Uncle Sam Masthead image

Using Stay-Put Interviews to Reduce Employee Turnover.

by Mike McCurdy
GEA Executive Director

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate at the end of August 2017 was 4.4 percent. Employers are finding it difficult to recruit top talent and in some cases, to keep their best performers in a very competitive environment. Borrowing from real estate terminology, it’s a job candidate’s market.

According to Pew Research, the millennial generation is now the largest segment of the American workforce. Now ages 20 – 36, there are 53.5 million millennials working.1 For recruiters and HR professionals, the millennial generation represents nearly 100% of the candidate pool. Here’s the tough news for employers – millennials are in high demand and they’re ready to change careers when opportunity appears.

Pew Research Labor Force Graph

According to Pew Research, Millennials became the largest component of the US labor force in 2015.

Glassdoor reports that 89% of their users are either looking for jobs or would consider better opportunities.2  Deloitte 2016 research indicates that ⅔ of millennials have one foot out the door, with 64% of U.S. employee group expecting to leave their current employer by 2020.3

On the brighter side, there’s plenty that employers can do to improve their odds of keeping their talent at home. Millennials are the most over-researched generation ever, and there’s no shortage of data that informs employees of their needs and desires. It boils down to this – millennials want to work for companies that value their employees and their customers. They’re looking for defined career paths and advancement, but also for the ability to contribute and make an impact with their work and with engagement in social causes. They want to be involved.

Keeping top performing millennial talent requires open communications, especially from direct supervisors. That’s where Stay-put interviews come in. These interviews are essentially “pulse checks” that should happen frequently and especially at critical points during the employee journey.

The process isn’t complicated. Supervisors can hold listening sessions or personal conversations on a regular basis. They have to be empowered to act and to respond back to questions or concerns that are voiced. Proactive feedback, flexibility, and clear company values and culture count with the millennial generation.

Stay-put interviews won’t eliminate turnover of millennial employees, but they can go a long way to create open channels of communication and to reveal opportunities that engage and involve individuals with their work and the organization. It’s that kind of effort that encourages key talent to stay and that keeps competition at bay.

Mike McCurdy speaks frequently to management and HR groups on a variety of current HR and business topics. If your business group needs a speaker for an upcoming meeting or event, we hope you’ll contact GEA.


1Fry, Richard. Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, Pew Research.org Factank, May 11, 2015.

2Top HR Statistics, Glassdoor.com.

3Millennials have one foot out the door, Deloitte.com.