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Hard To Hold

Conquer the tight labor market by retaining valuable workers.

This story appears in the October 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The days when U.S. businesses had an inexhaustible supply of workers are gone, replaced by an environment in which companies compete as fiercely for employees as they do for customers. One way to deal with a tight labor market is to avoid it. "If you can retain employees, you don't have to replace them," says Dale Hageman, president of Accord Human Resources Inc., an employee leasing firm in Oklahoma City. A successful employee retention program can reduce the effort you put into finding, screening, hiring and training new workers. Here are some tips for reducing turnover:

  • Make it a long-term commitment. Your entire organization must understand and reinforce the need for employee retention; mere lip service or a one-shot campaign won't work.
  • Hire the right people. Take time during the hiring process to make wise decisions. Be candid about working conditions, responsibilities, opportunities and other details to reduce your chances of making hiring mistakes. And avoid candidates with a history of frequent job changes.

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