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SSB2216 Presentation

Session 6: Employee Recruitment & Retention

Group members: Eric Lu, Jian Sheng, Chee Kiong, Esther, Jaclyn

“In the context of an increasingly complex environment in Singapore, organizations often cite
recruitment and retention problems as the greatest challenge confronting them. The
conventional wisdom is to foster teamwork, participation and enhanced work responsibility to
resolve such problems. Do you agree? “


Current Context: Global business trends

• Globalization – cross national management, expatriation

• Customer focus – staff motivation

• Endless technological advancements – endless newer technologies to improve business

processes, upgrade information systems

• Faster pace of work – increase efficiency & productivity, cut down costs

• Rise of knowledge workers – knowledge-based economy in Singapore, demand for

knowledge workers increases, shortage of talents

This is a chart compiled from surveys done by employers. From the chart, we can deduce that
recruitment and retention are considered the greatest HR challenge by employers.

Definition of Recruitment

• Recruitment is the process of searching for and obtaining qualified candidates in such
numbers that the organization can select the most appropriate person to fill its job

Why is Recruitment the greatest problem?

• According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the

recruitment problem exists across all sectors and regions with more than nine out of
ten of the 557 organisations surveyed experiencing difficulties.
• 3 Key Factors: -
o Labor Market Competition
o Talent Shortage
 Growth of managerial and research jobs outpace available candidates.
o Ability to select the right candidate
 Person job fit
 Person group fit
 Person organization fit
• Organizations used various recruitment methods: -
o Interviews
o Online tests
o Case Study
o Impromptu Presentation
o Individual Report
• Validity and reliability of the recruitment methods?
• Fairness of these methods?
o Interviewer preferences
o Gender Bias
o Impression & Chemistry
o Racist

Why retention is a problem?

• Reduce staff morale [people are worried their jobs are under threat too]
• Increase training and recruitment costs [Cost of training employees is a sunk cost. Once
they leave the money spent on them is wasted]
• Result in inconsistency of services [can’t expect new people to learn the ropes quickly,
also if they are not looking to stay long-term, may not be as committed.]
• A self-perpetuating problem. [instability prompts other employees to look for
alternative jobs as well]
• The costs of employee turnover are difficult to calculate, but various studies have put
estimates at around 3 months pay to a year’s pay.
• For an indication of the scale of the problem, 40% of Singaporean respondents say that
they are experiencing turnover of more than 10%. [Hudson report]
Factors Affecting Retention
• Changing perceptions of both employees and companies [generation x and y people
and companies differ greatly on how they view their career]
Generation X
• Employees Loyal to the company
• Companies Grant lifetime employment ; commonly referred to as iron rice bowl
Generation Y
• Employees Job hopping deemed as acceptable [no stigma attached]
• Companies Long periods of service less common; Contract-based work the norm
[prefer new blood, dislike employer retirement plans, prefer flexibility]
• Staff-employee disconnect
o Expectations of staff is very different from management’s opinion of their needs
and wants
o Hence may need to reduce job satisfaction [management not responsive to
actual needs]
Important Key Misconception: Higher pay will solve the problem
• Big increases in salaries and bonuses have failed to stop staff turnover rates rising.
[71% of respondents said that they plan to increase salaries by more than 10%, yet the
problem persists]
• This is consistent with the comprehensive research conducted by the Families and Work
Institute In their report, [National Study of the Changing Workforce] They found that,
while Earnings & Benefits have on only a 2% impact on job satisfaction, Job Quality and
Workplace Support have a combined 70% impact.
• Lastly, pay increases made to retain employees after they have made a decision to
leave are only effective for nine to twelve months. Most employees who have voiced
dissatisfaction will still leave even after the company has increased pay or benefits in
an effort to make them stay.
Factors Affecting Retention
• Factors that influence employee turnover varies from sector to sector
• However, a common trend indicates that poaching by other companies is a major
• This is in part caused by Singapore’s finite talent pool and limited workforce
Quick Recap
• Retention is a costly, widespread problem
• It is caused partly by differing perceptions of companies and employees.
• Due to Singapore’s small workforce, poaching is the primary “strategy.” This further
worsens the situation.
1. Foster teamwork

a. Acquaint a new employee with every member of the company instead of only
their own department

b. Buddy system

c. Bonding sessions for employees

i. Parties

ii. Employee recreational teams

iii. Employee participation in community events

d. Cross-department workgroups

2. Participation

a. Lesson Plan

i. Seminars, small group instructing to enhance employee’s caliber at

employee’s discretion

b. Resource support

c. Career ladders

d. Tuition reimbursement

e. Internal certification e.g. best worker award

f. Celebration/thank you cards/rewards to recognize staff efforts and achievements

