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Retention as the key to success

How HR can influence the employee journey

Retention as the key to success

At times of labour shortages and high levels of fluctuation, it is increasingly clear that constant talent recruitment alone is insufficient to make an organisation successful in the long term. The cost of repeated inductions and the loss of productivity requires a rethink. Expert articles and blogs on "Why retention is the new recruitment" reveal this paradigm shift and show that the focus is switching to existing employees. Businesses realise that looking after existing talent is just as important as winning new.

By Clara-Sophie Körner


The employee journey: how you, as HR, can be influential

How does a company succeed in creating an environment in which employees feel valued, engaged and motivated? The answer is very simple: ask them! Objectively capturing employees' experiences and expectations is complicated, however, by obstacles such as shift work, different sites and remote working. This is where survey tools can help. Targeted, company-specific surveys let HR devise measures customised to suit the individual company. As these are based on feedback from its own employees, they therefore have a greater impact in achieving demonstrably stronger loyalty and engagement.



It is possible to develop a positive connection right from the very first point of contact during recruitment. Short waiting times and efficient communication are particularly important at this stage. A few, incisive questions can provide HR with feedback as to how applicants perceive the recruitment phase. External incentives are usually necessary to increase the response rate of candidates who turned down the job. These incentives need not necessarily be monetary; they can also be intrinsic, such as planting a tree per answer (a customer's example).

The aim of onboarding is to welcome new employees, to provide them with all the necessary resources and information, and to integrate them into the company community. It is worth conducting a survey towards the end of the induction period, with specific questions about the appointment process and wellbeing, in order to identify loopholes and potential for improvement.

One of HR's main challenges is retaining employees long-term after the induction phase. After successful onboarding, the daily working routine gradually creeps in and businesses find it hard to continuously maintain close contact with employees. This is why it is important to conduct a general employee survey during the "Development" and "Progress" phases at regular intervals, to compare the results and to derive measures from this and then to implement these transparently. The latter is key to making employees feel that their opinion carries weight.

Brief pulse surveys are also recommended, which should be carried out occasionally after events such as training, or change of managers. Valuable knowledge is often lost when employees leave the company. Exit surveys can help to understand the reasons why and to identify room for improvement, in order to avoid future resignations.

The key to employee loyalty

In HR we are always on the lookout for innovative approaches. It is not always necessary, however, to reinvent the wheel to achieve the aim, in this case increased employee loyalty. The paradigm shift from recruiting new talents to retaining existing employees requires continuous efforts to promote engagement and satisfaction. The key to this are the people who form the heart of the company. By listening to their employees' concerns and reacting accordingly, businesses create a positive working environment which employees will not want to leave voluntarily.

Listen, understand and act

Qualtrics is software suitable for carrying out automated surveys during the whole employee journey. This modern, cloud-based solution provides access to pre-prepared surveys and national and international sectoral benchmarks, as well as the possibility of creating totally individual surveys. The role-based dashboards and reports make it possible for you to be informed at all times.



HR Strategies, HR Campus

Clara-Sophie Körner

Clara-Sophie Körner focuses on people. She is particularly concerned about employees' wellbeing because of her psychology background. As HR Strategies Consultant, she methodically and efficiently designs appropriate employee surveys to make their voices audible and measurable. The results are consequently used as the basis for decisions to create an improved employee experience. This is absolutely in keeping with HR Campus's motto of "Happy Employee, Happy Company".



  • O’Connell, M., & Kung, M.C. (2007). The cost of employee turnover. Industrial Management, 49 (1).
  • Walker-Schmidt, W., Kaul, C., & Papadakis, L. C. (2022).Onboarding Effects on Engagement and Retention in the IT Sector. Impacting Education: Journal of Transforming Professional Practice, 7 (4), 8-15.
  • Sinir, Aysenur. (03.03.2023): Why Retention is the newRecruitment, LinkedIn. Link:
  • Bharadwaj, S., Khan, N. A., & Yameen, M. (2022). Unbundling employer branding, job satisfaction, organizational identificationand employee retention: a sequential mediation analysis. Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, 14 (3), 309-334.

Published: 4. September 2023

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