Priority Personnel Blog

What Employee Turnover Really Costs Your Company

December 13th, 2011

Many surveys say that the number one issue facing businesses today is finding and keeping good employees. That’s partially because nationally, the average annual employee turnover rate is 14.4 percent – and it can cost companies thousands or even millions of dollars a year.

While companies normally record and report costs such as wages and benefits, workman’s compensation insurance, utilities, materials and space, most companies don’t track and report the cost of employee turnover.

How to Estimate Turnover Costs

  • SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, once estimated that it costs $3,500.00 to replace one $8.00 per hour employee when all costs — recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, reduced productivity, etc., were considered. But SHRM’s estimate was the lowest of 17 nationally respected companies who calculate this cost!
  • Do a quick calculation: Think of a job in your organization that has experienced high turnover, maybe supervisors. Estimate their annual average pay and the number of supervisors you lose annually. If their average annual pay is $40,000, multiply this by 1.25 (125% of their annual pay). The result? It costs $50,000 to replace just one supervisor. If you lose ten supervisors a year, you’re spending $500,000 in replacement costs just for supervisors.

Do These Numbers Seem Unbelievable?

Actual turnover costs are usually much higher than we think they are.

If you want to find out exactly how much turnover is costing your organization, find an online employee turnover calculator. Just remember that only tangible costs can be calculated on these sites. Intangible costs are just as real and sometimes much greater than quantifiable costs, but they are difficult if not impossible to measure.

Why Don’t More Companies See This as a Costly Problem?

Many companies don’t realize the true cost of turnover, which costs companies in both expertise and dollars, because they have never examined it. Here are four possible reasons:

1. No process is in place to tabulate the costs of turnover.

2. If they are measured, those costs are not reported to top management.

3. Employers think it’s an inescapable cost of doing business — but it’s not!

4. Costs are underestimated, so they don’t cause concern.

How Can You Measure Turnover Costs in Your Organization?

A comprehensive program measures the following costs:

  • · Separation costs
  • · Replacement costs
  • · Training costs
  • · Vacancy costs

Separation costs include:

  • administrative functions related to termination
  • separation/severance pay
  • any increase in unemployment compensation.

Replacement costs include the cost of:

  • attracting applicants
  • interviews
  • preemployment administrative expenses
  • acquisition and dissemination of information.

Training costs include both formal and informal training costs. Vacancy costs include the net cost incurred due to increased overtime or temporary employees needed to complete the tasks of the vacant position.

How can you reduce turnover?

When turnover costs are unacceptably high, do an assessment. Find out who is leaving and why. Exit interviews can help you gain information. Then develop a retention program based on your findings.

As an award-winning employment agency serving central Texas employers since 1993, Priority Personnel can help you lower your turnover costs. Contact us today!



New Recruiting Technology and Media Trends for Central Texas Employers

November 29th, 2011

Have you seen the commercial where the guy is standing in his front door while his new 3D TV is being delivered, only to see a van drive by advertising 4D TV?

Technology – even recruiting and interviewing technology – is changing rapidly.

Until recently, job boards were the “latest and greatest” way to connect with job seekers.  The advent of social media, smart phones and free online video technology, however, has created yet another paradigm shift in the way we attract and recruit top talent.

While job boards should remain part of your recruiting mix, consider incorporating the following emerging media to remain competitive:

Remote Interviews

Online interview technology has revolutionized the hiring process.  This cost-effective tool allows you to rapidly connect with viable candidates anywhere, while greatly simplifying interviewing logistics.  Instead of spending valuable time and money on travel, you can now use services like Skype and TokBox to virtually meet applicants and determine their potential early on in the recruiting process.

Mobile Technology

According to statistics from Pew Research Center, 83 percent of Americans own cell phones.  Nearly half of them (44 percent) use their mobile devices to get access to the internet.  Leverage mobile technology to reach potential job seekers anytime, anywhere by sending text alerts about your job openings and recruiting events.  Additionally, you may want to consider making your website more “smart phone friendly,” so that it facilitates the job search and application processes.


