The Secret To Hiring Top Talent Who Stays

March 2, 2016

As you know, hiring top talent is not easy. Whether recruiting for a Fortune 500 or your own business, it’s important to focus on people who stick around. Not only will it help you and your team, it will also save you time and money in the future! The cost of an employee leaving and hiring a new replacement is expensive with all the different costs that come along with it.

Here are a few interesting stats that help drive this point home:

  1. It can cost upwards of $213,000 to replace a $100K employee (CAP Study, 2012)
  2. The cost of a new employee extends beyond their salary. Benefits, onboarding, training, hiring bonuses are just a few that add up. A $50,000/year employee usually equates to around $70,000 for your company.
  3. A survey of 610 CEOs by Harvard Business School estimates the typical mid-level managers require 6.2 months to reach their break-even point.
  4. It can take up to 2 years for an entry level employee to really get in their groove and be worth every penny invested in them.

Now that you’re convinced you need to hire right the first time, the question is – what’s the secret to hiring top talent that sticks around?

THE SECRET: Hire based on these three qualifying factors in this order: company fit, individual drive, and skills.

Company Fit

It is essential that your new hire fits in with your company. They need to feel comfortable and enjoy your team as well as the culture. When it gets down to it, the most important thing is being true to yourself, your mission, and your employees while providing a work environment they enjoy. By establishing and highlighting this side of your company, you’ll naturally attract people who are a good fit and weed out the ones who aren’t. Your company culture won’t attract everyone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Individual Drive

All of your employees need a drive to help your company succeed; the trick is figuring out how much of it that they have before you decide to take them on. Usually, it’s easier said than done, but there are a few ways to determine their genuinely. By asking questions that relate more to their personal goals and vision, you’ll be able to establish exactly what they’re looking for in a job. Do they want to grow their skill set or is their end goal completely different from the position they’re seeking? How much do they know about your industry and what it takes to get ahead? Are they driven by salary or making a true impact? Nailing down the answers to these questions will help you filter out candidates who lack interest and avoid a hiring mistake.


This is an obvious one but not so obvious that it comes third on our list. When it comes down to it, skills can be taught. While there are some that require more training than others, most people can learn anything, but our first two components are nearly impossible to teach someone. Although you can’t force personality traits on anyone, skills can always be mastered. Ultimately, you want recruit the best talent and have an employee that matches what you’re looking for. The worst thing you can do is hire someone who doesn’t have the correct skill set or interest in learning (both are huge red flags). In the end, they will leave – even if they love everything else about your company.

All three of these components are nearly equal in importance. The big lesson learned is that you need to hire someone who is the perfect fit in all three of these categories or else you’ll risk them leaving prematurely and have to face the consequences.

VP of Marketing at Digital Astronauts

Ronny Cheng is one of the Co-Founder’s of Digital Astronauts and has helped drive lead generation in the software industry for organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. He helped build one of the first online software review websites, specializing in CRM, ERP, and HR software. He’s a nationally published author with extensive experience working with the HR/Recruiting industries largest brands. In his spare time, you can catch him on Instagram doing his best food blogger impersonation.


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