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Hays survey highlights the need for retention plans

China’s high turnover rate has been highlighted in a recent survey by recruiting experts Hays, who advise employers to implement some solid retention strategies to curb this trend.

Updated: 20 Jan 2016
China’s high turnover rate has been highlighted in a recent survey by recruiting experts Hays, who advise employers to implement some solid retention strategies to curb this trend.
A website survey of candidates has revealed that 41 per cent change jobs as often as every one to two years, while 39 per cent change every two to four years. Only 20 per cent stay with an employer for five years or more.
“This is a real problem for employers in China and something that affects business productivity,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China.
According to Simon, there are several reasons behind this trend.
“Over the last 20 years China has had a good macro economy, attracting many multinational corporations and other investors. This has in turn resulted in high demand for talent in the job market and it’s been more obvious in the tier-one cities. But it is now starting to have an impact on tier-two and three cities.
“As a result candidates are looking for and finding more oopportunities in the job market, therefore contributing to the high turnover rate. And interestingly, according to our latest Quarterly Report, candidates are placing job security above career development or compensation when they look for their next role.”
According to Simon, Chinese companies can help reduce the rate of turnover by employing some simple retention strategies – and they aren’t always based on money.
Hays’ top 5 retention tips:
1.     Managing performance
This is the key to an employer’s retention strategy. Performance reviews are a simple but essential process which should take place regularly and managers need to be committed to the practice. Formal performance feedback is also an excellent opportunity to ensure talent is engaged, but remember to make sure the system is user friendly for everyone involved. And be sure to communicate clearly with employees. Setting clear objectives and deadlines will mean your employees can be comfortable knowing what is expected and when they should deliver it.
2.     Your leaders
Front line managers are the key to retention, so you should definitely evaluate the quality of yours. Remember, people join companies and leave people. Your managers are at the coal face. They should be good at motivating and inspiring their team members, managing performance - good and bad, and setting useful goals. They also need to provide useful performance feedback, including positive reinforcement or suggesting solutions when things have not gone well. So, employers may also need to look at what their organisation does to develop its managers as part of their retention strategy.
3.     Good relationships
If an employee has good relationships at work they are more likely to stay with a company and feel engaged with their work. So employers need to focus on how they understand, communicate and build good relationships with their employees. It’s a good idea to ask employees for their opinion on key engagement factors such as career progression and performance feedback through employee opinion surveys, online forums or regular reviews. And it is best not to assume anything about an employee’s career path as there can be many factors at play – just maintain open and honest communication to find out what your employees’ goals are.
4.     Career pathways
Employees can become stale and bored without the proper career development – and this is often a reason why candidates look elsewhere for work. As different organisations have different parameters within which they must work, career development does not always mean promotion, although it certainly can. Can you instead offer additional responsibility, or the opportunity to supervise other employees? Could an employee coach and train others, manage projects or chair meetings?
5.     Training & development
Courses aren’t always what training and development is about, nor do they have to take place in a formal classroom. Mentorships are a useful retention tool and can also be used to pass on corporate insight to other employees. One-on-one training and taking on additional duties can also be just as effective. Investing in your employees’ skills development allows them to be the best they can be, which has obvious rewards for both them and you.
Interested to know exactly how the issue of turnover and retention is affecting the Chinese job market and candidates, Hays is currently conducting a comprehensive survey on the topic and is expecting to release the results in January 2013.
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.
Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.
Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company with more than 7,800 staff operating from 245 offices across 33 countries.
Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.

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