Behind the Numbers: Causes of Early Turnover

By Caroline Roberson on January 24, 2024

Early turnover occurs within the first 90 days of a candidate’s employment and poses a significant challenge for hiring teams. The repercussions extend beyond the immediate loss of talent, impacting time, money, team dynamics, and overall workplace productivity. The underlying causes of early turnover, however, may not be as simple as poor candidate quality. Read on to learn about some of the problems that can worsen early turnover rates and how to manage them.

Identifying the Root Causes

Of the numerous causes behind early turnover, communication between the candidate and hiring team is a significant factor. A recent Jobvite survey found that around 30% of new hires leave within the first 90 days of employment. A mismatch between a candidate’s expectations of a role and the real challenges they encounter once hired was reported as the cause behind their early exit 43% of the time. Another 32% listed company culture as their primary reason for leaving.

Good Practices for Good Hiring

Misaligned job expectations, poor culture fit, ineffective management, and lack of employee engagement all contribute to high early turnover rates. Adjusting your hiring process to take into account the following practices may reduce early attrition.

  • Clearly Define Responsibilities and Expectations:
    • Establish strong, transparent communication by clearly defining the role’s responsibilities, expectations, and challenges before the candidate is hired.
  • Highlight Workplace Culture:
    • Add a clear description of workplace culture to your recruitment process to streamline the candidate pipeline and enhance the chances of a good culture fit.
  • Provide Effective Management:
    • Ensure effective management to keep employees on track in their roles and maintain transparent communication between your HR team and the candidate.
  • Offer Appropriate Challenges:
    • Tailor job challenges to match the candidate’s experience level and allow them to grow within their position, increasing engagement and overall satisfaction.

Practical Solutions for Early Turnover

Consistency in hiring practices is the foundational part of improving turnover rates. Taking things a step further by implementing hiring tools makes managing turnover effective, practical, and simple.

Early Screening Means Early Heads-Up

Collecting the right kind of data on your most effective employees helps identify new quality candidates early on in the hiring process. This data can be implemented into early screening questionnaires administered to the candidate that empowers them to opt out of the hiring process should they decide the position or culture isn’t a fit. Early screening questionnaires provide a prospective hire clarity on job expectations and an enhanced candidate experience. It also gives your hiring team a more efficient hiring process by providing targeted data collection that allows for objective decision-making. 

Job Previews Communicate Your Expectations

Clearly listing the expectations and responsibilities of a role is a good hiring practice, but realistic job previews offer an in-depth portrayal of a position’s day-to-day challenges and work environment. As previously mentioned, poor communication between the candidate and hiring team is one of the most prominent causes of early turnover. A job preview can bridge the gap between a candidate’s expectations and the realities of a position. Giving a potential candidate an honest, accurate idea of what it will be like to fill a position establishes transparent communication, improves job satisfaction, and assesses the candidate for culture fit, all while effectively reducing turnover rates. A job preview gives candidates the opportunity to remove themselves from the hiring process, streamlining the number of candidates your hiring team must assess, which saves both you and your candidates time and effort.

A Blueprint for Long-Term Success

Making use of early screening tools and realistic job previews provides two practical solutions for reducing early turnover in your workplace. Combining these tools with good hiring practices, such as effective management and transparent communication, can help reduce turnover rates and improve job satisfaction.

Looking for more tips on improving retention rates? Check out our guide on reducing employee turnover.