Retention-Based Recruiting Offers a Path Forward
Find your best-fit employees
by Harper Dion

At the tail end of the pandemic, home health and hospice environments remain shocked by the underemployment of qualified professionals. The scarcity of staff has remained constant throughout the pandemic, reaching a climax of noticeable side effects in 2022. A survey conducted by the American Health Care Association found that 61% of agencies were forced to limit admissions and 73% were concerned they would ultimately shut down amid inescapable staffing shortages.

As agencies continue to struggle financially, understaffing further staggers profits. This effectively creates a feedback loop where the agency loses resources due to understaffing and the employees that stick around face increased burnout. During the pandemic, roughly 100,000 nurses left the industry; if this trend continues, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing estimates, an additional 800,000 nurses will leave the field by 2027.

Addressing the dissatisfaction of these post-acute professionals is an absolute necessity. To thoroughly address the issue of understaffing, employers must approach it from a different angle. Increasing recruitment measures is a good start, but the root of the problem lies in the tendency toward burnout and quick turnover that exists in post-acute care. To weather this storm while navigating the new era of clinician excellence in home health and hospice, employers need to focus on employee retention and alignment.

Understanding Retention-Based Recruiting

Finding qualified and willing candidates is already a difficult task. Ensuring their long-term employment is almost impossible if hiring is based solely on their résumé. A prospective employee is traditionally evaluated by a few brief interviews and their on-paper qualifications. Although this system has been in place for decades, the ever-changing work environment now demands deeper analysis that cannot always be communicated through a traditional interview. The ability to align with workplace culture, share an ideal vision with the company, and work well with other employees are essential attributes that exist beyond the “hard skills” showcased on a résumé.

These attributes require deeper consideration, which becomes available through retention-based recruiting. Retention-based recruiting is a strategic approach that prioritizes hiring candidates with the potential for long-term commitment and engagement within an organization. Rather than focusing solely on short-term needs or immediate skill gaps, this approach aims to identify individuals who not only possess the necessary qualifications but also demonstrate a strong alignment with the organization’s values, culture and goals. By proactively seeking candidates who are more likely to stay and thrive within the company, retention-based recruiting reduces turnover rates while creating a stable workforce.

Retention-based recruiting offers several benefits for organizations. First, it enhances employee engagement and productivity while fostering a deep connection among members of the professional team. When employees feel a sense of belonging, they are more motivated and committed to their work, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction and increased productivity. Second, this approach reduces turnover costs. High turnover rates are detrimental for businesses due to recruitment expenses, lost productivity and the excess resources required to train new workers. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it costs businesses roughly nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them. By selecting candidates who are more likely to stay long-term, retention-based recruiting slashes turnover rates and associated costs. Lastly, this approach improves organizational culture and alignment. By hiring individuals who agree with the organization’s culture, employers enhance team dynamics while creating a positive work environment. Overall, this approach creates a more coordinated, satisfied, and productive team.

The Difference With Retention-Based Recruiting

Retention-based recruiting requires a more hands-on method, focusing on values and psychometrics while prioritizing genuine relationship building during the scouting and onboarding process. Retention-based recruiting differs in the following aspects:

  1. Depth of review: While traditional recruiting often emphasizes qualifications and technical skills, retention-based recruiting takes a broader view. It considers the candidate’s values, personality traits and career aspirations to ensure a more holistic fit.
  2. Cultural fit assessment: Retention-based recruiting invests in deep focus on a candidate’s compatibility with the company’s culture. By evaluating how well a candidate aligns with the organization’s values, work environment and team dynamics, employers can better predict their long-term success and engagement.
  3. A “can-do” versus “will-do” mindset: Traditional recruiting tends to prioritize candidates who possess the necessary skills and qualifications and simply “can do” the job. In contrast, retention-based recruiting uses psychometrics to assess a candidate’s motivation, drive and passion for the role to ensure they “will do” the job. This approach focuses on finding candidates who not only can perform but also possess the willingness and enthusiasm to go above and beyond.

Overall, retention-based recruiting provides employers with a cutting-edge difference in consideration practices to acquire a fully qualified, satisfied workforce.

The first step in implementing a retention-based practice begins with a deep understanding of an employee’s wants and needs beyond just compensation. Taking time to fully understand employee desires while seeking alignment with company values jumpstarts a positive company culture rich in career growth opportunities. Although pay is a main driving factor of consideration, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that increases in income are not likely to retain employees without additional investment in workplace culture. Prioritizing culture and satisfaction is a main component of fostering a retention-based workplace, but there remains the pressing question of identifying and selecting candidates who will remain at the job. This difficult task is answered with the use of employment psychometrics.

The Role of Psychometrics in Hiring Decisions

Simply put, psychometrics is defined as the science of measuring mental capacities and processes through methods such as personality and aptitude tests. In the professional world, this assessment plays a pivotal role in the hiring process, providing unparalleled insight into the characteristics and behavior of job candidates beyond the on-paper abilities listed on a résumé. Psychometrics improves the employer’s understanding of each prospect while ensuring candidates are a strong fit with the company culture.

Using psychometrics empowers a retention-based hiring process by:

  1. Assessing job fit: Cross-referencing specific personality traits with job responsibilities gives organizations a unique look into necessary qualities for success, improving productivity and satisfaction while reducing turnover.
  2. Mapping performance: At the core, psychometric assessments measure cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills and any “soft skills” that help indicate increased success. These assessments create data that can accurately predict performance beyond “hard skills” listed on a résumé such as work history or educational background.
  3. Identifying key motivators: Psychometrics identifies preferences, values and motivators. Gaining this deep understanding of prospective employees provides insight into their motivation and alignment with the organization’s culture and demands. When work aligns with individual values, employees find more satisfaction; psychometrics allows employers to identify key motivators while understanding whether the job will leave the employee fulfilled long-term.
  4. Assisting with training and development: Identifying strengths and development opportunities through a psychometric assessment enables targeted and methodical training efforts. Onboarding processes become tailored toward employee satisfaction, ensuring longevity from the moment the offer letter is signed.

Introducing a psychometric-based approach can seem like a full overhaul of onboarding efforts, but it is a necessary process for the human resources department that, once implemented, provides invaluable improvements in satisfaction, retention and company culture.

Once an organization fully adopts psychometrics, the focus shifts toward retention-based practices. A full commitment to employee understanding and culture cultivation becomes the new focus. The process will become increasingly self-explanatory while, at the same time, the culture becomes progressively tailored toward improvement and retention. The application and interview process will become more hands-on as psychometric evaluations enter the forefront, establishing a recruitment process promoting attraction, retention and success.

The post-acute industry requires a shift toward retention-based recruiting to address the challenges of understaffing and high turnover. This shift entails focusing on hiring candidates with long-term commitment and potential for engagement by considering their values, personality traits and cultural fit. Ultimately, this approach enhances employee engagement, improves organizational culture and reduces turnover costs.

Psychometrics play a vital role in retention-based hiring by assessing job fit, predicting performance, identifying motivators and assisting with training and development. Implementing a retention-based recruitment process requires a deep understanding of employee needs and desires, prioritizing culture and satisfaction and incorporating psychometric evaluations into the hiring process. By adopting a retention-based approach and leveraging psychometrics, organizations can attract and retain a qualified and satisfied workforce, unveiling a transformative yet straightforward solution to the ongoing employment crisis.

Harper Dion is the content development specialist at Maxwell Healthcare Associates. Dion has a passion for writing about tech-enabled solutions in the post-acute space, exploring how innovative technologies are revolutionizing patient care and operational efficiencies. Dion’s experience lies in crafting engaging written and digital content for marketing and informative purposes. Visit