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Staff Turnover: It Starts at the Interview!

Staff Turnover: It Starts at the Interview!
Advice for employersLeadership
Publish Date: March 15th, 2024

Staff turnover is a concept all leaders, HR teams and business owners have to contend with. It’s a term often used interchangeably with employee attrition, churn, and many others, all of which effectively pose the same question: how many people are leaving your business, and how often do they come and go?

Hiring costs money, so it follows that having an overview of the things which affect how long people stick around for is crucial to long-term, sustainable growth. As business leaders, when we hire a person, we’re investing in them – be that time spent throughout the hiring process, costs associated with training, equipment and the like, and even the emotional investment which comes with making a key hire, one you believe could make a real difference to your company. Whilst attrition happens naturally in a lot of cases – retirements, redundancies, a friendly parting of ways even – there are things we can do to help. And the key is to first understand what might be causing people to leave.

Here are some key areas which may be contributing to a high staff turnover in your business, along with what you can do to improve them.

Hiring Process

A huge aspect of employee turnover comes down to simply hiring the right people! If you’re having employees come on board and leave before their time, or certainly sooner than you’d expected or hoped, it’s time to look at your recruitment process and ask questions as to where the disconnect is happening. Are you taking the time to find out all you need to know about each individual, from experience and suitability to cultural fit? Are you giving a true representation of what it’s like to work for you? Are you staying true to the job you’ve outlined for this person and the responsibilities it entails? Hire the right people to begin with, and your turnover rate will naturally reduce.


Issues with onboarding usually happen when an unrealistic expectations are set for the role during the interview process, and/or a lack of preparation on the business’ part for that all-important start date. Whilst this alone may not affect whether your new employees stay or leave, what it does do is set a precedent – so it’s important to get right. Have your onboarding process nailed down, including goals set, timelines built and expectations managed, then keep in constant contact for feedback throughout. This way, you’ll be able to potentially see and then mitigate any issues before they lead to an employee leaving the company prematurely. Simply put: start as you mean to go on.

Workplace Factors

There are occasions when you’re going to hire someone and they just won’t be a fit – it’s unfortunate, but inevitable, given that company culture is tricky to both identify and portray at interview. That being said, there are definite workplace factors you do have control over, and they can affect turnover massively. Such things include work-life balance; it’s becoming evermore important, as is championing mental health. Showing you care about your employees’ wellbeing will go a long way to garnering their loyalty. On top of this, pay attention to employee relations internally, and make sure there’s no toxicity growing amongst individuals or teams. Cultivate a positive, healthy workplace, and don’t be surprised when employees stick around as a result.

Overall, staff turnover is inevitable – but starting off on the right foot can go a long way to improving retention further down the line. We help companies build workforce strategies which start from the initial hire, reaching through the onboarding process and beyond, to reduce turnover and make your business an employer of choice. To talk more about how, get in touch.

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