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Think about it. For each person that comes through your system, you and your team are spending a lot of effort, time and money to get them in the door. Depending on the industry, we’ve found that most labour hire companies are spending approximately $350 just to get someone in the door.

Stated another way, every time you put in all the work to hire and train a worker and then let them walk out the door without getting them work, you’re watching $350 walk out the door.

This naturally leads us to our next questions: What’s the secret to retention? What’s the key to keeping our workers once we’ve landed them?

The answer is simple. Get new workers placed within one week.

The attrition rate for workers that aren’t placed within the first week is approximately 35%. That means if you’re working to hire 100 people and you don’t get them work within the first 7 days, 35 of them will walk. But wait, it gets worse. If you wait two weeks to give them a shift or placement, the drop-out rate goes up to almost 90%! Yes, you read that right. 90%!

All the hard work and all the time spent was literally all for nothing if you can’t place your new worker within two weeks.

The reason is simply because people give up after two weeks or they’ve moved on. Now days, workers have short attention spans. They are not going to hang around for a long time, especially if they’ve put themselves in with a few agencies.

And speaking of the competition, it goes without saying that workers will naturally gravitate toward, and stay loyal to the agency that’s providing the work. If they end up picking up a couple shifts within the first week or two with another company and the experience is fairly good, what do you think will happen when you come calling two weeks later? They’ll say something like, “No thanks, I’m good for now. These people over here are giving me work.”

Now that we’ve hammered home the importance of placement within the first week, let’s discuss three tips that will help you get workers placed within a week and keep your retention rates high.

TIP 1 – Develop a “friendly” client.

A great way to ensure your workers are getting placed as fast as possible is by establishing a strong relationship with a client (or clients) that is happy to take on new people. We call these friendly clients. They are the clients that need workers on a regular basis, they don’t have crazy learning curves for new people, aren’t stringent on having certain people and are open to training new hires, the job they’re filling isn’t terrible, and the team is easy and pleasant to work with.

By establishing a relationship with at least one or two friendly clients, this will allow you to quickly place new hires within the first week in an environment where you know they’ll have a good experience and feel valued by your agency as a go-to worker.

TIP 2 – Track the first week of new hires.

We often see a lot of companies use things like whiteboards to track their new people’s name, skillset, and first placement. This is a great way to do it because it’s up on the board in front of the team to look at and track every day. It’s not buried on a paper somewhere. When it’s in front of your face on a whiteboard every day, it’s easier to track and know if you’re leaving potential workers behind.

TIP 3 – Filter new workers to the top in your system.

Another strategy is to have all-in-one cloud based staffing system that can track a new hire rank them at the top. These systems have a custom field that we call priority. Clients use it for lots of different purposes, but a key one is tracking new staff members. By ranking new workers in the system like this, you can instantly see who hasn’t been placed every time you’re in the system searching and working. Also, when you track new staff members like this, you can quickly filter on criteria such as skill set, years’ experience, and more to quickly match them with your open positions.

By following these three simple tips, your agency will be able to quickly place new workers, keep them engaged and significantly increase your retention. You’ll be amazed at how one simple goal of placing everyone within the first week will keep your training and recruiting costs down and save you thousands per year!

About the Author

Blake Thomson is CEO & Co-founder of EntireHR. EntireHR is a cloud-based end-to-end recruitment software designed for Australian Recruitment, Staffing & Labour Hire agencies. He completed a Business Commerce Degree from Monash University, Majoring in Management. Always interested in technology, Blake’s greatest passion is video-games.

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