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Why New Hires Leave: The Importance of Quality of Hire in Recruitment

One in five new hires quit within 45 days of starting a new role, and this percentage jumps to one in three by the six-month mark after hire. Why do new hires leave, how can you stop them, and is Quality of Hire a factor?

While the cost of having to replace a new hire can be significant, the cost of keeping a bad hire around can be even higher. Dealing with the often complex issues surrounding new hire churn often requires learning to understand, measure, and predict Quality of Hire.

The Connection Between Quality of Hire and Employee Retention

 If you’re not specifically recruiting for Quality of Hire, you can expect the average tenure of an employee at your company to be low - and the value each employee brings to your organization will be hit or miss.


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By making Quality of Hire a priority in your recruitment process, you can both improve business outcomes and increase the longevity of your hires. Improved retention means greater knowledge being built and kept within your company, leading to smoother operations and increased revenues.

[Related: Hire Top Candidates with this Quality of Hire Checklist ]


Why do new hires leave? Opinions differ depending on who you’re talking to:

Top Cause of New Hire Failure According to Employers: Bad Attitude

A study by Leadership IQ notes that 48% of new hires fail in the first 18 months after being hired, and only 19% achieve unequivocal success. According to hiring managers:

  • 89% of the time failure was for attitudinal reasons, including poor:
    • 26% Coachability (ability to accept feedback)
    • 23% Emotional intelligence (EI)
    • 17% Motivation (drive to excel)
    • 15% Temperament (aligned with company culture) 
  • Only 11% of the time was failure due to a lack of technical competence/skills

Conversely, employers say a new hire’s ability to take feedback, their overall intelligence, and their communication skills are the attributes most often found in the top 20% of quality employees.

Takeaway: Soft skills may be just as important if not more so than hard skills when it comes to Quality of Hire. Employees who interact well with others and are flexible enough to change approaches when needed can benefit businesses more than employees who are rigid and take any attempts at constructive feedback personally.

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Top Cause of New Hire Quit According to Employees: People Problems

According to the Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey, a majority of executives said that between 10%-25% of new hires leave within the first six months after hiring. However, the numbers may be higher than that: HBR reported that up to 30% of new employees leave their jobs within the first 90 days of getting hired. 

[Related: The First 90 Days - Setting Up Your New Hire for Success]


Employee reasons for leaving both tracked with and disputed employer perceptions. While complaints about job descriptions and job expectations were common, people problems rather than lack of technical skills were at the root of many new hires’ decisions to quit.

  • 43% said that the role didn’t meet the expectations that had been set for them
  • 34% reported that a specific incident drove them away (often involving a manager)
  • 32% blamed the company culture or cited that they felt disrespected at work

6 Red Flags in Your Job Descriptions That Put Off Candidates]

In order to attract and retain employees with attributes that give them a high Quality of Hire score, businesses must make a point of showing they can appropriately appreciate and reward such employees. 

Quality of Hire may not be completely dependent on the new hire: the thoroughness of onboarding and managerial finesse may play a large part. When Quality of Hire is matched with internal support and respect as well as a great company culture, loyalty levels and retention can be maximized.

Three Ways Crosschq Can Help

#1: Crosschq has developed a Quality of Hire scorecard designed to help you build an understanding of how to recognize and measure Quality of Hire. Our Talent Intelligence Cloud™ is designed to help you surface top candidates and recruit them for your organization. 

#2: Crosschq Data Labs is constantly researching Quality of Hire. Discover the latest insights for this all-important hiring metric in The Crosschq Q (Quality of Hire) Report. Over 24M hiring decisions with analyzed and 5 radical insights were discovered to help you hire, retain, and develop top talent.

#3: Crosschq team experts can help your company identify, hire, and retain candidates with Quality of Hire potential.  Contact us for a demonstration today to see how.

Debra Carney

by Debra Carney

Director of Marketing

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