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4 signs you have an employee retention problem.

Sep 27, 2018

Just a generation or two ago, it was the norm for workers embarking upon a career to start a job right after school and stick with it until retirement. Today, however, the situation is vastly different. Employers in almost every industry are struggling with employee retention challenges — and that's not going to change any time soon. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 38.2 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in 2017, and more than three million people have quit each month during 2018 so far. There are a variety of reasons why people quit, but regardless of the reason, job hopping has become the norm. In fact, a survey of over 5,000 millennial professionals found that a quarter have already worked for five or more employers

But even though a lifetime commitment is no longer a realistic expectation for employers, that doesn't mean you should treat retention as a lost cause. Keeping your staff intact — especially your top performers — is critical for staying competitive in today's economy. But how do you tell the difference between a retention crisis and normal, expected turnover?

Here are four signs you've got a retention problem.

employees are leaving in droves

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it may not always be so obvious — especially since a river of exiting employees often begins as a mere trickle. There are significant business costs to replacing employees, so it’s crucial to stanch the flow as quickly as possible. It’s also key to keep office morale steady when there’s a mass exodus of familiar faces. Our research shows that low compensation, a limited career path and work-life balance issues are the most common reasons employees leave their jobs, so do what you can to find the root of the issue at your organization,

employee tenure is shrinking

Maybe you're not facing a crisis yet, but HR records show you’re hiring more frequently than you used to, and turnover is occurring at a faster rate. If your employees are leaving to take on new roles, that means they were either looking for a new job soon after joining or were successfully poached by another employer. They may have been offered better salary and benefits, a bigger challenge — or they just weren't happy with your organization. 

If your employees are leaving without a new role in place, that's a dire sign indeed. Quitting without securing a new job is a sign that they were so unhappy that they were willing to risk their financial stability to escape your organization. And we're all aware that a brief tenure looks questionable on a resume, so consider why your employees are risking having to answer questions about it to prospective employers.

exiting employees are leaving negative reviews online

Take the time to read reviews left by previous employees online. Since 34 percent of job seekers read employer reviews online, these affect candidates' decisions to accept an offer. They may even have a negative impact on your overall brand, as well. And don't just read them — look for common threads, like workplace disorganization, employees feeling unchallenged or salaries that weren't competitive.

These may not be easy fixes, but as the cost of replacing an employee hovers around 21 percent of a specific employee’s actual salary, you want your retention rates to stay as high as possible.

top-performing employees are among those jumping ship

It’s reasonable to assume that your top-performing employees should be the easiest to retain, right? After all, they're engaged and delivering consistently solid work. But if they're not being compensated appropriately or feeling unchallenged, they may look for an exit.

This is where exit interviews become especially crucial. Ask your departing stars why they're leaving and what you could have done to retain them. Then, make a checklist of where the company is falling short: Is there a clear path for advancement for everyone? Is performance being adequately rewarded, especially in contrast to less productive employees? Perhaps the most important, do they feel valued by the company? Remember: loyalty goes both ways.

don't just observe — take action

Employee turnover is a fact of the modern business world, but if you keep a watchful eye on the signs that employee retention has become a problem and implement a plan to combat it, it can turn into just another manageable facet of business operations. So once you’ve identified where the trouble is coming from, it’s time to figure out how to fight it.

How to have the reputation you deserve.

Sep 26, 2018

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors and generous philanthropists, is often quoted as saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about it, you’ll do things differently.”

And it’s worth thinking about. When it comes to your career, building a reputation is as important as building your resume. And it’s much harder to change.

How and where do you begin? And what should you keep in mind as you navigate the working world?

be on time

Construction happens. Traffic can be a beast. Things don’t always go as planned. We know this. So give yourself extra time to accommodate the things that should be exceptions but can turn into the rule.

According to one study, up to 20 percent of the U.S. population is chronically late, and not because they don’t value others’ time. These habits often trace back to childhood.

The solution? According to researcher Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, be realistic about how much time your commute takes and give yourself some buffer time.

Set a routine so it becomes a habit and do everything you can to prepare the night before. Finally, get comfortable with downtime. If you’re early, look at it as a chance to catch up on emails, calls or just enjoy the quiet.

dress for the job

Dress codes exist for a reason. They remove doubt and distractions. No one wants to send someone home to change.

If you have questions on office culture, check with someone from HR or a recruiter. Still not sure what to wear? Err on the side of caution and keep it sensible, at least until you get a feel for the environment and your role.

give us your undivided attention

Does this sound impossible? We walk, talk and check texts on our phones. Surf the web and watch TV. But what does this say to those around us? We don’t think what’s in front of us deserves our full attention.

Put your phone in your desk drawer and check it on breaks and at lunch. And save social media for when you get home.

deliver on your promises

It’s tempting to say yes to everything, especially in the beginning when you want to make a positive first impression. But overpromising and under-delivering can be worse than saying no.

The key is to communicate and clarify expectations up front — and along the way. Check in at the start of a project and be clear about goals throughout.