Digital video enables you to get your company’s message across like no social media tool can.  By allowing candidates to literally see and hear what the true employee experience is like, video offers a powerful way to influence and engage potential candidates:

  • Use online videos to enrich your online job postings.
  • Add video clips of your offices, production facilities, etc.
  • Interview current employees about what it’s like working for your organization.
  • Demonstrate ways you take care of your employees, work for the greater good and/or stay on the cutting edge of your industry.

To ensure your videos are viewed, add them to your homepage, job postings and social media, or use QR codes to direct job seekers to them.


Twitter can help you contact candidates in real time by instantly broadcasting or “tweeting” available jobs.  If you have a Twitter account:

  • Search for relevant hashtags that qualified candidates might be using and integrate them into your tweets.  Tools like, Twubs and Tagalus can help you identify hashtags your target candidates may be using.
  • Shout out new job listings.  Services like and allow you to automatically feed new job listings to your Twitter account.  You can even add custom prefixes and hashtags to make the content more user-friendly and searchable.

Recruiting technology will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. If, like many employers, you find this rate of change intimidating, remember that you don’t have to go it alone.

As an award-winning employment agency serving central Texas employers since 1993, Priority Personnel can help you win the war for talent.  Strategically located in San Marcos, we can provide you with the most highly-qualified and trained professionals available throughout our service area. Contact us today!

Credit Checks for Texas Candidates and Employees – Legislation Update

October 18th, 2011

Are you familiar with House Bill 449?

House Bill 449, if passed in it’s current form, would prohibit agencies in any branch of Texas state government from considering an individual’s credit information or credit score in deciding whether to hire the individual.  Certain notable exceptions include:

  • a position that involves access to or the direct handling of money or negotiable instruments;
  • a position as a peace officer, reserve law enforcement officer, public security officer, or county jailer;
  • a position as a corrections officer; or,
  • a position that involves investigating possible violations of law or state agency rule.

The National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) website indicates that changes in credit screening legislation are occurring from coast to coast.  Seven states now limit employers’ use of credit information in employment: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Is our state next?

As an employer in Central Texas, you still have the right to check a job candidate’s credit.  The current form of HB449 only applies to state agencies.  Still, it raises the question of whether or not credit screening is smart business practice.  Before screening any applicant’s or employee’s credit, you should consider:

  • how relevant the information you’re collecting is to the available position;
  • the cost involved versus the benefit to be gained;
  • whether or not your internal staff is trained in how to interpret the complex information contained in today’s credit reports;
  • whether or not there may be potential adverse effects to checking an applicant’s credit.

While the use of credit checks has grown over the past several years (with some 60 percent of U.S. employers using credit reports for some or all of their background checks), this practice is now becoming illegal for many employers.  In the future, it will be interesting to see if and how this ban will help people with financial problems find employment.

What is your take on the new credit screening laws?  Will it affect the way you screen and hire candidates?  We at Priority Personnel would like to know.  Please leave your comments below.


The BLS Monthly Situation: What It Is and Why You Should Follow It

August 17th, 2010

Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming at you each day?

With the barrage of data pouring in from newspapers, TV, the internet, social media, RSS feeds, e-mails, voicemails and good-old-fashioned face-to-face meetings, finding the critical information you need amidst all the “white noise” can be exhausting.

Take the BLS Monthly Employment Situation, for example.  It contains monthly employment estimates for over 1,000 industries from its Current Employment Statistics program.  However, the changes in these overall employment levels tend to be delayed in the monthly labor reports – making it a lagging indicator of economic trends.

Sound like a lot of white noise?

Not entirely.  Temporary help employment numbers, which are part of the monthly BLS report, are generally considered to be a coincident indicator for overall employment.  This means that changes in temporary help employment tend to forecast subsequent changes in overall employment and coincide with changes in economic activity.  Why?  Many companies use temporary staffing as a means to quickly adjust their operations to meet fluctuating demands for their products and services.

Here’s how to get current data for temporary help services in the BLS report:

  1. Go to the BLS Current Employment Statistics home page.
  2. Then select either the HTML or PDF version of the “Employment Situation Summary.”
  3. Data for temporary help services can be found in Table B-1 (page 30 of the report’s PDF version).

