Thought leadership is in and some leaders love talking about how they care for their employees, but their retention rates aren’t proving what they are talking about. The first few months of an employee is when you build your first impression and relationship with them. But what happens when they’re already planning to leave?
Employee turnover can stem from various factors, and it’s crucial to understand these causes. We’ll explore why employees leave early and how organizations can address these challenges. From shaky onboarding to job-role mismatches, we’ll break down the reasons behind talent departures and offer practical solutions.
Early Job Departures: 9 Reasons Why Talent Leaves You
Employee departures have reached concerning levels in recent years. For instance, a significant percentage of new hires are leaving within the initial months of employment. In fact, 33.87 percent of new hires within the first month, and within the first three months, this figure spikes to 68.06 percent.¹
These statistics underscore the urgency of addressing retention challenges, particularly during the crucial early stages of employment. That’s why it’s important to understand what influences their departure.
1. Your onboarding was lacking.
Onboarding sets the tone for new hires to make them feel at ease and prepared for their new role. It can also shape how they integrate into a team. However, when onboarding falls short, new employees might feel disoriented, unsupported, and undervalued.
Don’t believe us? Research says employees are 69 percent more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding process. But that’s not all, 22 percent say they’d look for another job if they didn’t receive a good introduction or onboarding, while 41 percent said they might look elsewhere.²
Poor onboarding can make employees feel unprepared for their role and overwhelmed, ultimately leading them to seek opportunities elsewhere.
2. Mismatched role expectations.
When the role doesn’t align with expectations and skills, employees may feel dissatisfied and inclined to leave early. Consider an IT specialist joining a reputable tech company. However, upon starting the role, the candidate discovers the majority of their tasks involve routine troubleshooting of outdated systems, with limited opportunities for creative problem-solving or involvement in cutting-edge projects.
If the job contrasts starkly with the reality of daily responsibilities, it might leave them feeling unfulfilled and uninspired. As a result, the candidate becomes increasingly dissatisfied and will explore other career opportunities better aligned with their expectations and skillset.
3. They found no growth and development opportunities.
In today’s workforce, employees aren’t just seeking jobs—they’re also striving for professional fulfillment. Employees who want to succeed in their chosen career path will always be looking for developmental opportunities.
This is because these opportunities can provide them with improved skill sets and better compensation in higher positions. If they don’t find growth within a company, they might leave for another organization that can provide it for them.
4. They had a poor relationship with their manager.
Good managers can lead their employees to do great work that’s fulfilling and impactful. They are also open to communicating and receiving feedback.
Conversely, poor relationships with one’s manager can make an employee feel like they aren’t supported. This can lead them to feel lost or alone. Micromanagement can also exacerbate the issue, stripping employees of autonomy and suffocating their sense of ownership over their work.
5. They didn’t feel heard.
Talented employees bring valuable ideas and insights to the table, seeking to contribute meaningfully to their team. When their contributions are ignored or dismissed, they may seek out opportunities where their input is valued and respected.
6. Their contributions weren’t recognized.
Employees crave recognition for their contributions, as it validates their efforts and encourages continued growth. Recognized employees feel valued and confident in their work, leading to increased engagement and participation.
On the other hand, a lack of recognition leaves employees feeling overlooked and undervalued. This sense of invisibility can breed dissatisfaction and prompt employees to seek opportunities where their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated.
7. They didn’t have sufficient work-life balance.
Poor work-life balance can lead to burnout. In fact, Deloitte’s survey of 1,000 full-time 77 percent of US professionals experienced burnout in their current role.³ Burned-out employees can perform poorly and end up dissatisfied with their jobs. This can influence them to quit to find a new employer who can provide a better work-life balance.
Gallup’s survey further emphasizes the significance of work-life balance, with 61 percent of US employees expressing a desire for greater balance and personal well-being in their next job.⁴ These findings highlight the importance of organizations prioritizing work-life balance to retain top talent and foster employee satisfaction.
8. Broken promises.
Failing to uphold promises made during the hiring process can erode trust and damage the employer-employee relationship. Accountability is crucial in ensuring that commitments made during hiring and onboarding are fulfilled, as they directly impact employee expectations and satisfaction.
For instance, if a hiring manager promises new equipment for the job, it’s essential to allocate the necessary budget and deliver on the commitment within the specified timeframe. Consistently meeting promises reinforces trust and fosters a positive employer-employee dynamic.
