrast, only 48% of participants agreed with this statement: “My organization could grow faster if we could only hire more quickly.”

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“Talent acquisition has long been a top priority for companies in many growth industries like technology, and in areas like the San Francisco Bay Area,” says Greg Morton, CEO of NCHRA. Many organizations feel they have to recruit constantly in order to ensure they have a steady supply of talent to handle an increasing volume of work, he says. “But the perpetual search for new talent often leads to a revolving door effect in which new hires aren’t fully utilized, and existing employees don’t feel truly valued. Interestingly, the HR practitioners who participated in this pulse seemed to be more interested in talent retention than in merely hiring for the sake of rapid growth.”

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In aggregate, only 27% of respondents in this pulse said that their organizations are using technology well to better attract and retain top talent.  Participants from the technology industry responded slightly higher, with 32% saying that they are using technology well. Within the healthcare and hospitality industries, 77% said that they were open to exploring new technology solutions to better attract and retain top talent, outpacing the aggregate response of 62%.

Click HERE to read more about how CHROs can tailor their retention strategies. 

The NCHRA, which conducted the survey in partnership with online-survey platform Waggl also posed the open-ended question, “What can your organization do differently to better attract and retain top talent?” Crowdsourced responses were distilled into a ranked list.  Here are the top five responses:

  • “Shift the culture towards employee purpose and how it aligns with our business strategy.”
  • “Be more proactive, rather than reactive.”
  • “They need to have better training and development.  They do a great job for new-hire training but it stops there. Looking at employee retention is an important aspect of the employee lifecycle.”
  • “Continue the onboarding process past day one. Invest in smart, talented people and provide training and growth opportunities to create a career trajectory for each employee.
  • “Career/growth opportunities. Improve company culture/perks”

The NCHRA, one of the largest HR associations in the U.S., changed its name from the Northern California HR Association in 2018 in part to reflect the size and diversity of its members, who hail from all corners of the country and several foreign countries, including Poland.

Andrew R. McIlvaine is senior editor at Human Resource Executive®. A Penn State graduate, Andy also spent two years in the U.S. Army prior to attending college and attained the rank of sergeant while serving in the Army Reserves. He can be reached at [email protected]