 Effectively manage the economy’s highs and lows with Priority Personnel.

Our staffing services for Central Texas employers can help you run lean – while providing on-demand access to the talent you need to meet surges in demand.

Land the Best Candidate When Budgets are Tight

June 15th, 2010

Tips for Successful Salary Negotiations

Congratulations!  You’ve found a superstar with the ideal skills, personality and experience for the position.

But you still have one hurdle to overcome – salary negotiations.  Landing the cream of the crop without blowing your personnel budget can be tricky.  To help, here is a quick list of strategies for negotiating salary with high performers:

  1. Have the right mindset.  Negotiation is a process, not a war.  At all costs, avoid the pitfalls of the “us vs. him/her” mentality.  Instead, enter the salary negotiation process open-minded, with the ultimate goal of hiring the best possible candidate for your company.
  2. Do your homework.  Rest assured your candidate will have done his.  Before heading into negotiations, prepare yourself by:  reviewing the candidate’s salary history; consulting relevant salary surveys; knowing what your competitors are paying; understanding current market and economic conditions; factoring in cost-of-living differences; and developing a comprehensive compensation package.
  3. Use a negotiating point person.  In multiple interview situations, a candidate may ask salary questions of more than one interviewer.  Be prepared.  Prevent potentially catastrophic communication errors by designating a single person to discuss and negotiate salary with a candidate.
  4. Never lowball a candidate if there is a good fit.  A top candidate knows what he’s/she’s worth.  If you lowball him/her in an attempt to save a few dollars, he/she will likely be insulted and reject the offer without even countering.
  5. Sell the intangibles.  Identify a candidate’s “hot buttons” – intangibles which are just as important to him/her as money.  Leverage these intangibles (e.g. company culture, stability, challenging work, opportunity for advancement, flexible hours, etc.) to sweeten the deal when your pay range is maxed out.
  6. Be up-front if you can’t negotiate.  If your initial offer is not negotiable (because of budgetary or other constraints), tell the candidate when making the offer.  If possible, provide an explanation.  The candidate will understand that your base salary offer is firm, and will then move on to negotiating other parts of the compensation package.

Work with Priority Personnel.  Avoid the pitfalls of salary negotiations by using our direct placement services.  We can handle every step of the process from initial screening through salary negotiations, to ensure you land a top performer without breaking the bank.

The Perfect Storm: Talent Gap Looms as Global Economy Improves

May 18th, 2010

According to a worldwide survey of senior managers, years of staff cutbacks have undermined trust in the workplace.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s new report, titled “Companies at the Crossroads,” recommends that to restore that trust, companies must put their employees first  – or risk experiencing deep talent erosion and sustained underperformance as the global economy recovers.

Here are some key statistics from the December 2009 report:

  • 29% of business executives surveyed said employee engagement is low – and that they expect to lose key people as talent demand grows.
  • 41% of respondents cite a shortage of talent in their organization.
  • 44% of executives surveyed said they find it increasingly difficult to recruit talented employees.
  • 50% of respondents plan to ramp up recruitment in 2010, with only 18% freezing headcounts.

The survey found that while executives understand the need to focus on their talent, greater action is needed to develop sound talent management strategies for the future.  Low trust among mid-level employees, coupled with low graduate recruitment and an ongoing demand for senior executive talent, is creating a “perfect storm” for businesses:  the most talented employees may be headed out the door, with fresh talent not yet recruited.

Bottom line, these trends can have a serious impact on your business as the economy recovers.  Priority Personnel is prepared to help.  We proactively recruit to ensure you always have immediate access to the skilled, talented and reliable individuals you need – especially when that talent becomes hard to find.  Visit our website to find out what we can do for you.

Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions

May 4th, 2010

Have you ever bought something on impulse?  Ever wonder what attracted you to the item in the first place?

Whatever the reason, something about the way that product was marketed created a strong attraction in you – strong enough to make you act.

