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What “Recruitment Leaders” are More Likely to Do Than “Recruitment Laggards”

Date Published: September 08, 2022 | Last Updated:September 15, 2023 | By Suraiya Sarwar
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Companies of all kinds and sizes are struggling these days to attract and retain top talent. In fact, many are struggling to attract and retain any talent at all. Staffing shortages are wide and growing. And yet, there are some companies that continue to enjoy an influx of applicants for open jobs and a lower than average turnover rate among existing employees.

What are these organizations doing that others aren’t?

In our research we found that there were some specific things the “recruitment leaders” weren’t doing that “recruitment laggards” are doing.

Differentiating Leaders From Laggards

To help understand differences in approaches to talent retention we separated our respondents into two groups:

  • We defined “retention leaders” as those who responded to the question, “To what degree has your organization experienced an increase in employee resignations over the last year?” with “not at all” or “a small degree.”
  • We defined “retention laggards” as those who responded to the same question with “high degree” or “very high degree.”

Here we take a look at some key differences between these two groups.

Leaders are Less Likely to Force Employees Back to the Office

Remote work is likely to remain a long-term residual effect of the pandemic. Employers are finding that employees have gotten a taste for the freedom and flexibility of remote work that they’re hesitant to give up. Retention leaders are backing off from requiring employees to return to the workplace. In fact, they’re much less likely to dismiss employees who decide to remote to a geographically distant location than recruitment laggards who are almost twice as likely to do so.

Leaders are Less Likely to Lose Employees Due to Compensation Concerns

Compensation is playing a bigger role today than what may have been previously believed when it comes to the drivers of employee retention and turnover. In fact, retention leaders were far less likely (47%) than retention laggards (81%) for employees to decide not to return to the workforce based on inadequate compensation.

While both retention leaders and laggards say the top reason employees are leaving their jobs is higher salaries elsewhere, laggards are more likely to say this is the case (83% vs. 60%).

Leaders are Less Likely to Lose Employees Because They Don’t Get Along With Their Managers

You’ve likely heard it said for years—employees don’t leave their companies, they leave their managers. That makes sense since employees’ primary contact with the companies they work with is through their immediate supervisor or managers. If that relationship is less than optimal, they’re at risk of looking for work somewhere else.

In fact, in our research we found that retention laggards were more likely to say employees leave because they don’t get along with their managers than retention leaders (23% vs. 11%).

Leaders are Less Likely to Offer Signing Bonuses

They don’t have to! Signing bonuses can be an effective short-term solution to the hiring challenges many companies are facing today. Retention laggards are far more likely than retention leaders to use sign-up bonuses to attract talent—three times more likely in fact.

Despite the short-term impacts of sign-on bonuses, they can be a go-to solution for some companiesFor instance, if you can’t immediately fix compensation levels, consider signing and retention bonuses as a short-term fix in response to the challenges of attracting and retaining employees. Recognize, though, that you will still need to address pay levels to become competitive long-term.


Our recent research offers some key insights for companies about the differences in approaches to attracting and retaining talent that companies are using today, how their approaches have changed over the past year and some best practice strategies and tactics that can help other organizations address the continuing impact of the Great Resignation.

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