Top metrics to gauge the success of your attraction and retention initiatives

Posted on January 16, 2024

By Oliver Kuehm

At MacDonald Search Group, our executive recruiters view the success of our client's attraction and retention initiatives as one combined measure of company success. For example, with better retention initiatives, you can attract candidates who are better fits and more likely to remain in your employ longer.

In this article, I’ll share why measuring candidate attraction and retention metrics is essential to remain relevant in the competitive recruiting market.

Why it’s important to track attraction and retention success

Tracking metrics is vital in providing tangible markers to monitor the success of your recruiting efforts and employee retention. The more dialled in your recruitment process, the more likely you’ll attract qualified candidates who will thrive in your corporate culture.

Why is effective recruiting important?

  • You spend less time recruiting and more time on your key business functions.

  • You can attract higher-calibre applicants with fewer unqualified candidates.

  • You get a better understanding of what attracts applicants to your company.

Why is good employee retention important?

  • Better hiring translates to more dedicated employees and lower employee turnover.

  • With higher retention, you spend less money on-boarding and training new staff.

  • You learn more about what it takes to retain qualified employees (compared to your competitors)

3 KPIs and metrics to track

You can track many metrics to better understand the success of your candidate recruitment process and your employee retention, but here are three key metrics to start with:

Average employment length

You will save time and money when your employees stay with your company longer. Showing potential candidates that your employee retention is high may attract higher-quality candidates.

While some turnover is expected (due to stepping-stone jobs or life changes), you want to retain as many employees long-term as you can. Measuring employee retention can be broken down by role or department to help you better understand what roles or teams have the highest retention rates so you can emulate those strategies across the company where appropriate.

To calculate the retention rate for a given period: Divide the number of employees at the end of a period by the number you had at the beginning of the period, then multiply by 100.

Career development pathways

My colleagues and I have seen a considerable increase in attraction and retention rates for companies with clear, tangible career growth pathways and advancement opportunities. Employees want to know there are opportunities for advancement (and increased pay) within their company, giving them incentive to work harder and stay with your organization. Most career-minded individuals don’t want to “zig-zag” between companies and roles for career advancement, so having clear promotion and succession plans will appeal to these candidates.

To calculate the effectiveness of career development pathways: Calculate retention for a period before you implemented advancement pathways and again for the same period after. It’s effective if your retention rate increases with the changes.

Competitive and creative compensation

Salary and compensation are often huge considerations for candidates when comparing job roles. A popular strategy to attract and retain employees is offering competitive and creative performance bonuses slightly higher than your competitors. These performance based incentives are most common in sales roles but can also be used to incentivize other departments such as product development, R&D, and marketing.

You can attract the top talent when you offer slightly above the market-average compensation. This slightly higher compensation is often still less than you’d spend if you had to recruit and hire a new employee for the position.

To calculate the effectiveness of compensation: Consider doing an employee happiness or satisfaction survey, with questions related to their satisfaction in their role and feelings about their future at your company.

How a recruiter can support your attraction and retention strategies

Most recruiters will happily consult on market research regarding compensation and employee attraction. Based on our knowledge of your industry and the job market, we can recommend attraction and retention strategies most likely to help you attract the best-quality talent.

Contact a MacDonald Search Group executive recruiter in Toronto or Vancouver or any of our Canadian officestoday to get started.