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How to Stop Your Employees From Quitting

March 19, 2015

QuittingHave you been noticing more employees quitting in recent months? Well, you’re not alone. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on job openings and turnover, there has been an increase in the number of employees quitting. In the most recent report, the BLS examined the hires and separations from January 2015 as well as how these numbers compared to months previously.

Overall, the job market in 2014 and in recent months was shown to be very healthy—the number of job openings increased for private and public sectors across the United States. In addition to this information, the report also determined that there has been a steady rise in the number of people voluntarily leaving their job. The quit rate increased 17% from January 2014 to January 2015. In particular, there has been a rise in recent months. In November 2014, 2.6 million quit their jobs, and this rose to 2.7 million in December 2014 and to 2.8 million in January 2015. These voluntary turnover rates increased for several industries, including accommodation and food services and professional services.

Because the job outlook is more promising now, people are feeling more comfortable that they can easily find a new and better opportunity by job hopping. So, what does this mean for you and what can you do about this during the hiring process?

1. Take a close look at their resume

Do they have a history of bouncing around from job-to-job? If so, then they will likely continue to do so. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So, review their resume for their commitment to recent jobs. Take some signs from their resume. Are they only at jobs for a few months at a time? Have they been employed at several different companies in the past few years? These can be a good indication of their levels of commitment.

2. Assess for motivational fit in an interview

Motivational fit occurs when there is an alignment between a candidate’s interests for a job and beliefs about work and a job’s expectations or organization’s values. We know that when there is a good match or alignment of beliefs and expectations between employees and the job/organization, the employee is much more likely to be satisfied with the job, to show up to work on time, and to stay on the job. The chances that the employee would leave when there are high levels of motivational fit are very low.

Motivational fit can be effectively measured during a structured interview. Posing questions such as what aspects of their current job they find satisfying or what types of tasks they find dissatisfying in a job, can give you a good idea of the candidate’s interests. You can get a sense for their level of motivational fit by comparing what they say to what the job offers. If there is misalignment, they will be much more likely to voluntarily leave the job. Make sure that candidates not only have the skills critical for the job, but also have a high degree of motivational fit to reduce the likelihood of voluntary turnover.

3. Consider using an assessment tool that identifies a candidate’s likelihood of quitting

Screening tools can be an objective and effective method of getting a sense of a candidate’s risk for absenteeism and turnover. Pairing biographical information with personality items, we can zero-in on an individual’s tendency to leave. This information can be very helpful when determining whether the candidate would show commitment to the job and stay on the job.

Even though there is a national trend for employees to voluntarily quit their jobs, you can take these steps so your employees are not part of this statistic.

The Ultimate Hiring Manager’s Guide

Alissa Parr, Ph.D. Alissa Parr, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant at PSI. Her areas of expertise include the development, implementation, and evaluation of assessment processes. Alissa has experience managing entry-level through executive level assessment and selection efforts across a number of different industries including government, financial, military, education, healthcare, and manufacturing.