The Benefit of Retention

Hire Right!

The cost of turnover is huge; especially to small businesses, says Small Business Advisor with the Rural Alberta Business Centre (RABC), Kathryn Hotte. The RABC held an employee retention workshop this past week, facilitated by Alberta Workforce Consultant, Karyann Boychuk.

“Become the employer of choice,” Hotte says businesses should be working towards making their company a desirable place to work at. “Where people want to come to you.” Money is not the number one motivator, explains Hotte, “the top three reasons people stay with a company is 1. treated with respect 2. interesting work 3. good communication with employers and co-workers.”

“What we found is most small businesses don’t have a recruitment strategy. They kinda just go from the seat of their pants,” Hotte says no matter the size all businesses should have plans in plans for how they will hire employees. The workshop focused on government resources that can assist in designing a hiring strategy, “we have a couple booklets here if anyone is needing one,” Hotte says business owners can stop into the RABC if they missed the session and still want some information.

Hiring right and keeping staff can be very cost-effective for a business, says Hotte, “the first thing we looked at was the cost of turnover. The statistic out there is the total cost of hiring an employee is 70-200 percent of their salary. Which is shocking.” There’s direct costs, like advertising the job position and indirect costs, such as stress on other employees who have to fill in while there’s a vacancy.

Hotte suggests being creative with you job postings and using the “behavioural interview technique”. Instead of asking strengths and weaknesses, try asking perspective employee to recall a real-life instance, explains Hotte, “ask about a past behaviour, because past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour.” Keep track of the interviewees answers in a numerical format and at the end of the recruitment process the candidate with the highest score gets the job, suggests Hotte, “it just keeps it very professional and objective.”


The RABC’s next workshop builds on this, Motivating and Managing your Team, on June 28th. The register contact the RABC 780-594-1090.