In many ways, job postings are a lot like the impulse items we all buy on occasion.  As a manager, you must ensure that the announcements you write compel the candidates you seek to take action – even if they aren’t actively seeking new jobs.

To help you in this arena, use these tips for creating irresistible job postings that are magnets for talent:

  1. Tell a story to stir emotions.  Rather than beginning with dry job requirements, focus on the ways your company’s products or services impact customers’ lives, or draw from client testimonials.  Write about the way your business makes people feel, and use this to create a compelling image of your company and the available position.
  2. Approach the posting from the job seeker’s perspective.  Top candidates are more interested in what a position offers them personally – high earning potential, intellectual challenge, recognition, etc. – than in your company’s business strategy.  Ensure your job posting addresses these needs by first highlighting the rewards of the position.
  3. Emphasize your company’s strengths.  Everyone wants to work for a successful organization.  Put your company’s best foot forward by identifying strengths such as: organizational growth, industry track record, competitive advantages of your products/services, positive corporate culture, financial stability, awards and/or recognition.
  4. Convey a sense of optimism.  Potential candidates are quick to form judgments about your company based on the tone of your listing.  Use positive language to turn downsides into opportunities (e.g., a decline in profits signals a need for innovation).
  5. Keep it short.  Details are great, but a passive job seeker won’t take the time to read a lengthy listing that drones on and on like Charlie Brown’s teacher.  So as a general rule, limit job postings to two or three pages.
  6. Avoid overused buzzwords and transparent euphemisms.  For the savvy job seeker, buzzwords do little to differentiate your company – so use them sparingly (balancing the need for SEO when postings are online).  Likewise, steer clear of inflating job titles (e.g., listing a coffee gopher as a Beverage Production Manager) that will only rob your company of both clout and credibility.
  7. Use your in-house writing talent.  A job posting is a marketing piece.  If you’re not a Twain or Grisham by nature, enlist your marketing department’s help.  Provide them with the nuts and bolts of the job (as well as this post) and let them craft a compelling posting for you.

Attracting top talent is both time-consuming and expensive – so why do it on your own?  Call Priority Personnel with your job specifications, and allow us to find the best temporary and direct placement candidates for you.

Tips for Creating an Empowered Workplace

April 6th, 2010

As a manager, you know that empowered employees:

  • have the authority, and take the initiative, to make sound business decisions;
  • are energetic, passionate and committed to doing a great job;
  • are creative and innovative problem solvers;
  • continually strive to improve quality, productivity and morale;

all because they feel personally rewarded for doing so.

But while the benefits of empowerment are clear, the steps to creating an empowered workplace may not be.  Use these quick tips to get your business started on the right path:

  1. Understand what empowerment really is.  Empowerment isn’t something you do to people.  It’s an environment you create by giving employees goals, information, feedback, training and positive reinforcement.
  2. Identify an opportunity for empowerment.  Start small.  Create a work team by selecting a few key employees who have the right skills, knowledge and resources to complete a small test project.  This project should be challenging enough to allow your staff to grow and take on additional responsibilities.
  3. Set clear expectations.  Let your employees know what to do and how to do it.  Factors to consider include:  deadlines, channels for sharing information, methods for delegating authority, and ways to check progress / measure success.
  4. Provide decision-making guidelines.  Provide clear instructions for when and how to make good decisions.  Explain when it’s okay to the take initiative and when employees should check with team members first.
  5. Encourage open communication.  Information sharing is a critical component of an empowered workplace.  Create an atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable expressing concerns and sharing new ideas.
  6. Establish accountability.  Provide the advice, perspective and guidance your team needs, but require them to create and manage their own solutions.  If mistakes are made, do not step in and fix them – use them as opportunities for employees to learn.
  7. Let go.  Tough as it may be, don’t micromanage.  Once you’ve established clear expectations and guidelines for the project, it’s time to take your hands off the wheel.
  8. Provide positive reinforcement.  For empowerment to permanently take hold in your organization, your employees have to want to do it.  So celebrate the successes (however small) your employees have while working on the test project.  Provide the feedback they need to feel respected and valued in their efforts.
  9. Review results, then take it to the next level.  Once the project is complete, assemble your team for a debriefing.  How did the group do?  What worked?  What didn’t?  Use the lessons learned to develop a more comprehensive plan for getting your whole company on the road to empowerment.

