Struggling With Employee Turnover? Check Out the Q4 Jobs Report

By Robert Half January 26, 2017 at 7:00pm

In today’s candidate-driven market, the reason for your employee turnover could easily be a matter of supply and demand.

The latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) continues to show unemployment for finance and accounting professionals is far lower than January's 4.8 percent national unemployment rate, which translates to a shortage of skilled candidates in the job market.

The number of people quitting their jobs was up more than 300,000 compared with just two years ago, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report.

Accounting and finance professionals remain in demand, with the following unemployment rates for the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Hiring Market infographic

Competition and employee turnover

The bottom line is that your company is likely one of many competing for finance and accounting professionals in your region. Even if you strike gold, hire your top-choice applicants, and put them to work, they may not stay, leaving you with employee turnover.

When I talk to new employees, whether they’re entry-level accountants or chief compliance officers who take the revolving door out of a job they’ve barely started, I hear some of the same reasons: It’s not a good fit. I’m not doing work I was hired to do. I don’t feel supported.

More and more, I also hear this: I have other options or I have a better offer.

Here are three steps you and your management team can take to keep employee turnover from happening at your company.

1. Understand the impact of salary trends

Not only is competition steep for the roles you are trying to fill, companies are willing to pay a premium for top talent in a candidate-driven market, and job seekers are receiving multiple job offers and counteroffers.

What would be the high end of your pay range for a new employee? That’s likely where you need to start to compete with other companies out there. And remember that money isn’t the only incentive to keep top talent: Employee perks and benefits can go a long way to stem the tide of high turnover.

Make sure you’re up to date on the latest salary trends, review industry reports, such as Robert Half’s Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance, and check with your network peers for trends they are seeing.

2. Illuminate the work style of your organization

Your company’s culture and what it’s like to work at your firm should have been communicated during the interview process. That’s when the personality of the candidate should have been assessed, too.

Determining whether someone is the right fit for your organization can be challenging, even if you’ve maximized interactions with people within the organization, discussed work hours and work style, described the office environment in detail, checked references, and asked/answered all the questions related to the company’s culture.

A key to preventing an employee from leaving early on is to give applicants a chance to ask their questions about your management style and company culture. You want them to be confident they’ve assessed your firm and are confident in their decision.

On the first day of work, offer a warm welcome and a formal or informal orientation process. Introduce the new employee and schedule a lunch with the team or department members. Consider a training or mentoring program to get your new hire up to speed and bolster employee engagement.

3. Recognize the value of communication

Your onboarding process starts before the first day, when you reach out to revisit the goals and responsibilities of the job. During week one, continue to share the company’s vision and organizational chart, along with your own management style and expectations.

Check in often during the first month, and have regular catch-ups to give the employee the opportunity to air any concerns or ask questions about their work or their position. Celebrate early successes in a team meeting for the sake of motivation. Offer on-the-job training and professional development.

Starting on day one and continuing throughout the employee’s tenure at your organization, emphasize the highlights of working at your firm. Keep falloff in employment at bay by keeping your staff excited to be a part of your firm.

As the manager or employer, you’ve made an investment in the recruiting and assimilation of a new team member. Think of it as a race you’ve been in since the firing of the starter pistol. Now it’s up to you to prevent employee turnover and make sure you cross the finish line.

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