3. Enhanced work responsibility

a. Job enrichment

i. Offer new challenges and opportunities for the employee such that it will
improve their resume, however, not enforcing it on them

b. Lateral Shifts

i. Moving the employee from one post to another at the same level of

c. Promotion

d. Special projects

Other Solutions
Positive Planning:

• Plan ahead (plan what you are going to do)

• Decide who is the best fit for the job (decide what kinda people to do the job)

• Selection

• Fair and Objective results in choosing(while selecting)

Every workplace is unique. It is important for you to understand and define the values,
goals, policies, and practices that describe your organization. If you can clearly express
who you are and what you’re looking for, your recruitment efforts will be more
successful because prospective applicants can assess their “fit” with your needs. Use
the unique characteristics of your organization to your advantage and promote them as
a selling point in your recruitment efforts. A solid recruitment plan, careful attention to
selection and ongoing commitment to retention mean that you will need to spend less
time, energy and money replacing staff.

Recruitment Plan:
“If you hire people just like you, you’re going to get more of what you’ve got. I have made a
point of hiring people from different cultures, heritage, and educational backgrounds. It’s a
mosaic. That’s what you want - you want this palette that has all of this diversity.”
President/CEO, advertising agency, Lethbridge

Positive Practices:
• Health and safety

• Providing the necessary tools, equipment, training, time and

• Support to work safely

• Safe work practices

• Protect employees from harassment and potentially dangerous or violent


• Quality and effectiveness of managers, supervisors

• Get survey

• Train

• Hold managers accountable

• Supply the resource

• Work life balance

• Good communication

• Responsibilities in the other, work-life balance is compromised

• Start by getting to know your workers on a personal level

Maintaining employee health and safety is an important factor in employee retention. You’ll
want to communicate this value and “walk the talk” by providing the necessary tools,
equipment, training, time and support to work safely. Health and safety at your workplace
goes beyond safe work practices. It also extends to policies that protect employees from
harassment and from potentially dangerous or violent situations. These standards include
payment of earnings, minimum wage, hours of work, days of rest, overtime pay, vacations
and general holiday pay, maternity and parental benefits, notice of pay due upon termination
of employment and restrictions on the employment of employees under 18 years of age.

•Build the case. Ensure your managers know why retention is a priority.

• Get survey. Collect and communicate information from employee surveys on how they are
feeling, wad can be improved, exit interviews on how come the worker is leaving, turnover
rates and resulting costs for their work unit.

• Train, train, train. Train managers in retention strategies and skills that support retention,
such as effective communication, coaching and mentoring.

• Hold managers accountable. Set goals and measures and tie departmental budgets or
compensation and bonuses

to turnover rates.

• Supply the resources. Provide the tools, time and authority to make retention a priority.

Work-life balance refers to the process of balancing the many roles and responsibilities we
have at work, such as employee, supervisor, subordinate or co-worker, with the roles we have
outside of work, such as parent,

child, sibling, spouse, neighbors or friend. When our roles and responsibilities in one of these
arenas begin to limit our ability to manage roles and responsibilities in the other, work-life
balance is compromised. Ask employees “What would make a difference?”

Keeping employees “in the loop”—communicating and collaborating in problem solving,

planning and decision-making—is one of the characteristics of high performance workplaces.
These workplaces know the benefits of involving employees in discussions that affect them,
sharing information, establishing working groups of employees with similar objectives, and
allocating time at work to ensure discussions and socialization.

In the workplace, “no news is bad news.” Not communicating with employees encourages
second-guessing, mistrust and an active rumour-mill.


The 3 main factors, teamwork, participation and enhanced work responsibility, are most
significant as they are the key to earning employees’ loyalty. However, the other solutions are
also important as they further improve the employer-employee relationship and therefore help
to solve the recruitment and retention problems.