San Diego (Sept. 29, 2003) -- The key to employee retention is to hire right in the first place, according to a human resources expert.

"It's expensive and it's time consuming, but the payoff is there," said Karen Cole of Glenn M. Gelman & Associates in Santa Ana, Calif., during a conference for women in accounting. Cole noted a Society of Human Resource Managers survey that showed that the cost of hiring a non-exempt employee runs from $26,000 to $70,000. For exempt employees, the cost is up to $24,000.

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