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How To Avoid The Curse Of High Staff Turnover

Source | LinkedIn : By James Caan CBE

After 30 years in recruitment, a lot of recruiters I meet often ask for my opinion on some of the big issues across the sector. The most reoccurring one over the years which cannot be ignored is staff retention.

Staff turnover in the recruitment industry is really high, every year the sector loses around 25% of the workforce.  These figures of around 25-30% is a little embarrassing for an industry that prides itself on putting people into jobs, especially when the recruitment market is vital to most economies around the world. In the UK in particular it’s one of the fastest growing sectors, with around 100,000 employees.

Obviously, turnover rates deal with emotional and human issues and you can never be entirely scientific about the exact reasons people leave a role or a sector altogether. Each business and sector will need to decide for itself what turnover targets are acceptable to them, and then take the necessary actions to address the situation, but why are so many recruiters leaving the industry every year….?

Today, through job boards and social media, we all have access to and share the same pool of candidates with our clients. Therefore average recruiters will not make it in this competitive market. In my view, consultants that leave the industry every year do so because they may only be able to perform around 50% of the job well, because of inadequate training. I’m certain that this churn is simply because they haven’t been given the tools to do the job effectively and have not been taught the skills required to thrive in the industry. 

There isn’t a set standard in training for recruitment and this is, in my view because of the advent of social media. Recruitment agencies have moved away from robust training and instead have depended on the use of tech. Why teach people the art of recruitment and how to source effectively etc when they can save costs and just use LinkedIn and job boards instead? In my view, the sector has been cutting corners with social media and the industry has suffered through high turnover rates because of this.  I want to address this issue head on and my aim is to create a clear differential for all recruiters, to add value to their role and help them professionalise their careers.

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