Recruiting, Retention and Reduction in Force

Recruiting, Retention and Reduction in Force

Heather Keever, SPHR


• Nothing in this presentation should be relied upon as legal advice. The presenter is not an attorney and the information provided is not legal advice.

• The information provided here is generic and may not apply to every situation.

• Please refer to applicable laws, statutes and regulations.

Employee Recruitment

Employer Brand

• Your reputation as an employer.

Company Culture

Employee Benefits

Employee Value


Work Environment

Recruitment and

Selection Strategies

Compensation strategy development or changes

Improved job advertisements

Identification of new recruiting sources

Interviewing skills training

Job analysis to accurately identify needed knowledge, skills and abilities

Job redesign

Employee incentives (flexible schedules, bonus opportunities, development opportunities, etc.)


Employee referral programs

Improved Job Advertisements

Explain your organization’s mission and how the position being advertised contributes to that mission.

Realistically describe duties.

Identify special requirements (travel, working weekends, etc.)

Improved Job Advertisements

Include information that will entice applicants

Continuing education or development opportunities

Desirable work location

Available perks

Flexible scheduling

Unique benefits

Onsite daycare

Employee Incentives

Flexible Schedules

Bonus Opportunities

Development Opportunities


Unique Recruiting Sources

South Carolina Department of

Employment and Workforce

South Carolina Department of

Employment and Workforce

South Carolina Department of

Vocational Rehabilitation

South Carolina Department of

Vocational Rehabilitation

South Carolina Commission for

the Blind

South Carolina Commission for

the Blind

Military (former military and


Military (former military and


Transitional Programs (Post

Release Programs)

Transitional Programs (Post

Release Programs)

High SchoolsHigh Schools Technical SchoolsTechnical Schools Employee Referrals Employee Referrals InternshipsInternships

Niche or targeted job boards

Niche or targeted job boards

Social MediaSocial Media


• Recruit early.

• Build relationships with colleges and universities. Including technical colleges.

• Offer meaningful work assignments.

• Assign a mentor.

• Communicate – before, during and after the internship.

Retaining Employees

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC

Desirable v. Undesirable Turnover

• Desirable Turnover: When poor or marginal performers leave an organization and can be replaced with strong performers or when new employees are hired who bring new ideas into the organization.

• Undesirable Turnover: When high performers leave an organization.

Identifying Retention Issues

• Employee Satisfaction Surveys • Leave Pattern Analysis • Review of Internal Complaints • Employee Performance Reviews • Stay Interviews • Exit Interviews • Others?

Why Do Employees


• Career growth, learning and development. • Exciting and challenging work. • Meaningful work. The opportunity to make a difference or contribution. • Great people. • Being part of a team. • Good boss. • Recognition for job well done. • Fun on the job. • Autonomy. A sense of control over their work. • Flexibility (for example in hours, dress code, etc.). • Fair pay and benefits. • Inspiring leadership. • Pride in the organization and its mission. • Great work environment. • Location. • Job security. • Family-friendly. • Cutting-edge technology. • Communication between employees and senior management. • Clear expectations and goals.

Retention Strategies

• Effective Supervision

• Orientation and Onboarding

• Flexible Scheduling

• Employee Incentives

• Training and Development

Effective Supervision

An employee’s relationship with their immediate supervisor has a big impact on the decision to stay or leave a job.

Supervisory and management training, particularly in topics like communication and effective performance management can improve this relationship and increase employee retention.


• Make it part of the recruitment process.

• Link design to culture.

• Design a process, not an event.

• Make it timely.

• Make it fresh in terms of up-to-date content and in line with the promising impression made during the recruitment process.

• Design something memorable.

• Create a good first impression.

• Get executives, human resources personnel, and managers involved.

• Design to be inclusive.

• Use a blended approach.


Onboarding is the process of integrating employees into their new work environment. It is the last stage of the recruitment process and the first step toward retention. Onboarding focuses on the following:

• a strong employer welcome;

• affirmation of the employee’s right choice in a job;

• affirmation that the employee fits into the organization; and

• long-term relationship building.

Stages of Onboarding

• First Day on the Job: The goal is to make a good first impression by focusing on welcoming the employee to the organization. This includes orientation.

