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Calculation of Bad Turnover - Don't Forget to Count Your Hiring Misses, You Sandbagger..

I'm not trying to get all high and mighty on you by bringing this up, but…

You're a sandbagger of sorts when it comes to calculating "Good vs. Bad" Turnover.  That's right - I called you a sandbagger.  An appeaser.  One who sucks up at the expense of the truth.Sandbagger

You wowed them when you broke out the cool kid metric and started reporting “Good vs. Bad” Turnover.  Nice job, Billy.  But at the end of the day, you were a hack.  Just like the administrative hacks who came before you.

What’s good vs. bad turnover?  Let’s define them like you did for your Sr.Team:

--Good Turnover – Includes all terminations that included employees who you’re generally happy to see go. This would include all the people you fire involuntarily, but also includes voluntary terms involving employees with performance, behavior and fit problems, and any other criteria where you look at a voluntary term and say, “that’s probably for the best”.

--Bad Turnover – Assuming you would never fire someone you don’t want to lose, Bad Turnover includes all voluntary terms where you say, “Man, I wish we weren’t losing them”.

You just went upstream and changed the game.  You had them patting you on the back with your Good vs. Bad Turnover slide.  There's just this one little problem, you sell out.  In fact, you're such a sell-out that Bob Seger called to personally thank you for providing the world with a bigger example of a sell out than him licensing "Like a Rock" to Chevrolet and subjecting us to 2 straight years of the same ad.

Here's what you did - you failed to classify every new hire who left or was asked to leave in the first 12 months of their career with your company as BAD TURNOVER.  Don't talk.  Don't rationalize.  If you hired someone and they were gone in the first 12 months of their tenure, it's BAD TURNOVER.  You missed.  The hiring manager missed.  The employee had faulty expectations when they joined.  You couldn't train them.  Marge from accounting freaked them out with that scab thing.

Whatever.  Doesn't matter.  If they left in the first 12 months, It's BAD TURNOVER.  Stop acting like it's not.


Tim Sackett

KD -

I always like the Bad vs. Good Turnover - because you have two camps: 1. All Turnover is Bad; 2. Some turnover is good.

I understand that getting rid of someone who sucks, should be considered good turnover - but doens't it go back to why did you hire this person to begin with? You didn't hire them to suck - so what went wrong? And, why do you now get to bail yourself out by calling it "Good" turnover? At the end of the day, it was either a bad selection, bad training, bad environment/fit or something else that was bad - but something went wrong in the process. How is that good?

So, maybe I'm arguing all turnover is bad...maybe

Mike M.

I agree with what Tim is saying, most of the time there is an underlying reason why someone is leaving, lack of training, culture fit, missed expectations, etc...

Anytime someone leaves, it creates an opportunity to look at the root cause. Perhaps you need to improve your on-boarding and/or training programs. Perhaps there is a gap in the interview process. Perhaps the expectations of the role and the measures of success are not being clearly defined. Organizations should take the opportunity to look at each situation and identify opportunities for improvement.


There is good turnover, but it is likely much smaller than most people define it to be. It is quite possible to hire someone, get the most that you can out of them, then see them off to another adventure. (At some point, even MJ was not worth keeping around. But to say that his departure was a signal that the Bulls did something wrong is preposterous.)

Contractors are hired all the time with the expectation that they won't be around forever. Surely, if we look close enough, we can find people within our organizations who are hired *with the expectation* that they won't be around forever. Oftentimes these are in non-strategic roles. But even in strategic roles there may be good reasons for expecting someone to leave the company by a certain point.


Oops. Should have said:
@Tim & @Mike
at the beginning of my previous comment. Not picking on you guys, but my comments didn't really apply directly to KD's post.


Kris, I didn't go into HR to do math.


You crack me up! I think I've met Marge. Completely agree. You can never justify the "right" reasons why someone you believed in 9-12 months agao should be let go from your company today. Get specifics about what turnover you want to measure, i.e. new hires after 3 months and after 12 months, by department, by position/job level and by age. And compare it quarterly, semi-annually but definitely annually. You'll then get some interesting data to share with your executives!


Amen. You can't even move someone to the good or bad turnover pile until you've assessed their actual (not perceived or hoped for) value to the company, and that pretty much takes a year to do. If they don't make it a year, you have to call it a bad hire and fix that.


@ Puf:
if you've only hired them for a 6 month job, you sure can evaluate them after 6 months.

To do a good job at sorting into "good" vs. "bad" turnover, you have to go job-by-job. Blanket statements (e.g. any turn less than 1 year is bad) are nice in the abstract but can lead trouble when put into practice.

To me, "good" vs. "bad" turn comes down to how they performed versus expectations at the time of hire. Which means you'll need clear record of what you expect from them & how long you project their tenure at the time of hire.

Meg Bear

KD I totally agree. In fact this kind of turnover (and yes I've had it) is the most troubling since it can crack your confidence in your ability to pick good fits. It also falls into the "huge waste of time" category.



Yeah, this rationalization always sounded a bit odd. I mean, would you *ever* believe someone who said something like this about a tangible asset? Like "Sure am glad that that camera I bought, but didn't like, got stolen." No. You should still be realistic that you spent your resources on the wrong tool.

This is a mindset that doesn't consider the opportunity cost: What *could* you have done with that headcount? Don't be glad that they left after you hired the wrong person. Be realistic that you had a non-performing asset on your books until *they* decided to leave.

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