Turnover is costly and a major headache for most employers that becomes an even bigger problem when the labor market tightens. Can different hiring practices help solve the problem?
Perhaps, says Texas A&M professor Ryan Zimmerman, whose work in the area has recently been profiled in various places, including the national press, recruiting websites, and SIOP (article no longer available except cached version).
So what has Dr. Zimmerman found? We'll know more when his meta-analysis research is published in an upcoming Personnel Psychology issue, but in a nutshell his research found that three aspects of the Big 5 have been linked to turnover:
- Emotional stability
Zimmerman argues that selecting for people based on these qualities is just as powerful as, say, how the job is designed.
Some things to consider while we wait for the research to be published:
- Survey after survey show that quality of supervision is a powerful retention factor (check out the Gallup 12 to see an example). This suggests selecting good supervisors may be an equally powerful factor.
- Other research, including some by Zimmerman himself, suggests person-organization (P-O) fit may also be a significant contributing factor to turnover. P-O fit is a combination of both the person and the environment, so personality would be just one side of the equation.
- Many people forget there is positive and negative turnover--not all turnover is bad because there are some people who simply aren't a good fit for the job. Simply finding a correlation between one factor and turnover is the beginning of the story, not the end.
- Average job tenure, particularly among younger generations, is around 2-3 years. So is turnover really what we should be focusing on?
Stay tuned here for more details when the research gets published.