• First and Second Week on the Job: The goal is to ensure the employee understands the mission of the agency, the responsibilities of the job and management’s expectations as well as to assist the employee’s integration into the organization.

• Within First 30 days on the Job: The goal is to review the expectations of the organization and the employee, to discuss progress made, and to continue efforts toward integration into the organization.

• Within First 90 days of the Job: The goal is to provide guidance and feedback to the employee to ensure continued success and to make plans for his or her future with the organization.

Flexible Scheduling

Flexible work schedules are an alternative to the standard schedule. Employees are provided with work schedule options designed to provide flexibility to employees while still achieving the mission of the agency.

• Flextime

• Compressed work week

• Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules

Employee Incentives

• Pay for Performance Plans

• Defined Career Paths

• Bonuses

• Reward and Recognition Programs (including non-monetary rewards)

Training and Development

• Access to in-house training

• Company-paid certifications

• Mentorships

• Stretch assignments

• Cross-training

• Formalized career planning

Who should be responsible for employee retention?

HR’s Role in

Employee Retention

While direct supervisors and managers are primarily responsible for addressing employee retention issues, human resources personnel provide vital support to managers in addressing these issues.

• Listed below are some of the ways human resources personnel can support employee retention efforts:

• Provide analysis of agency turnover data to identify areas of concern.

• Identify issues likely to affect employee retention now and in the future.

• Assist managers in designing stay and exit interviews. • Assist in the creation of action plans to address

identified retention issues.

• Assist in the implementation of various retention strategies to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

• Design effective orientation and onboarding processes for the organization,

• Act as an employee retention champion to encourage all levels of leadership to take action concerning employee retention.

Reduction in Force

RIF v. Layoff

Reduction in Force: A position is eliminated and there is no expectation the position will be re-established or that the employee will be rehired.

Lay Off: An employee is temporally removed from service (may not be formally terminated) with the expectation that they will be called back to work at some point in the future.

RIF Reasons



Loss of Revenue

Process Change

Location Closure


When is a RIF not appropriate?

• To terminate a particular employee for performance or behavioral problems.

• When the position will be filled immediately.

• Based on any protected characteristic.

RIF Steps

Select employees to be terminated

Avoid adverse or disparate impact

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)

Severance Packages (if applicable)

Additional Services

Notify affected employees of termination

Notify the broader organization of the reduction in force

Source: Society for Human Resources Management

Select Employees

• Not based on a protected characteristic (race, sex, national origin, age, etc.)

• Selection criteria may be: • Seniority

• Performance

• Job Knowledge or Skills

Select Employees

Method Pros Cons

Seniority • Easy to implement. • Easy to defend.

• You may be eliminating top performers.

• You may terminate employees with needed skills.

Performance • Able to retain your best performers.

• Dependent on robust and reliable employee evaluation procedures.

• Harder to explain and defend.

Job Knowledge or Skills • Able to retain necessary job knowledge or skills.

• Dependent on ability to accurately determine skills available and needed.

• Harder to explain and defend.

Avoid Disparate Impact

Evaluate employees being terminated to determine if members of a protected class are disproportionately represented in the employees being terminated.

If a disparate impact is identified the process used should be evaluated and explained.


• Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act • Notice is, generally, required for large scale reductions in force.


• Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) • Releases from age discrimination require specific provisions.


Severance Packages

• Employees receive consideration (generally a payment) in return for waiving certain rights.

• Generally this includes action under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, SC Discrimination Laws, etc.

• Should be created/reviewed by an attorney.

Conduct the Layoff Session

• Gather all information prior to meeting with the employee.

• During the meeting: • Explain why the layoff is occurring.

• Explain the affect on benefits (including 401(k) or pensions)

• Provide required notices (including COBRA)

• Provide information on outplacement services (if available)

• Provide information on unemployment insurance


• After those impacted have been notified, communicate the information to the rest of the staff.

• Be supportive as many will be concerned about future lay-offs and may suffer from survivors syndrome.

• Ask for support from your EAP, if available.

Additional Notes

• Be sure people are provided legally-required notice of their termination (generally at least one week).

• You may consider paying out someone’s notice so they do not have to return to work after being informed of their termination.

• Consider working with the Department of Employment and Workforce to arrange for them to be on-site to process unemployment claims.

• Consider impacts to security (both physical and technological). • TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

Comments are closed.