When you’re in the hiring process for a potential employee one thing you should always be vigilant for is signs that the employee will stay for a long time. The goal of reducing attrition can benefit your business, lowering the cost of training and raising the return on investment for hiring said candidate.

shutterstock_176088164.pngHowever, does that mean that a candidate staying for years and years on end is a positive thing. Yes, long retention can benefit a company and an employee ” the employee can grow through the ranks, finding new, meaningful ways to contribute to the company. And yes, that means a higher return on investment with the potential for new innovation or strategies that can keep the company competitive and cutting edge.

But what about the employees that stay in a position over a time? There are many risks that associated with an employee staying in a position for too long, and chief among these is a return on the investment you’re making by keeping this long-tenured employee around. For example, A recent article on ERE discussing this very topic cited a Wal-Mart statistic, noting that employees that have been in a position for seven years costs 55% more than a first year employee, but there’s no difference in productivity.

What does this tell us? To start, it’s both a risk for the employee and the employer. The employee is less likely to leave since they’ve found a place they’re comfortable working at, and don’t feel the need to go out and find new employment and learn a new system. The employer, meanwhile, is likely paying more in benefits and payroll due to the employee’s long-lasting tenure, all for diminishing returns.

There are two key steps you should be taking in this instance. The first is evaluating the employee and seeing what you can to do to get them motivated. Do they need a push in the right direction, new challenges, or more responsibilities? These are important to understanding how you can get the employee to get back on track and contributing to the company once again.

The second is to use this information to help improve your hiring processes. Your long lasting employees have some the most important insights on the internal processes of your organization. Use these check-ins to see if there’s anything you can improve upon, and then use those suggestions not only to help improve your operations, but your hiring processes as well. Create more targeted opportunities with candidates to ensure that you’re getting the best employees hired as possible.

To learn more about how you can hire to improve retention, and target other key areas of success as well, download our whitepaper on developing a quality of hire report card below.