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Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan

Tools to Help with Making Decisions

By using the Summary Report Template on Findings in Recruitment and Retention Research [2.1.3.a.2] and the Organizational Recruitment and Retention Research Workbook [2.1.2.d.1], you should have summarized your research data and be ready to make decisions about how to begin addressing recruitment and retention challenges. In order to make these decisions, a review of effective decision techniques may be helpful.

The following are techniques that may help in making decisions and will help you to complete Step 2: Decide on the Priority Recruitment and Retention Focus (Job Position).

Pareto Analysis

Pareto Analysis is useful in decision making when many possible courses of action can be taken.

According to, “Pareto Analysis is a formal technique for finding the changes that will give the biggest benefits. It is useful where many possible courses of action are competing for your attention. Pareto analysis is a very simple technique that helps you to choose the most effective changes to make.” It involves:
  • Listing the problems you face or the options you have available;
  • Grouping options together when they are facets of a larger problem;
  • Applying an appropriate score to each group; and
  • Addressing the group or problem with the highest score.

Grid Analysis

Grid Analysis is useful when there are many factors that must be considered when making a decision.

According to, Grid Analysis – also known as Decision Matrix Analysis, Pugh Matrix Analysis, or Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) – “is particularly powerful where you have a number of good alternatives to choose from, and many different factors to take into account. This makes it a great technique to use in almost any important decision where there isn't a clear and obvious preferred option.”

In Grid Analysis, all information is listed in a grid worksheet as follows:
  • List your options in the grid rows.
  • Identify factors that need to be considered in the decision-making process, and assign them a weight or number ranking for each factor. An example weight scale could range from 0 to 5 points, in which 0 equals “unimportant” and 5 equals “very important.”
  • Score each option as it relates to the factors, assigning a number from 0 (poor) to 5 (very good) to represent how well the option addresses the criterion.
  • Multiply the scores for each option/factor by the weight of importance and add all the scores within each option.
Using this method, you will have an overall score for each option – the option with the highest score wins!

Frequency Charts

Frequency Charts can help determine the significance of a problem and show what causes contribute the most to the issue.

Documenting the frequency of an event, problem, action, or comment also helps show a pattern so you can see what solutions may be effective. These charts will help you record observations so that you can start to detect patterns.


CATWOE is a simple checklist to stimulate thinking about the problem and/or implementing the solution. Defined by Peter Checkland as a part of his Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), it includes elements to help you identify the people, processes, and environment that contribute to a situation, issue, or problem that needs to be analyzed.

Problem Statements Exercise

A Problem Statement Exercise can be used to help define a problem and what you want, and help people focus their ideas in the same area. It can be used as a discussion point to help people understand what is needed.

Identifying Critical Jobs in Your Organization

For more assistance in determining the critical jobs in your organization, review the article by, Jobs You Can’t Do Without: Questions Companies Need to Ask About Critical Jobs and Talent, which features six key questions to help you identify jobs. Free registration is required to access the library of articles.

Organizing Team Decision Making

Sometimes making a decision about an issue that is large, complex, or has many potential solutions is better done with a team. The article, Organizing Team Decision-Making, gives you key tools to help you involve the entire team in the decision making process.

How Good Is Your Decision Making?

The quiz, How Good Is Your Decision-Making?, helps you assess and build your decision making skills, so that you can make better decisions. hosts this assessment to help you become more adept at:
  • Establishing a positive decision-making environment;
  • Generating potential solutions;
  • Evaluating the solutions;
  • Deciding;
  • Checking the decision; and
  • Communicating and implementing the decision.
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