What Employee Engagement Means to Recruiters & the Staffing Industry

ThinkstockPhotos-452498803Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent with recruiters and staffing firms each year by companies trying to attract top talent to empty positions. The obvious hope on the companies’ part is that the recruiters will find the perfect person for the position and that the new hire remains fully engaged in the years to come. A natural question posed by the people holding the purse strings for recruiting spend is: Are we getting our money’s worth?

I was invited to give a keynote presentation at the 25th Annual Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum last month to answer that exact question in my address.

Many recruiters are frustrated with trying to justify their fees to their existing and potential clients to understand the value of measuring and building Employee Engagement. They are not alone. I’ve talked to thousands of staffing managers and recruiters — people who are at their wits end trying to justify the cost of recruiting fees.

The well-researched statistics below will give you great fodder for enlightening the naysayers and turning them into passionate believers in the value of Employee Engagement.

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The Best-in-class or most Engaged Organizations (regularly defined as the top 10%) garner the following awesome business and financial outcomes compared to those organizations with average levels of Employee Engagement:

  • 20 times more innovation and creativity – In addition, 59% of Engaged Employees report that their job brings out their best creativity versus only 3% for the Disengaged Employees. Needless to say, this heightened out-of-the-box thinking pays huge dividends in “Creative” and “Design” type job functions and industries.
  • 44% Higher Retention
  • 37% Higher Sales
  • 125% Less Burnout/Job Stress. Job stress/workload/lack of work life balance are the number one reason people contemplate resigning from their jobs.
  • 66% Lower Absenteeism and Absenteeism costs the average North American employer $3,600 per hourly employee, and $2,650 per salaried employee, per year.
  • 51% Less Turnover. Turnover costs the American economy more than $300 billion dollars each year. Replacement costs for an employee resignation run anywhere from one to two years’ base salary for that position.
  • 53% of the Actively Disengaged are content to continue to cash their paychecks as opposed to begin to look for new employment; these are commonly referred to as the “Quit and Stay” employees.
  • Communicationis five times more likely to be seen as a positive by the employees
  • Higher volunteerism by employees leading to 31% Higher Productivity
  • Much better safety compliance and thus, fewer workplace accidents. Engaged Business Units have 62% less safety incidents tan their unengaged counterparts
  • Significantly lower instances of Employee Theft or what the Retail industry commonly calls “Shrinkage.” Companies above the 50th percentile on Employee Engagement versus those in the bottom half experienced a 123% higher success rate in eliminating this theft.
  • Engaged employees are linked to Engaged Customers at a very high correlation coefficient of .85.

Increasing Employee Engagement also increases Ethical Behavior. In fact, the two topics are highly correlated at a .73 coefficient. One can only wonder how unengaged GM’s engineers were when they decided that $1 per car was too costly to fix the faulty ignition switch that was ultimately linked to the pointless deaths of 156 people. The same Hay/ERC study also reported that Engaged Employees were much more likely to report misconduct than their unengaged and disengaged coworkers. A review of the internal memos at GM clearly showed that although many employees noticed the switch problem that could cut off engines and disable airbags, power steering and power brakes, the company failed to recall 2.6 million cars until more than one decade later. In this case, a culture of Ambivalence and Disengagement tragically cost 156 lives, or maybe more.

Furthermore, by finding the right and most engaged top talent for clients, the staffing industry will bolster its reputation as the best place to go when seeking top talent. Happy customers remain existing customers who also become Net Promoters, who refer you and your firm to new customers.

Lastly, if you are attempting to sell your recruiting services to an Executive that only cares about “the bottom line,”share this metric with them:

“Best-in-class organizations are 350% more profitable than organizations with average levels of Employee Engagement levels.”

Needless to say, this summary is compelling evidence supporting the enormous value-add contributed by recruiters and staffing firms worldwide vis-a-vis employee engagement.

MORE: The Best Staffing Firms to Work For

Kevin Sheridan
Kevin Sheridan is a New York Times best-selling author, a frequent keynote speaker and the chief engagement officer of Kevin Sheridan LLC. He can be reached at kevin (at) kevinsheridanllc (dot) com.

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