9. Considering a return to a previous employer.
Some employees are dissatisfied with their current roles or recent job changes, leading them to consider returning to their previous employers. For instance, 43 percent of individuals who quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic now admit they were better off at their old organizations.⁵
Additionally, nearly one out of five employees who left their jobs during the pandemic have since returned to their former positions.
This factor may not directly relate to your performance as a staffing firm, as some employees simply find more comfort or satisfaction in their previous roles. Sometimes, despite efforts to provide suitable opportunities, individuals might still choose to return to familiar environments.
Strategic Solutions to Retain Employees
Replacing a worker isn’t cheap, especially if you just hired them too. Here are five ways to enhance employee retention and provide them with an unforgettable work experience.
Optimize your hiring process.
Finding and keeping top talent starts with a smart hiring process. Too often, good candidates slip away because job ads aren’t clear, or interviews are too quick. To keep great people longer, companies need to rethink how they hire:
Craft Compelling Job Descriptions
- Ensure job posts accurately reflect the role and its responsibilities.
- Be transparent about job requirements, expectations, and workload.
- Provide a clear and honest picture to attract genuinely interested and well-suited candidates.
Thorough Interview Process
- Go beyond the job description during interviews.
- Discuss role requirements in-depth to assess candidate alignment.
- Evaluate candidates for both skills and cultural fit.
Implement Innovative Recruitment Strategies
- Utilize social media, networking events, and employee referral programs.
- Build a diverse and inclusive workforce to enhance creativity and innovation.
- Your hiring process is a work in progress – keep refining it.
- Aim to bring in talent that’s not just skilled, but also fits your culture.
Engage them in the onboarding process.
During onboarding, show new employees they’re valued. Ensure their workstations are ready and their emails set up. It’s also the ideal time to address any remaining questions or concerns openly and honestly.
If you can’t address their needs directly, assign a knowledgeable employee as their guide or mentor for the initial months.
Begin mentoring early.
Assigning your new employees their mentors may show them that you are invested in their growth within the company. This can also help them adjust to their new roles with ease. Start mentorship programs for new employees as soon as you can by asking them what their career goals are.
Keep communicating and committing.
Regular communication and feedback with their leaders can help employees build a firm relationship with the organization. This builds trust among them. Regularly ask your employees how they are doing and ask for their opinion if they think there’s anything you can improve within the organization.
Ensure you follow through on commitments made during discussions, to maintain integrity and trust.
Leverage exit interviews for insights.
Exit interviews offer valuable opportunities to gather feedback into the reasons for an employee’s departure, as well as any areas for improvement in the recruitment and placement processes.
Ask questions to understand the factors that influenced the employee’s decision to leave, such as job satisfaction, career growth opportunities, or cultural fit. Additionally, gathering feedback on the recruitment experience itself, including communication, onboarding, and job expectations, can help identify areas for enhancement.
Read More: Dive into Talent Pools That Never Dry Up
MAXIMIZE EMPLOYEE RETENTION WITH ALLIED INSIGHT
Facing early departures? Allied Insight can help! As experts in digital marketing for staffing firms, we understand the challenges of retaining employees. Let us assist you in effectively communicating your brand values to both candidates and clients.
Our strategic approach will help you elevate your brand messaging to attract and retain candidates, driving growth and success for your firm. Contact us today to explore how our digital marketing solutions can tackle retention challenges head-on, helping you communicate effectively to mitigate early departures!
1 Vultus Inc. “Why Do 33% of the New Hires Quit within Six Months?” LinkedIn, April 14, 2023, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-do-33-new-hires-quit-within-six-months-vultus-inc-/.
2 Mazur, Caitlin. “17 Incredible Onboarding Statistics : HR Trends in Hiring, Training, and Retention.” Zippia, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/onboarding-statistics/.
3 “Workplace Burnout Survey.” Deloitte, www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/burnout-survey.html. Accessed 7 Feb. 2024.
4 Wigert, Ben. “The Top 6 Things Employees Want in Their Next Job.” Gallup, 21 Feb. 2022, www.gallup.com/workplace/389807/top-things-employees-next-job.aspx.
5 Locapo, Domenic. “15+ Million Pandemic-Era U.S. Job Quitters Say They Were Better Off in Their Old Job.” UKG, 20 Apr. 2022, www.ukg.com/about-us/newsroom/15-million-pandemic-era-us-job-quitters-say-they-were-better-their-old-job.