Is Your Need To Hire the Symptom or the Problem? It May Be Time to Invest in Employee Retention Efforts Blog Feature


Denise Miller

By: Denise Miller on November 8th, 2018

Is Your Need To Hire the Symptom or the Problem? It May Be Time to Invest in Employee Retention Efforts

Hiring is a topic we hear a lot about today. Many business owners I talk with indicate they have a need to fill positions on their team and many feel they don’t have time to devote to it or lament it’s taking too much of their time. As a hiring manager you only have so many hours in a day; making the best use of your time is key.

Before you spend another minute on hiring, I would challenge you to first get to the root cause of your need to hire. No good doctor would prescribe a course of treatment based on one indicator. Instead, they would ask more questions to better understand all the symptoms, make the correct diagnosis, and choose the best treatment plan.

By changing your focus from the immediate need to hire to what is triggering the need, your time will be directed where it can do the most long-term good for your organization.

So why do you have openings on your staff?

You’re growing and there is a business need to add positions.

Congratulations! This is a good problem to have! Nevertheless, it’s still a problem. Before looking for candidates ask yourself these questions:

  • What exactly am I looking for? This saves you time when evaluating resumes.

  • What type of person will support our culture? Write some interview questions to uncover if the candidate is a culture fit. Save yourself some time dealing with the disruption a wrong hire can create within your organization. Today’s hiring mistake is tomorrow’s headache.

You’re unable to retain your best and brightest employees.

These are the employees who were performing and you saw a bright future for them. You’ve spent time hiring them, training them and then they left. This can be the worst-case scenario and it’s important to prevent it from repeating! Consider implementing a practice of stay interviews to continually seek insight into what is important to the employee and how your company can keep them engaged. Most people are familiar with exit interviews. It’s important to understand why someone is leaving but it’s even more useful to understand what makes people stay. To learn more, be sure to watch our webinar recording on stay interviews.

You’re not sure why people are leaving.

Regardless of their level of performance, you don’t have an understanding of why you continue to lose employees. If this is the case, invest some time in figuring this out! Be open to honest feedback knowing it’s for the good of your organization to figure out why people leave.

  • Conduct exit interviews. Make the most of your time by having planned routine questions to ask whenever someone leaves your company.

  • Consider a one-time retention study. Reach out to former employees for feedback. Since they’ve already left the company and some time has passed, the amount of information they feel comfortable sharing may be greater than that received during an exit interview. Save time and open the door for even more honesty by hiring a third party to conduct the retention study on your behalf.

Those who left didn’t have the skill set you thought they had when you hired them.

This might actually be a hiring problem. Spend time now examining your hiring process. A strong interview and assessment process can save you time in interviews by focusing on specific areas of strengths and weaknesses so your interviews clearly identify previous relevant experience and success as it applies to your open position.

Before your Next Hire, Evaluate Ways to Retain Your Employees

Whether your problem lies in the initial hiring phase or the retention phase, there are steps you can take to help you hire and retain the right people:

  • Evaluate your interview processes

    • Know exactly what you’re looking for

    • Identify the type of person who will support your culture

    • Link interviews and assessments directly to behaviors and experience needed for success in the open position

  • Be proactive. Conduct stay interviews to learn what’s important to your employees and how you can keep them engaged

  • Conduct exit interviews to gain insight into why employees leave

Focusing on why the hiring need exists in the first place will allow you to hire and retain top talent for long-term success.

Learn more about stay interviews...

Watch the free introductory webinar recording to find out what stay interviews are, who should conduct them, how to prepare for them, and what essential skills are helpful in conducting them.

More questions? Ready to streamline your hiring process?

PathShare has experts ready to share their unique knowledge of the industries we serve to help you with a number of organizational development initiatives, including hiring. Learn more by visiting

Denise Miller

Denise Miller is a Senior Human Resources Consultant with PathShare® HR Services. She is a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional and holds an additional Talent Acquisition specialty credential allowing her to help GreatAmerica customers be more successful within their hiring process. Her certification with the Activity Vector Analysis (AVA) allows her to assist in assessing talent for behavioral fit within the role they are being considered. Denise regularly conducts Professional Selling Skills® sales training classes to help support consultative selling skills. Prior to joining the PathShare team in 2013 Denise spent 10 years in a sales role at GreatAmerica working directly with dealers in the office equipment industry helping them grow their customer base.

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