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Survey: How businesses keep top talent from leaving

February 6, 2010

Employers Share Top Staffing Challenges

Offering more flexible work arrangements – 28%
Investing more in training – 21%
Promising future benefits (raises  when the economy picks up) – 18%
Offering more performance-based incentives (trips, bonuses) – 16%
Providing higher salary without the title – 11%
Providing both higher title and salary – 10%
Providing higher title without the salary – 7%
We haven’t been able to hold on to top talent – 6%

CareerBuilder Survey:  – While hopeful economic news has some companies breathing a cautious sigh of relief when it comes to headcount, others continue to face staffing challenges. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, being able to provide competitive compensation (34 percent), maintaining productivity levels (33 percent) and being able to retain top talent (31 percent) are organizations’ top staffing concerns this year. The survey was conducted between November 5 and November 23, 2009, among more than 2,700 employers.

In addition to salary and productivity, a variety of retention issues are worrying some organizations this year as they try to maintain staff levels in the recession rebound. Worker burnout (30 percent), being able to provide upward mobility (25 percent) and difficulty strengthening employment brand after layoffs or cut backs (10 percent) are concerns for companies trying to preserve their employee base.

When asked how they will hold on to top talent this year, employers reported the following:

Offering more flexible work arrangements – 28 percent
Investing more in training – 21 percent
Promising future benefits (raises or promotions when the economy picks up) – 18 percent
Offering more performance-based incentives (i.e., trips, bonuses, etc.) – 16 percent
Providing higher salary without the title – 11 percent
Providing both higher title and salary – 10 percent
Providing higher title without the salary – 7 percent
We haven’t been able to hold on to top talent – 6 percent

“Retention is just one area that companies will need to address to maintain and grow their businesses this year,” said Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder. “Having the right people on board is a top concern. Our survey found that forty percent of companies are concerned about top workers leaving their organization in 2010 and that nearly one-in-five think morale at their company is poor. At the same time, companies have their eyes on future hiring challenges, especially as the economy moves into recovery.”

Looking ahead to upcoming recruitment needs, companies also said they will face hurdles related to hiring. Twenty-one percent of employers are concerned that won’t be able to find qualified candidates, while 12 percent may not have the budget available to recruit. And five percent don’t have the time to recruit.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of among 2,720 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions); ages 18 and over between November 5 and November 23, 2009, respectively (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S. employers , based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,720, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.88 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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