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Employers – Have You Lived Up to Your Promises?

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If high turnover is killing your business, it’s time to take a long hard look at the reasons why people are leaving. Have you made some bad hires, or is it more complex than that? Are you failing to deliver on the promises you’ve made to employees?

We explore the ways employers fail to deliver on their promises that cause staff to leave their jobs, including:

  • the two contracts employers make with their employees
  • the measures to help you determine whether your commitments to your staff are being kept
  • how the right recruitment processes can make it easy to keep your promises, prevent employee turnover and help your business thrive

Did You Know You Have Two Contracts With Your Employees?

When hiring new staff, businesses make two sets of promises in two very different ways. The first is the traditional employment contract that sets out commitments like compensation, hours and holidays. It’s easy to tell when you’ve fallen foul of this agreement as you’ll have grievances to deal with and possibly even employment tribunals.

The second agreement, known as the psychological contract, is a more subjective set of promises, made during the hiring process and beyond. This term encompasses the beliefs, expectations and obligations a worker perceives to be due from their employer.

Examples include:

  • personal development
  • job security
  • career prospects
  • manager support
  • employer’s reputation and impact on society

These unwritten expectations can significantly impact the length and quality of the employment relationship. Employees who feel they are getting back as much as they put in are likely to demonstrate higher levels of commitment and better behaviours and performance. Those who feel they’re being short-changed will probably put less effort in and may even leave.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), reasons for leaving fall into two camps: push and pull factors.

Pull factors include a new job with attractive pay and benefits or the lure of working overseas. Push factors include dissatisfaction about an individual’s present job which could be caused by lack of career progression opportunities, a poor relationship with the employee’s manager to organisational change.

Trying to fix these issues once they raise their ugly heads is often too late and takes time and money. Instead, recruiting the right people can prevent many of these challenges by matching individual expectations with companies whose cultures are aligned.

How to Hire For the Long-Term

Here are a couple of ways your business can make this happen.

Give employees good reason to stayCareer paths and promoting from within instead of bringing in new blood every time someone leaves is a great way to encourage employees to stay. And hiring the right people is key to making this work for your company.

Bring in staff who only have the aptitude to do the job you hire them for and you’re never going to be able to promote people into more senior roles. Instead, partner with a recruitment agency with the expertise and candidate pool to offer a range of candidates with different levels of experience and potential.

This will enable you to recruit strategically with an eye on the short, medium and long-term by hiring people with the capability to develop into more senior roles.

Ensure the right cultural fitMaintaining good working relationships is critical not just to employee retention but to organisational effectiveness as well. By understanding the personality types that will work well within your business you can ask an agency to sift CVs, conduct personality tests and interview people who will be a good cultural fit.

Sometimes there will be a personality clash – we’re only human after all – but good recruiters can find people who will work well with your business by using thorough recruitment techniques.

Does hiring the right people guarantee zero turnover? No, it doesn’t. But no turnover is as unhealthy for businesses as high turnover.

Instead, you need to set a turnover tolerance that your business can cope with and aim to keep resignations at the right level. Keeping your promises to employees is critical to achieving this.

What Should You Measure to Check You’re Keeping Your Promises?

Hiring staff who are a good fit relies on partnering with a recruitment agency that invests in long-term relationships rather than short-term fulfilment. Recruiters who sell their services on the basis of time-to-hire stats or the amount they can cut recruitment fees by won’t help you deliver meaningful results.

Instead of focussing on short-term, cost-saving figures, you need to be measuring stats like:

  • Employee time in role
  • Optional staff turnover (resignations) versus industry norms
  • Regretful losses (top performers who resign)
  • The percentage of internal promotions in comparison to external hires
  • Employee engagement scores to reveal attitudes to pay, culture, development and leadership
  • The results of anonymous exit surveys to gain real insight to the reasons people leave

As you collect this data, you’ll begin to build up a picture of your employees’ expectations as well as any gap in comparison to the promises you’ve made as an employer. Armed with this knowledge you can determine the steps you want take to mend bridges and watch your retention rates rise.

For quality recruitment with a focus on long-term strategic solutions, contact We Are Adam on 0161 359 3789 or 0207 871 7665 or email at