What Does An Employee Retention Specialist Do?

An excerpt from Staying Power:

While retention must be top of mind for leaders across the organization at this point, companies also need to identify and empower retention specialists to gather information, drive the conversation and implement these new initiatives. When turnover reaches a certain level, many organizations finally approve the funding for an additional position to help the HR team get their heads back above water. Unfortunately, too many companies have a kneejerk reaction at that point and quickly hire another recruiter. It makes sense, at first, based on the increasing number of applications to review and interviews to conduct. Can a recruiter improve retention by creating a better pipeline of candidates, adjusting the selection criteria and implementing more effective hiring assessments? Yes. But is a recruiter going to resolve the internal issues that are causing most people to leave? No. So why not make this new approved resource a retention specialist, who can diagnose exactly why people are leaving and help create a place where people want to stay instead?

What would a retention specialist position look like, you ask?

There is more than enough responsibility to justify the creation of a part-time or full-time position within most organizations, which can bring tremendous results. Take a look at this list of potential job requirements, which encompass much of what Staying Power was written to address.

  • Gather qualitative and quantitative retention data by conducting and analyzing employee surveys and/or stay interviews (see more on “stay interviews” near the end of Chapter 4)
  • Build employee networks, tasks forces and committees
  • Serve as an employee ambassador for staff to ask questions and provide feedback
  • Ensure the onboarding process is welcoming, thorough and incorporates the company culture
  • Determine gaps where additional supervisor and management training is needed
  • Coordinate (and possibly conduct) supervisor and management training and development programs
  • Identify operational and/or system changes that will help your organization adjust to a shorter-term workforce
  • Analyze compensation and scheduling for models that better align with today’s workforce
  • Develop innovative opportunities for advancement and career paths for workers
  • Implement recognition and appreciation programs across the organization
  • Ascertain ways the organization and managers can be more transparent with employees
  • Develop effective staff meeting schedules, agendas and tools for those leading meetings
  • Craft organizational messages that instill the company’s mission and core values
  • Revamp the interview process, selection criteria and applicant communication plan
  • Create more realistic job preview opportunities for candidates
  • Improve the company’s employer brand within the community
  • Work with all leaders to make the organization a better place to work

Keep in mind, this person will not serve as the sole owner of retention and should not be blamed if retention numbers don’t improve within their first six months on the job. It takes time to implement these changes and a willingness among all the organizational leaders to build a culture of retention. This person is that initiative’s conductor.

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