Spend five minutes now considering the small things you can do to make a difference in how you’re perceived at work. Sometimes all it takes are a few tweaks to build a reputation you can be proud of.

Find out the moment opportunities become available by signing up for Randstad's job alerts. Just tell us the kind of position you want, and we'll email you when we find it.

Behavioral Q&A 101.

Sep 6, 2018

Behavioral interview questions — questions about how you handled various work situations in the past — are so common today that you’re unlikely to sit through an entire interview without fielding at least one. Questions like: How have you overcome obstacles? How have you dealt with conflict in team settings? How have you prioritized your workload to meet deadlines?

If you’re drawing a blank, don’t panic. Below, Randstad breaks down five of the most common behavioral interview questions you’ll hear — so your answers can be as prepared as the offer letter.

describe a stressful work situation — and what you did about it.

As with the rest of these questions, it’s good to be candid — but only to a point. You don’t actually need to describe the worst thing that ever happened to you at work. But you do need to make it clear that the situation you’re describing, however stressful it was, wasn’t stressful because of lack of preparation on your part. One safe bet is to talk about a presentation you had to give. You could talk about how you prepared for it, how it went and what you learned — with the takeaway that you’re now a much better, more confident public speaker as a consequence. Telling the story of how you turned a challenge into an opportunity should be your goal in all of your answers to these behavioral interview questions.

describe a project you worked on as part of a team.

Teamwork is such a vital part of success for nearly every organization, and the ability to collaborate effectively and communicate clearly will always be highly prized by employers. What’s more, candidates for highly collaborative roles may find that they are hired — or not — based on team camaraderie and whether they’re perceived to be a good personality fit for a specific team. In developing your answer to this question, it’s better to use a successful project than one that failed. After describing the goals of the project, go into the specifics in some detail, like your responsibilities and how the overall responsibilities were divvied up among your team members. Be patient in articulating your response to this question, as you’ll need to talk about it step-by-step.

how did you resolve a difficult situation with a client or vendor?

One key aspect of behavioral interview questions is that they highlight processes and outcomes. It’s part of the reason they remain so valuable for employers. Your prospective employer wants to know that you’re able to work within an established framework to solve problems. That’s why, as banal as it sounds, the best answer to this question is simply to talk about your communication skills. For example, describe a situation in which you patiently addressed an issue with the client or vendor while alerting internal higher-ups of the situation and working with them to find a solution. If you can recall a situation in which a client or vendor was overreaching or overbearing, that’s not a bad place to start.

when you’ve disagreed with coworkers, how did you handle it?

This is another question about communication, but in this case, your goal is to describe a situation where compromise was reached. After all, people working in teams always bring different points of view to the table, and the success of the team depends on employees being able to talk out these differences and reach compromises. Think about your own experiences working on teams and the times you’ve resolved any potential conflict. Keep in mind that the compromise itself doesn’t need to have come about through formal or public channels. If you and the coworker discussed the situation and arrived at a solution over lunch, that might be proof of the tact and diplomacy you bring to solving problems.

tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.

With a little prep work and practice, this one should be a home run. Just make sure you tie the accomplishment back to the duties and responsibilities of the role you are applying for — that way, your accomplishment isn’t just something that happened in the past but something that you’re still bringing to the table today. Finally, it’s important to realize that the interviewer is actually asking you to speak to what motivates you. Line that up with the scope of the role that you’re applying for and you’ll do fine.

Find out the moment opportunities become available by signing up for Randstad's job alerts. Just tell us the kind of position you want, and we'll email you when we find it.

mega branch offers access to digital job search tools and personalized career guidance services

Sep 26, 2017

Randstad’s new, interactive Human Forward Mega Branch combines the best offerings from our brick and mortar branches with digital interactivity. Launching as Randstad’s most progressive branch, clients and job seekers will now be able to interact with the latest technology to empower — not overshadow — personal human relationships. Research shows job seekers are frustrated with an over-automated recruiting process when it supersedes the human aspect of the process. Randstad’s new Human Forward solves this problem by embedding today’s intelligent machines and technology within the fundamentally human talent-acquisition process. Delivering on this promise, Randstad launches the interactive Human Forward Mega Branch. 

Highly interactive HR technology at the Human Forward Mega Branch allows talent to access both digital job search tools and personalized career guidance services. The immersive experience is guided by a virtual assistant, who invites candidates to start their search using in-office kiosks to explore new career paths and find the best jobs to match their personalities. This virtual aspect of the experience includes technology from companies Randstad invests in through its Innovation Fund, like gamification platform Pymetrics, which offers fun and engaging ways to find the best-match opportunities. 

Clients and candidates are able to connect with internal associates across almost every line of business at Randstad, creating an uninterrupted line of communication. Complementing the technology is the familiarity and comfort of human interaction, where candidates meet one-on-one with expert recruiters to get personalized interview and resume advice. 

If you are in Atlanta, visit Randstad’s new, interactive Human Forward Mega Branch at 990 Hammond Drive #200, Atlanta, GA 30328. The branch’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.