Employers should prioritize retention over hiring, study suggests

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2 min read

May 23, 2023

By Kathryn Moody. The article was originally published in HR Dive on September 23, 2022: https://www.hrdive.com/news/employers-may-need-to-prioritize-retention-over-hiring-study-suggests/632540/

Dive Brief:

  • Customer service employers may be more concerned with finding new employees than retaining existing ones — to the potential detriment of their organizations, an MIT Technology Review report released Sept. 15 said.
  • While 62% of employers surveyed said they struggle with increased recruiting costs, only one-third said that high staff turnover is a problem. To combat this issue, leaders need to develop career paths for customer experience staff that expand beyond the contact center, the report said.
  • That means robust learning programs — and a culture of learning and development — may be a key retention tool for those organizations, the report continued. Such programs should tie into employees’ personal and professional goals, it said.

Dive Insight:

Employers contending with an unprecedented talent market and looming recession have begun “labor hoarding,” some reports have said — and a culture of L&D may be one way to keep workers on board.

Other surveys have shown that hourly workers (a large cohort of customer experience workers) are “reshuffling” where they work to find greater flexibility and opportunities for advancement. Notably, Snagajob’s survey also said that companies need to showcase paths of growth within a company to keep talent engaged.

Employers can create a culture of learning by cultivating an inclusive environment for workers and prioritizing time for L&D for all, experts previously told HR Dive. Such cultures also provide opportunities for HR departments to find talented potential employees for open roles within their organizations, reducing turnover and improving retention overall.

For organizations concerned with customer experience specifically, “skills and training” are among the greatest obstacles to success, a Momentive report released at the end of 2021 found. Involving leaders in such programming can help keep workers engaged and ROI high, the report said.