Even In Current Economy, Employee Retention Top Concern, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, CA -- A recent survey suggests today’s employers are most worried about hanging on to good employees and bringing in new ones, even in the current economy. When asked about their greatest staffing concern, nearly four out of 10 (39 percent) senior executives interviewed cited employee retention, while 22 percent said recruitment. Productivity and employee morale were each named by 17 percent of respondents.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm from Sept. 15 to Oct.15, 2008, and is based on interviews with 150 senior executives from the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “What is your greatest staffing concern?” Their responses:

Retention 39%
Recruitment  22%
Productivity 17%
Staff morale 17%
Other 3%
Don't know 2%

“Many firms are operating with lean teams in which every staff member plays a key role in the business, making retention a greater concern,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Companies that lose top performers may not only experience declines in productivity but also incur significant costs in replacing these professionals.”

Messmer added that within a few specialties, recruiting in-demand skills remains a challenge. “There continues to be a shortage of skilled job candidates for positions such as credit and collections specialists and staff and senior accountants, and companies may not be able to offer generous perks and incentives to attract them.”

Robert Half has more than 360 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services at


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