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Recruiting Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

Invest in your HR career to sharpen your recruiting skills.

If you’ve worked as an HR manager, or held another position with responsibility for hiring, you’re familiar with employee turnover and how operating with open positions can be a strain on co-workers, and on the organization as a whole.

In his book HR's Greatest Challenge: Driving the C-Suite to Improve Employee Engagement and Retention, author Richard P. Finnegan calculated the financial cost of turnover. According to a formula he devised, losing one nurse with an annual compensation package of $75,000 costs an employer $43,000.1 Finnegan arrived at that figure by factoring in loss of productivity and the costs of employee recruitment and acquisition, overtime for existing staff, training, and onboarding.

Recruiting Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

While turnover is a constant, human resource management professionals strive to keep the financial and human impact to a minimum. They know they must continuously update their recruiting strategies if they are to stay competitive in finding and retaining top talent. Here are some of the current strategies in play in the field of recruiting:

Fill the Pipeline

Losing a good employee is hard. But losing a good employee and having to start the replacement search from scratch can be burdensome and escalate the cost of turnover. Savvy HR career professionals keep their databases fresh and filled with likely prospects. Leads come from diverse sources including relationships with accredited online universities, professional groups, and even current employees. Many businesses use referral programs, paying small bonuses to employees whose recommendations lead to successful new hires.

HR managers know the value of these ongoing efforts, yet when asked about their recruiting plans, many believe they aren’t doing enough. An online Harris Poll survey for CareerBuilder confirmed this, with only 38% of respondents saying they recruit year-round.2 HR professionals frequently cite limited time and budget as reasons for less-than-robust recruiting. Yet as the Finnegan formula shows, turnover has hard costs, too. “Extended vacancies hurt companies’ ability to grow, maintain productivity, and keep existing employees engaged. One solution is to anticipate turnover in high-skilled positions and compile a network of able candidates waiting in the wings,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in a press release. “While it takes an investment, companies that continuously recruit and build a pipeline of talent are able to significantly reduce their cost and time to hire.”2

Invest in Existing Staff

Even when the job candidate pipeline is full, some positions are harder to fill than others. When that’s the case, HR managers often look to existing personnel to find potential candidates for those jobs. In the 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study The New Talent Landscape: Recruiting Difficulty and Skills Shortages, 48% of respondents said this was their organization’s most effective recruiting strategy.3 According to the study, “The largest organizations are the most likely to use training of existing employees to take on hard-to-fill positions as a way to deal with recruiting difficulty.”3 HR professionals must continuously assess their organization’s talent to identify and train promising individuals.

Get Social

Seventy percent of HR professionals surveyed for the SHRM study said they harness social media as a recruiting tool, making it their most-used strategy.3 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Rather than sending recruiters to colleges and job fairs … some employers are increasingly conducting their entire recruiting process online.”4 Companies seeking to make digital connections are investing in their online presence to ensure they’re conveying an accurate representation of their brand. That’s important because today’s digitally savvy job seekers examine an employer’s online footprint to see if the fit feels right. If it doesn’t, they may quickly move on, and that could be a missed opportunity. Online platforms can be important and cost-effective points of first contact. Just remember the adage, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

Level Up

As you assess your organization’s recruiting strengths, take a minute to think about yourself. Even if you have a human resource degree, it may be a good time to strengthen your strategic, organizational, and analytical skills by earning an MS in Human Resource Management. Look for a master’s degree program from an accredited online university to stay engaged in your personal and professional activities. Boost your skill level by selecting a master’s in human resource program that you can tailor to your interests and career goals. There should be options for professionals at all stages of their human resources careers—and even for those looking to start one. In planning your online HR degree program, you may choose to pursue a specialization or follow a path of general study. Through courses like Talent Management, you’ll develop contemporary recruiting strategies and build skills for talent selection, placement, and retention.

As an HR professional, you’ve seen how employees benefit from education and training. Why not give yourself the same opportunity? Deciding to enroll in an online master’s in human resource management program is a giant step into a future of exciting and expanded career opportunities. There is no limit on your potential for growth.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Human Resource Management degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,