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  • Rotational Programs Yield Higher Retention Rates

    March 22, 2017 | By NACE Staff

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    Retention rates were significantly higher for employers that had rotational programs than the retention rates for employers without rotational programs, according to results of NACE’s 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey.

    The survey report indicates that retention rates for one year (91.1 percent) and five years (70.9 percent) were elevated for employers that had rotational programs. (See Figure 1).

    This year, 43.8 percent of employers reported using rotational programs for new college hires. Larger employers were more likely to have rotational programs, with more than half of employers with greater than 5,000 employees indicating they have a program. Just 7.1 percent of employers with fewer than 500 employees reported the same.

    Industries that were more likely to have rotational programs included utilities (66.7 percent); chemical manufacturing (58.3 percent); miscellaneous manufacturing (55.6 percent); and finance, insurance and real estate (54.2 percent). (See Figure 2.)

    Among employers with rotational programs, the majority of programs (67.7 percent) were one to two years in length, with segment durations lasting three to six months (75.8 percent). Program durations of three months or less were rare. (See Figure 3.)

    More than three-quarters of employers (78.3 percent) offered rotational segments in different departments within their organization, while almost two-thirds (63.8 percent) rotated new hires through different job positions. Location rotational segments (50.7 percent) have been used significantly less. (See Figure 4.)

    NACE’s 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey was conducted from May 24, 2016, to August 31, 2016, among NACE employer members; 233, or 24.6 percent, responded. Highlights from the 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey are available on NACEWeb. Participating members can access the full report through MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Mean one-year and five-year retention rates by rotational program participants

      One-year retention rate Five-year retention rate
    Rotational program 91.1% 70.9%
    No rotational program 72.3% 59.8%
    Source: 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Rotational program by industry

    Industry Rotational Program No Rotational Program
    Utilities 66.7% 33.3%
    Construction 28.6% 71.4%
    Food & Beverage Mfg. 42.9% 57.1%
    Chemical (Pharmaceutical) Mfg. 58.3% 41.7%
    Computer & Electronics Mfg. 41.7% 58.3%
    Misc. Mfg. 55.6% 44.4%
    Retail Trade 42.9% 57.1%
    Transportation 16.7% 83.3%
    Information 44.4% 55.6%
    Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate 54.2% 45.8%
    Engineering Services 33.3% 66.7%
    Management Consulting 0.0% 100.0%
    Misc. Prof. Services 28.6% 71.4%
    Source: 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 3: Rotational programs by overall length and segment duration

    Program duration Segment duration
    3 weeks or less 3 to 6 weeks 6 weeks to 3 months 3 to 6 months Overall
    3 months or less 0.0% 1.6% 1.6% 0.0% 3.2%
    3 to 6 months 1.6% 0.0% 6.5% 1.6% 9.7%
    6 months to
    1 year
    1.6% 0.0% 4.8% 6.5% 12.9%
    1 to 2 years 0.0% 1.6% 4.8% 67.7% 74.1%
    Overall 3.2% 3.2% 17.7% 75.8% 100.0%
    Source: 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 4: Types of rotational segments: 2011-16

    Rotational segment type 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
    Departments within the organization 88.9% 84.4% 78.8% 85.6% 81.9% 78.3%
    Different job positions 66.7% 66.7% 60.6% 60.4% 65.7% 63.8%
    Alternative locations within the U.S. 55.6% 51.0% 50.0% 38.7% 41.9% 50.7%
    Alternative locations within and outside the U.S. - - - 34.5% 45.0% 13.0%
    Source: 2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers