Retention first, quality-of-hire second? Retention is always a good thing...right? Maybe not. It depends on the performance level of those you're trying to retain. Having a one-size-fits-all retention policy is not a well thought out strategy. If you have untrained or inadequately trained interviewers who are ineffective at surfacing High Performers during their interviewing process, a common result is marginal job performers are hired. Placing the focus on hiring first...then retaining your great hires is a much better strategy for organizational success. 

Why many hiring metrics miss the mark? Standard hiring metrics such as cost-per-hire and time-to-fill are inadequate because they focus solely on the effectiveness of the hiring process itself rather than on the hiring results. For example, a "fast, cheap" hire might seem good, but if the employee doesn't do a good job these metrics deceive us. Furthermore, Harvard Business School research found that 76% of turnover could be traced back to poor hiring decisions. Without the right metrics, organizations really don't know how well their hiring managers are doing at hiring.

What is quality-of-turnover? One of the best indicators of how well an organization is doing at selecting employees is their quality-of-turnover, specifically the short-term turnover numbers combined with the quality of job performance of those who left. As a general rule, "short-term turnover" is any employee who stayed one year or less. It's extremely important to know how well these short-tenured employees performed while there. Did they meet/exceed job expectations or fall short? How many low performers versus High Performers are leaving? The answers are critical because it determines what to fix. Short-term employment combined with low performance is less of a turnover issue and more of a quality-of-hire problem. Let's be crystal don't have a retention problem when poor performers are leaving because you don't want them to stay. The right thing is happening. You'll have an ongoing problem if they stay. You actually have a retention problem when the High Performers are leaving. In the latter, you are hiring well but they aren't sticking around. You need to determine why. In the former, you're not hiring well, and without addressing it, it becomes an unending cycle. Quality-of-turnover metrics are not only easy to track, they help organizations to see this very critical difference. Organizations that place emphases on retention without first understanding the performance level that is exiting can inadvertently create a culture of mediocrity by repeatedly hiring marginal job performers and then placing the focus on keeping them while leaving the core problem unaddressed.  


Quality-of-turnover metrics reveal the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of an organization's employee selection process and/or their hiring managers. Their purpose is to trigger positive change, and without them, generally there is no motivation to improve hiring results. Organizations that discover they do in fact have a hiring problem need to take corrective action to improve their results. This tutorial doesn't just stop at baseline or past metrics. It continues tracking results going forward. The idea is to determine the effectiveness of the corrective action, with the goal being a reduction in short-term turnover as well as a measurable improvement overall job performance. 

How does this tutorial work? For starters, the best strategy is to keep it simple. More hiring data is not always better because the more complex you make tracking...the more no one will have the time to track it. Simple works well - as long as you track the right information. This tutorial will walk you through actual quality-of-turnover metrics from an organization in Palm Beach County, Florida. It includes real data and real results. To track your own metrics, this tutorial provides simple step-by-step instructions and a downloadable Excel template with the formulas already built-in. Once you enter basic information, it calculates your quality-of-turnover for you. It even includes great pie charts and graphs. Click NEXT.