12 Oct

Embrace Turnover as an Internal Growth Opportunity

by Devan Graham in Recruitment 0 comments

To clarify – I am not speaking about high levels of on-going turnover which could be reflective of larger organizational issues.  I’m referring to regular attrition where people move on in the normal course of life.

Understanding the reason for an employee’s departure is important.  At times when someone resigns it’s for good reason (growth opportunity, moving, change in personal situation, etc.).  At times is for reasons that should be further explored, such as they did not get along with their immediate Supervisor.  Beyond understanding the influence behind their decisions, someone leaving is also an opportunity to reflect and drive the organization forward.

Here are three questions to ask yourself when someone leaves your organization:

  1. Is this still the right position? Take a minute to evaluate the role itself.  Perhaps at one time this role made sense for the organization. As the business world continues to evolve, some roles change more quickly than others.  When someone leaves your organization, take a moment to understand the key responsibilities of the position and whether or not they still align with the organization’s goals.  If not, use this opportunity to adjust and re-align the role to focus it in a meaningful direction that will positively impact the organization.
  2. Do we want a candidate similar to the previous incumbent? Perhaps the previous incumbent was great at executing on their role, but had become a bit complacent with a “That’s how it’s always been done” attitude.  Bringing in a candidate with a hunger to improve processes may help re-invigorate the role and perhaps bring about some new efficiencies. In the same sense that we should evaluate the key position responsibilities, it’s also an opportunity to understand what type of candidate (and related skill set) fits with the organization today.
  3. Is our value statement competitive? Staffing is a two way street and now a days candidates are looking for much more from an organization than just compensation. Every hiring process is an opportunity to understand how you stand up as an organization in the market place. Have you lost candidates due to lower compensation or not providing enough vacation time?  Is your job posting attracting candidates with the wrong types of skills?  Are you connecting with high quality candidates but having trouble hiring them because they are looking for more autonomy or flexibility?  What does your organization stand for, what are its values, and is that relatable to candidates? Understanding what current candidates in the market are looking for and how your organization lines up can provide you with a competitive advantage and go a long way in securing the right candidates.

Rather than looking at turnover as a frustrating process to fill a gap and have to get someone new up to speed, look at it as an opportunity to better your organization.  Whether it’s through a more strategically aligned position, the right fit of candidate or a shift in your offering to gain competitive advantage, each opportunity to hire is an opportunity to drive the organization forward.  So next time someone leaves your organization, take the time to reflect and ask a few questions.

Devan is a Partner with Acuity HR Solutions.  For more information about what Acuity’s team can do for your organization, visit our website at

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