Introduction: Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan
There are many strategies that can improve recruitment and retention in the behavioral health field, the most obvious being an increase in salary or benefits. However, strategies that do not involve wages and benefits are also very effective and can address the root cause of the recruitment or retention problem. According to the 2009 Salary.com Annual Employee Satisfaction Survey, nearly one in three U.S. workers (32 percent) ranked a good work-life balance as the most important factor affecting their decision to remain at a job, whereas, only 23 percent of workers rated pay as the top reason to stay. In contrast, 45 percent of employees who participated stated that inadequate professional development opportunities would be one of the top factors in their leaving.
Because organizations often have a greater ability to change non-wage-related issues, this chapter focuses on building a plan that increases successful recruitment, reduces turnover, and improves retention without utilizing an increase in compensation. It is up to individual agencies to assess their available resources and decide what role wages and benefits can play in recruitment and retention efforts.
Why Assess Recruitment and Retention? 
- A good workplace assessment is important for several reasons:
- It can help agencies identify the precise nature of staffing problems in various sectors of the organization.
- It can help in selecting strategies and interventions to address identified challenges.
- It provides a baseline or point of comparison against which the results of an intervention can be compared.
- Finally, assessment results can be used to identify and encourage strategies and interventions that are working, and to identify what is not working so changes can be made.
What Else Are You Losing When You Lose Staff?
- No matter the length of time a person works for you, when an employee leaves, your organization loses a valuable resource. Specifically, you lose:
- A skill set useful to your organization;
- An individual who has learned “your way” of doing the job;
- A person who has expended training and development resources;
- Higher productivity that often comes with experience;
- Historical knowledge that can’t be passed on to others;
- A potential coach and mentor; and
- A specific personality that may be a critical component of the team.
- An employee’s leaving may also create a gap that can impact client or customer satisfaction.
O'Nell, S, Hewitt, A, Sauer, J, & Larson, S (2002). Removing the revolving door: strategies to address recruitment and retention challenges
. Retrieved August 12, 2010, University of Minnesota: U.S. Department of Labor grant; Research and Training Center, Institute on Community Integration. http://www.rtc.umn.edu/docs/rrd_facguide.pdf
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