hiring recruiters

How To Hire Employees Who Stay (Part 1)

(Hint) It’s not them…It’s you!

The recruitment industry is well known for high turn-over. Recruiting is one of the tougher careers, so why do we as employers make it harder on the people who work so hard for us?

I am fortunate enough to talk to recruiters from all over North America. When conducting career consultations, I get to hear all about the many challenges with their current employer. I started to see some patterns of poor behavior. I hate to say this, but in many cases, it’s not the employee. It’s you, dear employer.

It boils down to several common habits that often result in losing highly valued, revenue generating recruitment staff. Over the next few posts, I’m going to go into more detail for each of these habits. But here they are in a nice handy list:

  • Poor hiring habits.
  • Poor training & development, if any.
  • Poor employee engagement.
  • Unsupportive work environment.
  • Uninspiring compensation plan.
  • Boring 9-5 work environment.

Today, I’ll focus on the first point: Poor hiring habits.


Hiring Correctly Makes Money

Every week, a new boutique agency opens with the promise of a long and prosperous future. Every day a large and established recruitment agency needs a new recruiter. Theses companies “do what they do best”, they hire. Sometimes they train, sometimes they don’t and then get down to business. If all works out they hire again and continue to grow.

If the company is not hiring correctly, there is a great chance that some of the newly hired employees will not “work out”. The result is some will quit or sadly need to be walked out.

Either case, time, effort and money invested in each employee is lost. If this continues, a start up company can fail and go out of business; large organizations can suffer financially and may even lay off good recruiters.

Retention in any company depends a lot on their hiring practices. The recruitment industry has no clear diploma or certification as a prerequisite for employment. It’s difficult to set standards for what defines potential success. So Recruitment companies set their own standards, which are as varied as the number of companies. In other words, there is no set standard.

So what does “high retention” hiring look like in the recruitment industry? It’s all about hiring the right people, people you want to keep and who at the same time want to stay.


Let’s start with the specific industry niche. Recruiters who are hired to source, screen and qualify professionals for an industry or niche should come out of that specific industry. This is not a 100% rule, but being a subject matter expert is highly recommended as the learning curve is significantly reduced. These recruiters can communicate with candidates on their level and candidate engagement is a key factor to success.

Also, new recruiters who are already a subject matter expert (SME) can focus on the tools and techniques of recruitment and don’t need to worry about learning finance, technology or medical terms. This in turn increases the possibility of early success.

Personality Fit

The recruiter’s personality also plays a key part in recruitment industry success. A Recruiter who is quiet, prefers to e-mail and is maybe even afraid of the phone will have a huge challenge to overcome. Introverted-type people will struggle with the most typical tasks in recruitment, which are social in nature.

The proverbial extroverts with high energy and who like to move in large social circles will find it much easier to connect with many new professionals every day. Let’s face it, recruiters are networkers. We socialize and work at creating and managing long-term relationships with candidates and with clients. Some of the best recruiters I know are basically fearless on the phone and they love people.

Work Ethic

Here is a key factor everyone understands, but not many screen for. Recruiters who understand that hard work will result in a positive financial outcome (effort equals money) are the ones who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and go that extra mile to find that perfect candidate. Look for that “old-fashioned” work ethic learned at an early age.

The key is to get the right fit from the beginning. Do you use standard hiring practices? And if so, does your screening address issues like industry/niche knowledge? Personal motivators? Personality type? Work ethic? Learning and problem solving styles?

Be sure to check back later for Part 2 of this series on how to keep your staff.


With over 20 years of experience, David Mandar has grown progressively through his career in Recruitment and Staffing. His in-depth knowledge of the recruitment process in both agency and corporate environments gives him the capability to assist employers with hires and candidates with career choices.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: How To Hire Employees Who Stay (Part 2) – Train them so they stay | Hiresonance

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