Retaining your employees in the current labor market is not luxury but a necessity. There is nothing so fickle as a human being, so there is nothing so fickle as a human being, so it’s essential to understand what motivates your employees, what prompts them to change jobs, and why they like working for your organisation. The key question is: what makes your employees stay and how can you positively contribute to that? This blog gives you six reasons to fully focus on talent retention.

The focus on talent retention

In our previous blog, the employee journey was the focal point and we told you about how a good employee journey contributes to employer branding. In the four stages of the onboarding journey (pre-hiring, pre-boarding, onboarding, and offboarding), the focus is on talent retention. Some degree of staff turnover in your company is healthy, but you need to be able to determine why employees leave. There are many examples of companies that set aside a huge budget for the recruitment of new talent, but don’t pay the much-needed attention to the employees who have been around for a while. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget, it’s your current employees who dedicate themselves to your company and have the ability to make or break it.

1. Tight labour market

A tight labour market makes it more difficult for recruiters to find and ‘seduce’ job candidates. It’s OK not to hire everyone or be able to hire everyone. A selection at the gates, such as website statements or a cultural fit test, can prevent mutual disappointment. We believe that if the connection isn’t there, it’s not going to develop and that it’s a shame to go your separate ways after just a few months. 

Don’t forget to focus on the employees you already have! Why did they choose to come work for your organisation to begin with? What makes them stick around and why would or wouldn’t they recommend you as an employer? When you have this kind of information, you can determine the push and pull factors as we know them from economics. An internal social referral programme can help you understand your own employees and offer them the content they find interesting to share with their network. 

Make sure that you work at cross-branding in this tight labour market; not necessarily from the inside out, but also not necessarily from the outside in. Instead, involve your employees and strike the right balance together.


2. Long-term recruitment goals

Staff turnover? Yes, every company has to deal with it, but there are big differences in scale. If you don’t focus on talent retention, the staff turnover within your company is often higher and the recruitment personnel have to rush their search for new employees, with higher recruitment costs as a result. If the company’s capacity is low, the job profile is so specific that few people satisfy it, and new employees have to be hired quickly, help is required from recruitment agencies. We probably don’t have to tell you the average fee for recruiting certain target groups.

Discuss the strategy for the long term; don’t just pay attention to recruitment goals, but also address talent retention goals.’ When we talk about clients, don’t we also look at new business and churn rate? 

Former employees may well work for your company again in the future, whether as an employee again, as a self-employed person, or perhaps you will encounter them in a whole different setting employed by one of your clients. This is why it’s important to see departing employees as ambassadors and to ensure the preservation of knowledge and feedback about your company by working with them again. You can read more about this in the blog 6 reasons why offboarding is important.  

3. Modernising the onboarding experience

Make the first day unforgettable! Starting a new job is always exciting. Feeling at home from the first moment onwards is very important to an employee. This is not only true for permanent employees, but also for temps, volunteers, and students on work placements. If you’d like to know more about this, read our blog Onboarding different types of employees.

Those who look at online reviews of employers will see both positive and negative experiences. It’s striking how many of those negative experiences have to do with a bad onboarding experience, no proper meeting with the manager, and no agreed growth path. Think about how your onboarding process currently looks. For instance, you could ask a newly-hired employee what additional things they would have liked to have seen during their first day, their first week, or even their first month(s) of employment at your company. We’re convinced that this will provide you with plenty of valuable feedback.  

What was your worst onboarding experience?


4. ROI talent retention

1 op de 5 HR-managers zegt dat ze niet weten hoeveel een ‘bad hire’ kost. Hieronder laten we zien welke kosten hier allemaal bij kunnen komen kijken. Bekijk deze blog als indien je meer wilt weten over de ROI van een goed onboardingprogramma. We zien van medewerkers zonder een goede onboarding dat 25% de organisatie al verlaat binnen 6 maanden. 90% van de medewerkers beslist tevens in het eerste half jaar of zij zich voor langere tijd aan de organisatie willen binden. Wanneer je dit kunt voorkomen door meer te focussen op talent retention en medewerkers sneller productief kunt krijgen, brengt dit qua ROI alleen maar voordelen met zich mee.

Download hier de gehele Whitepaper – The ROI of Recruitment and Onboarding.


ROI onboarding

Een vertrekkende medewerker kost een organisatie gemiddeld 30.000 euro, opgebouwd uit: recruitmentkosten, onboarding, verminderde (team)productiviteit, vervullingstijd, algemeen tekort aan de juiste skills en noem zo maar op.

5. Embracing feedback & motivation and appreciating your colleagues

Newly-hired employees often have a fresh perspective on matters. They can be fairly neutral in their feedback and it’s a good way of keeping them engaged. However, don’t forget that the current employees know your company inside out and know which improvements they would like to see. What are their concerns or what would they change immediately if they were CEO? Your company can get very valuable information from asking questions like those above, and your employees will feel that their voices are heard, that they are appreciated, and perhaps this will even have a motivating effect.

Structural talent management is always about a need that is transformed into a motive for action. Talents are generally used in order to gain competence and your skills are the concrete embodiment of this. When you start working with talent management, it’s important to understand the difference between skills, competences, talents, and motives. Likewise you ought to know which competences are important to your company. Above all, it’s important for companies to determine which competences are a priority, so that the human resources investments yield maximum returns and so that you attract the right people.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions – Ken Blanchard


6. Company development, innovation, and continuity

The last reason to focus on talent retention is the fact that motivated employees want to develop and contribute to innovation and continuity within your company. In our opinion, innovation is only possible when employees are engaged, when they have a common goal, and when they have space to develop something new. Happiness as a business model? Read more about leading with happiness.

Innovation is change that unlocks new value.


The question isn’t so much whether talent retention is important to you; the question is rather when you should start with talent retention. Stay ahead of your competition in this tight labour market. Think of the longer term, modernise your onboarding experience, go for good ROI, embrace feedback, appreciate your colleagues, and stay innovative.

Do you want to stay up-to-date and follow all developments regarding talent retention? Starting today, our colleague Malique will share weekly updates on everything to do with attracting talent, cultural fit, employee journey, onboarding, employer branding and offboarding. We share content and challenges. We also discuss and share successes. Follow the Talent Retention LinkedIn group.