Attrition is a costly issue that continues to rise on the talent agenda. For companies looking to cut their resignation rates, one answer is to review the way they attract new employees.

“A trend we’re seeing across our client base is an increased focus on retention – in particular, there’s a push to stop employees from quitting in their first year,” explains Jacob Zabkowicz, Vice President & General Manager, RPO, Global. “The job of Talent Acquisition functions is not just to hire qualified candidates, but to hire candidates who will stay.”

To reduce the likelihood of new employees quitting, Talent Acquisition needs to get the right people to apply in the first place, then it needs to be proactive in helping new hires understand all the opportunities for career advancement. When speaking with candidates, some of the most commonly cited reasons why employees quit in the first six to 12 months can be linked to talent attraction and the way that organizations communicate their Employee Value Proposition (EVP), their employer brand and the detail of specific job roles.

3 key reasons employees quit in their first six to 12 months

  1. Feeling out of sync, or uncomfortable, with the company culture or purpose.
  2. A lack of understanding of the value and impact of their role.
  3. Discovering their tasks or responsibilities were not as expected.

“A strong EVP should highlight the reasons to join an employer and stick around, but it should not just be a list of selling points,” says Zabkowicz. “If you are recruiting for retention, then the EVP needs to align directly to the organizational vision, mission, purpose and values—to attract new employees with the right cultural and motivational fit.” If the purpose and values are front and center at every stage of the candidate journey, then new starters are less likely to feel the “culture shock” that is a common cause of early resignations.

An effective EVP: Honesty is the best policy

“Another key issue with EVP and employer brand is authenticity. Some organizations are very aspirational in their messaging to candidates and may even oversell their career offering. You have to reflect reality because if your employee experience doesn’t live up to the promises you make, then new hires won't stick around for long,” Lenka Burnett, Senior Client Partner, RPO adds.

As well as being authentic, an EVP should also be relevant to the candidate audience. As Burnett describes, “EVPs are often created at a global or national level—but does the messaging feel meaningful to candidates at a local level? If your EVP is positioned at professional employees, don’t be surprised if there are attrition issues with blue collar roles.”

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More than RPO — talent realized

Communicating the candidate journey: Overpromise to employees at your peril

Overselling the reality of a role is another reason for attrition. “If you make claims such as ‘every day is different’ or ‘employees have the autonomy to make decisions’, then it’s no surprise that people quit if the reality turns out to be different.” says Burnett. “Furthermore, candidates are often provided with a list of key tasks or responsibilities, but they are not told how their time will be split between those tasks. It’s natural for the candidate to form an idealized impression of what the day-to-day will be like.”

To prevent buyer's remorse in new hires, be sure to set realistic expectations at every stage of the candidate journey, from job adverts to interviews.

Ultimately, if Talent Acquisition functions want to hire people who will stay, then candidate attraction has to be authentic, relevant and accurate.

Lower your attrition rates today

Learn more about how TA leaders can lower attrition rates through effective onboarding practices and cultural assessments or by downloading our new paper on Talent Acquisition and Attrition.

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