Actalent Reduces Attrition by 28 percent; Saves Client $720k Annually

New Culture Drives Engagement, Retention, and Production

Young engineer inspecting jet engine


of consultants say they’re developing valuable career skills, versus 51% before


drop in attrition in six months


reduction in resignations

Client Profile

An air and missile defense integrator ranked in the top five worldwide for its space systems group.

Market Overview

Our client was contracted to enhance critical technology used in global missile warning, missile defense, and space tracking missions. The labor market, already talent scarce, tightened further after the project was underway, and open engineering jobs across the U.S. soon outpaced available candidates 7 to 1. Hiring engineers with the required expertise and security clearance in the client’s market, which ranks between 75th and 100th in the U.S. by metropolitan population, also posed an ongoing challenge.

The Challenge

The client was having difficulty keeping engineering consultants on the project, experiencing a 24.6% year-over-year attrition rate. A traditional approach to staffing, geared more toward finding consultants rather than retaining quality ones, was contributing to the resignations. Consultants were feeling undervalued and disconnected -- like they weren’t part of a team. The turnover was affecting morale, productivity, and project operations. Replacement expenses and extended backfill times were costing the client an estimated $800k in annual revenue. With every engineer that left, the client was also losing opportunities to transfer skills and knowledge among the project team. Qualified talent to fill the gaps was scarce. The client realized they would continue to lose money and potentially compromise future contract opportunities if the attrition problem was not solved.

The Actalent Approach

Actalent’s Managed Talent solution was designed to solve attrition problems. Our local offices supporting the organization created a plan tailored specifically to meet the client’s needs and fit their culture. They chose Actalent because we were the only company offering a proven method to drive retention.

Actalent’s Delivery Lead, Diana, is central to the solution. She manages and provides personalized care for each consultant at every stage of their tenure on the project.

Diana oversees enhanced onboarding and performance optimization of every consultant. This includes an in-person pre-start orientation, compliance and security support, a walk-in on the first day, and a manager introduction.

Diana holds consistent performance reviews and sets up monthly touchpoints where consultants receive streamlined support for personal and professional development, career coaching, work recognition, issue resolution, and general inquiries. For the client, Diana provides continuous insight into the talent landscape and makes recommendations based on market and project data.

She is also the sole point of contact to resolve project engagement and performance issues between the client and consultants; helping them align their mutual needs to achieve success.

The Results

Actalent successfully created a culture where consultants feel more valued and connected. Once our solution was implemented, the attrition rate dropped dramatically, from 37% in the six months prior down to 9%. Resignations went from 10 a year to 1. Consultant tenure increased by 26 weeks on average -- a 68% improvement.

Project surveys indicate consultants feel more connected and supported. Factors driving their NPS scores increased by 28% on average and 96% felt part of Actalent and/or the client, as opposed to only 82% before. Several cited that open communication and Diana working proactively on their behalf made a big difference on this project and, for some, in their careers. “I loved that I have someone to help guide my career and offer professional development,” one consultant said. Through Diana, consultants asked for and received additional benefits, including military differential pay. Four have been promoted as a direct result of her advocacy. There had been no promotions prior to the enhanced support. Multiple consultants said because of the increased care, they now feel part of a family or team. “Diana allowed me to grow and improve my professional skillset and interpersonal relationships in the workplace,” another project consultant said. “She followed through on requests regarding my improvements in my career and allowed me to feel valued and appreciated.”

The client is now spending less time onboarding and managing performance. They are avoiding an estimated $720k annually in attrition costs. More transferable skills and knowledge are being cultivated and kept in-house. Regular touchpoints with their managers ensure issues are addressed quickly and effectively. The client also gained streamlined support, resources, and insight to help them optimize their business opportunities and continue to achieve success performing work that impacts crucial global systems and security. “I am amazed at the level of care Actalent provides to its people,” the client said. “They feel very valued.”

Overall, within six months Actalent’s solution fixed the client’s attrition problem, and the program continues to provide additional value as it evolves.

"I appreciate Diana bringing the consultant’s issue to our attention and facilitating a meeting so we could discuss the concerns. If we hadn’t had that meeting, I feel we would have lost the consultant on the program."

- Program Manager