MarTech Interview with Dr. Christy Petrosso, Chief Data Scientist and Talent Economist at Workforce Logiq

What can B2B marketing, B2B sales and other business teams do to reduce attrition rates while boosting overall employee retention processes? Dr. Christy Petrosso, Chief Data Scientist and Talent Economist at Workforce Logiq joined us for a chat to share some thoughts:

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Hi Dr. Christy! We’d love to dive into Workforce Logiq’s AI-driven analytic platform that has recently also helped pick employee retention leaders among the Fortune 100. Will you tell us more about the tech behind this?

Earlier this year, we announced the winners of our second annual Working Best Awards (WBA). The program is based on our proprietary Talent Retention Risk (TRR) ScoreSM, which uses multiple AI techniques and patent-pending models to calculate industry, company, and candidate-specific benchmarks to predict how various factors contribute to employment stability and volatility. TRR Scores are used to predict the likelihood that an organization’s professional and knowledge workers are interested in exploring external job opportunities, as well as their openness to unsolicited recruiting messages. The lower the scores, the better the employment stability and less risk of losing this key talent. The rankings – which are the only of their kind and driven by proprietary AI algorithms and proven data science – were based on full-year calculations for those companies designated as Fortune 100, defined by their annual revenue. To qualify, winners were required to have an average annual TRR score below 45, with no single month score throughout the year spiking hiring than 50. 

Our technology measures workforce volatility across states, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), job functions, and major industry sectors. The data evaluated is comprised of more than 1 billion data points, 40,000 sources, and analytics on over 19 million global companies. We track, aggregate, and analyze more than 2,000 events, triggers, and shocks that can impact employment volatility, such as macroeconomic trends, company-level social media and news sentiment, employee churn indicators, industry news and events, and more.

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Can you share top observations on these findings as well: what are some of the factors that were found to drive employee retention in tech? 

Our data revealed that employees at the WBA’s eight retention leading companies were six times less likely to look for external job opportunities than those at other Fortune 100 companies – an impressive feat given the tumultuous circumstances of 2020. Our proprietary algorithms uncovered that strong leadership and business stability were the driving factors in these employees’ retention. This speaks volumes to the confidence employees had in their management teams., The U.S workforce was hit hard when the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic rippled through the Nation. There was no clear roadmap in place to guide organizational leaders through the uncertainty. Employee’s priorities shifted, aiming their focus on a more healthy, stable, safe, and supportive environment. 

Leaders’ abilities to successfully navigate their organizations through the health crisis and last year’s seemingly endless sequence of disruptive events played a major role in maintaining employee retention as workers looked to the top for reassurance and guidance amid the turmoil. 

We’d love to hear about a few learnings and takeaways on how emerging tech startups and upcoming HR / Business leaders can enhance their employee programs to achieve not only higher employee retention but also better productivity and ROI from talent acquisition?

A recent KPMG study cited talent risk as the most significant threat to operations, ahead even of supply chain and environmental issues. The price of employee churn is at an all-time high, with hiring and training new employees costing organizations an estimated 6-9 months’ salary per employee on an average basis. To put this into perspective, an employee making $60K per year can cost up to $45K in recruiting and training expenses, which is enough alone to drive organizations to evaluate and prioritize their current retention initiatives. 

Organizations must focus their approaches to be driven by employee retention centric strategies. 

Using technology to identify the best matched talent to fill the holes in your current workforce is key in maximizing your acquisition process. Recruitment should be tailored to incorporate retention-specific messaging.  Since remote work is here to stay, organizations are able to expand their talent pools without the constraints of a physical office location, optimize their costs, and improve employee satisfaction.

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What are some of the areas that employees feel should be a more area of focus for employers when it comes to employee care practices, including training, development, and retention?

A major key in successfully mitigating employee volatility and keeping your workers happy boils down to employee needs – which can encompass myriad attributes. As millennials and Gen-Z’s presence within the labor market grows, understanding what matters to these workers and tailoring your strategies to them is crucial. A major trend we’ve seen with this group stems from the increasing importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) centered initiatives. A recent Monster survey cites up to 83% of those polled indicated inclusion was a driving factor in choosing an employer, with Millennials and Gen-Z specifically citing D&I goals and initiatives as a “requirement” in their job searches. 

Retention may also be based on sector-specific needs. For instance, companies with workers in finance roles should target these employees with retention-based messaging. AI is leading the way in helping organizations decipher which messages – company resiliency, business stability, strong leadership, career growth, positive work environment etc. – resonate most with their workforce to best align with those values and in turn minimize the risk of losing critical talent to their competitors.

How have you seen new HR Tech and other platform innovations in the market help businesses address issues related to employee retention (for multiple teams and departments) in a more organized manner? A few examples of how top leaders are doing this?

Employee retention is broad in its scope. With the swift shift to remote work, and as many continue to operate on a work-from-home model, technology is a major component in effectively engaging, and ultimately retaining your organizational talent. We can see this demonstrated across our group of eight retention leaders in this year’s rankings. Leaders such as Corrie Barry, CEO of Best Buy made swift decisions and took action to keep on as many employees as possible despite the packed punch COVID-19 threw. Verizon is another exemplary demonstration in employee retention, retraining 20,000 workers to serve the company in alternative ways as opposed to furloughs and layoffs for those in positions rendered unnecessary by the pandemic. At a time when it seemed the only thing that was certain was uncertainty, these leaders took every step possible within their power to maintain their valued talent force. 

We also are beginning to see continued emphasis of employee engagement and mental health in this new hybrid working model. With many workers still remote either for the foreseeable future or permanently, the conversation on mental health and burnout has never been louder. Those who understand the motivations behind their employee’s actions – what they value, enjoy, need to succeed, etc. – are those who will continue to rule the realm of retention.

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Workforce Logiq, is a global provider of AI-powered workforce intelligence, technology, and services to large corporations, enables organizations to win and retain the talent they need to grow. With clients in 50+ countries, Workforce Logiq provides expert guidance, real-time and predictive analytics, and patented and award-winning technologies. Workforce Logiq’s universal sourcing solution addresses all elements of its clients’ acquisition and retention programs, including full-time (RPO), contingent (MSP), and freelance/“gig” (FMS) workers. Backed by global investment firm The Carlyle Group, the company helps clients attain greater management, performance, and financial control over their talent supply chains.

Dr. Christy Petrosso is the Chief Data Scientist and Talent Economist at Workforce Logiq

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