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Talent Magnet Series: Attract! Hire! Retain! – Turnover, Roll With It

Posted by Kevin Nolan on April 11, 2024

Turnover is a very real factor we must consider in our hiring ‘cookbook.’ We’ve hired hundreds, maybe thousands of people to get where we are. 

Turnover is high. Turnover is real. 

We convince many people to try, but only some want to remain as painters. With experience, we have made friends with turnover. 

Optimism is Key.

As you repeat the hiring process again and again, it is important not to get cynical. Never say, “I can’t hire anybody. Nobody wants to work!” It will not lead to success. Besides, it’s not true, and it’s only negative self-talk. 

You must look at the next potential hire and be optimistic they’ll work out. Don’t treat prospects like suspects. You may need to try out many prospects to hire the number of people you need. If you can help it, don’t let your emotions get involved. 

Incorporate Turnover into your Cookbook.

I once attended a conference where I met the owner of 250 Domino’s Pizza franchises. Her annual turnover is 400%, meaning the average employee only lasted 90 days. She saw that as a fact of life and planned accordingly—nobody wants to work in a Domino’s Pizza shop forever. 

Our turnover is 75% a year. Not great, but not as bad as Domino’s. (Also, it is difficult to be accurate here because some painters are seasonal.) We constantly work on retention to see if we can lower that number. Knowing your turnover number becomes part of the cookbook:

How many applications do we need? 

How many people do we need to hire? (Often, we over-hire for some positions in anticipation of turnover.)

This data creates an actionable plan. 

Make a cookbook and follow it because hiring and firing are core processes that happen every day of the week. Get good at it!

Remember: Disruptive forces like pandemics and recessions can sometimes erupt, forcing you to rethink these processes. 

You can adjust your cookbook in response to all that—that’s fine. You just need a plan in place that you can modify as needed. 

In the next few weeks, we’ll discuss the trends making hiring more difficult in the present and foreseeable future and how to roll with them toward growth. 

Build muscle.

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