The Solution to Job Turnover: Smarter Hires with Better Data


Giving corporations a way to measure an applicant’s ability to demonstrate power skills with an online assessment — prior to signing a contract — will lead to better hires and a lower turnover rate.

Losing a valued employee can be a crushing experience for any business—it costs the company money, sets projects off track, and may end up being more expensive than expected. Turnover costs can be high, especially when trying to quickly hire a new employee who can fit the mold of the company. Preventing employee turnover before it gains momentum has become a crucial problem for many companies. When it comes to employee turnover, there are two unsettling questions that are always asked: Why are they leaving, and how can we prevent the same situation in the future?

As companies continue to search for productive, talented employees to fit their culture, employers are finding it harder than ever to trust a resume, transcript, and the interview process. Increasingly, companies need more insight into what a candidate can actually do.  Because of the high cost of recruitment, it is crucial to implement accurate and scalable assessments of potential hires prior to their initiation. Yet corporations continue to rely on the antiquated systems that are in place.

One guarantee is this: Current hiring methods are not accurate enough for companies, and can lead to wasted time, money, and energy. Companies need to focus not on the cost of hiring, but on the cost of turnover. Without a renewed focus on effectively assessing a potential hire, businesses will find themselves forever repeating these problems. 

What goes wrong?

New hires don’t stick for a number of reasons, but often the core factors for leaving or dismissal revolve around three motivations:

  1. They weren’t the right fit for the role, work type, or position.
  2. The work was different than they expected. The job description didn’t accurately reflect the position— they may have gotten bored, overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.
  3. The new employee becomes frustrated because they have failed to quickly reach their expected level of productivity or quality.

This isn’t news. In fact, many business owners will tell you they’ve dealt with a new hire that fits at least one of these situations. But avoiding these issues is nearly impossible with traditional screening methods, and this assessment deficit is exposed  once the hire is brought on and given an opportunity to work for the company.

While it can be costly to have a high turnover rate for entry-level positions, the severity is magnified in higher-level positions. For higher-level applicants, getting it right vs. wrong can have a huge impact on the company. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management shows employers spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement. In a study conducted by the Center for America Progress, the cost of losing an employee can be anywhere from 16% of their salary for hourly, unsalaried employees, and up to 213% of the salary for a highly trained position.

What positions/fields need assessment?

It can be difficult to gauge whether a hire will be successful or not. Some industries have begun to implement authentic assessment methods prior to being hired. The coding and software development industries in particular have tests for potential hires that assess their performance as they take on a sample problem. Today, these types of assessments are moving beyond the tech world.  Athletic retailer Footlocker, unhappy with the results that standard resume screening process was producing, implemented an online skills assessment to begin using data to improve its candidate selection. The results included a double-digit increase in sales-per-hour and a double-digit reduction in new hire turnover. Footlocker also saw a huge reduction in the time being spent reviewing applicants, as the assessments brought the total number of strong candidates down to 3 per opening from as many as 300.

For quantitative and defined skill sets, such as software engineering, creating an infrastructure to test for ability is not as difficult as it might be for a position with less tangible or more varied duties, such as complex case management in the insurance industry or high-touch consultative sales positions.  But a new technology is making it possible — and simple — to establish an assessment method for any and all positions.

The new paradigm

The current job-market has become increasingly distrustful of resumes and interviews; there is a clear need for improving employee assessment and hiring methods. To bridge the gap, many corporations have begun looking to data analytics to receive a more accurate and comprehensive assessment of how an employee would perform.

When it comes to hiring new talent, data rules the realm of recruiting — and retention. The most successful employee recruitment is achieved by the top companies in the world (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft.) The key to their success is the reliance on data-driven recruiting models. The only way for a corporation to see how an applicant works and will perform in a new position is through a data-driven, authentic assessment. Not only does this measure the quality of their work, it measures their problem solving and ability to think critically.  These “power skills” and essential competencies have been given increasing levels of attention in recent years as the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce has collaborated with Burning Glass, Labor Insight, and Indeed to identify the top skills employers want.

Giving corporations a way to measure an applicant’s ability to demonstrate these power skills with an online skills assessment — not traditional self-reported data but actual insight into their ability to apply these skills in the kind of problem the company will expect them to do on the job, prior to signing a contract — can lead to better hires and ultimately, a lower turnover rate.

Authess solves many of these problems and headaches from turnover by eliminating bad hires before they get in the door. With Authess, assessment modules are designed by the company, for the company, and then measures top performers to benchmark optimal performance. Rather than the usual guessing game of how a new hire might perform, institutions can use job-relevant skills assessments that provide performance insights on the talents that truly matter. Authess allows a company to assess the level of competency a potential recruit has, giving the ability to weed out anyone who does not meet expectations. Vice-versa, Authess allows an applicant to experience the job role, workflow, and assignments typical of the company. Authess alleviates the pressure on blind faith in a transcript and interview, and puts the focus on measuring real ability.

Not to mention, Authess’ online assessments and reporting is highly scalable, making it invaluable to a company experiencing high growth. Authess is a tool that eliminates wasted time, effort, and capital, all while providing insight to recruit optimal employees and save a company from the hassle of turnover.

Without a shift toward authentic assessments, not only will companies consistently fail to recruit top talent, but also lack the assurance of landing talent that sticks. If you have an opening coming up, look to Authess for the crucial help you need.