An Empowered Workplace Starts with Great People

Priority Personnel can deliver the talented office, professional, technical and industrial staff you need to create an empowered workplace.

Tips for Creating an Effective Wellness Program

March 30th, 2010

A well-designed wellness program can be just what the doctor ordered.  Implemented properly, a wellness program can:

  • increase productivity
  • control preventable healthcare costs
  • boost morale
  • reduce employee stress, ER visits and absenteeism

If you’re looking to institute a wellness program for your company, or want to make your existing wellness program more comprehensive and effective, consider these points before getting started:

  1. What are you trying to achieve?  Determine your reason(s) for introducing the wellness initiative before deciding what types of programs to offer.
  2. Whom are you targeting?  Make sure the programs you offer appeal to all age groups and fitness levels.
  3. What’s your budget?  According to the Wellness Councils of America, wellness programs can cost anywhere from $10 to $125 per employee, depending upon how they are structured.
  4. How will you encourage participation?  Consider:  lower premiums or co-pays; cash contributions to health savings and reimbursement accounts; or even a point system where employees can redeem “participation points” for merchandise or money.  Whichever option you choose, keep the incentives positive and never force employees to participate.
  5. How will you gauge success?  To determine how your program is doing, you should design and conduct a longitudinal study for tracking metrics such as:  productivity, absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, ER visits, hospital admissions and health insurance claims.
  6. What does your attorney suggest?  Ask your attorney about compliance with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act).
  7. How will you publicize the program?  Consider both internal communications to explain programs, benefits and incentives, as well as external PR opportunities to enhance your position in the community and attract potential employees.

What do wellness programs and staffing services have in common?

They both provide great ways to manage benefits expenses, improve employee productivity and morale, and gain a competitive recruiting edge.  Contact Priority Personnel today to find out more.

How to Ensure Your Temporary Employees are Productive and Efficient

February 12th, 2010

When used strategically, temporary staffing can improve productivity, increase capacity to handle spikes in workload, and provide access to specialized skill sets – all without increasing your fixed expenses.

To help ensure your temporary staff is as efficient and productive as possible, be sure to follow these 5 key steps:

Step #1: Determine the type of person you need and define required skills.
Meet with managers and those who will be working with the temporary employee to determine which skills are ideal for the position you are trying to fill.  Examine top performers you already have on staff to determine what skills have made them successful.  And finally, work closely with your staffing agency and provide as much detail as possible.

Step #2: Work with an experienced staffing agency.
Find an agency that has experience in your industry.  Not only will an experienced staffing agency know where to look to find the right person, but they will also be able to help you determine things like an appropriate pay rate for a particular position.

Step #3: Provide a solid orientation and training program.
Include information such as working hours, breaks and lunch schedules, any safety regulations or company rules, and contact information for direct supervisors. You may also want to assign a core staff member or supervisor to help orient the temporary employee.  Also, find out what type of training and orientation your staffing agency can provide.  Good staffing agencies will offer guidance on how to best bring temporary employees up to speed so they can hit the ground running–and they may even conduct initial training and orientation for you.

Step #4: Communicate clearly and openly.
Make sure your temporary employees understand what’s expected from them.  Encourage employees to ask questions and make sure they know who to direct those questions to.

Step #5: Check in regularly.
Be sure to take a minute or two at several points throughout the first day to check in and gauge progress.  Set specific days/times you plan to check in throughout the week to answer any questions and monitor progress.

Bringing a temporary employee on board at your company can offer a host of benefits – as long as that employee is managed properly. And from our experience, hard-working and properly managed temporary employees often become leading candidates for full-time openings.

If you’re interested in hiring temporary employees or just want to learn more about how temporary employees can help your company, contact Priority Personnel today. As San Marcos’ leading staffing and temporary employment agency, we can deliver the flexible staff you need without increasing your permanent workforce.