The infamous ‘Two Year Itch’
Rebecca Morris
March 5, 2024
The infamous ‘Two Year Itch’
Rebecca Morris
March 5, 2024

In the ten years that I have worked in recruitment, I have been told time and time again that anything fewer than two years’ service on a CV is a concern. I am sure I shared this view in the early days of my career, but having met countless candidates over the years I can’t agree with it now. In my view, there is always a unique set of circumstances for every business and employee as to why a role may or may not work out.

I definitely don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of candidates that have been discounted for roles due to longevity on their CV with fewer than 2 years’ service. This is something I often challenge with employers especially given I spend time with each candidate I am representing to understand their career history and motivations. I am not for a second saying that ‘job-hopping’ is a good thing by the way, but over the years I have had countless conversations with panicked candidates who feel they should perhaps stick out a role for the sake of their CV. I find this keenness for two years of service really interesting and I am not completely convinced that staying in a role, especially one where a candidate is not happy, or the role is not challenging enough, is the right thing for either party. I am sure we all share the view that we would like our employees to be happy, engaged, and fulfilled as it only positively contributes to the business.

I have outlined my suggestions below regarding how I believe that regularly reviewing your employees’ roles, responsibilities, and salaries can reduce the risk of losing your top talent and keep your team engaged.

Is the role challenging?

If a role is not challenging enough a candidate’s skill set can become stagnant which is likely to lead to losing confidence and they become a risk to leaving the business. I would recommend businesses regularly assess and update job roles and responsibilities to ensure that they align with employees’ skills and ambitions. Encouraging continuous learning and where possible providing further training and development opportunities are likely to help businesses retain their employees for longer.

Has the role changed within two years?

Regularly reviewing and making changes to employees’ roles is vital to maintaining engagement, and of course, retaining talent. Employees feel valued and supported when they are offered new challenges and responsibilities. By reshaping roles, employers not only retain their talent but also cultivate an engaging and adaptable team that will only contribute to the success of the business.

Has their salary been reviewed and increased?

Regular performance and salary reviews are vital to the success of any business and crucial for talent retention. It is a competitive job market and businesses must ensure that salaries are competitive. Regular reviews acknowledge skills, experience, and loyalty and will motivate employees to stay in the business. I would especially recommend employers prioritise this step given the National Minimum Wage increase from 1st April.

Have you recognised and rewarded performance?

By regularly reviewing and rewarding performance within your business you are much more likely to cultivate a happy workforce and are less likely to lose your talent. There are many ways in which employers can recognise and reward performance. As mentioned above, ensuring your team is remunerated fairly is extremely important. You may also consider public praise by highlighting exemplary work. Offering promotions or additional training and development opportunities can also show employees that you appreciate their performance and hard work.

Do you have a retention strategy?

By ensuring your business has a retention strategy in place you will positively impact the stability of your business.  High turnover is so disruptive. Not only does high turnover impact your workflow, and team morale, but you will be incurring unnecessary, and expensive recruitment and training costs. A retention strategy incorporating competitive compensation, professional development, and recognition should ensure a highly skilled and motivated workforce.

In summary, to ensure we are retaining our employees and to reduce turnover within two years we should focus on providing growth and development opportunities for our employees. Ensuring we offer a competitive compensation and benefits package and that we recognise and reward their achievements will positively contribute to lower turnover and higher employee fulfillment and loyalty.