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2017 Dissertation of the Year

Renee Squier, Dissertation of the Year at NCU

Northcentral University recognizes the scholarly achievements of its doctoral students by honoring annually an outstanding dissertation for the University.

Renee Squier, PhD, CAPT, USN

Hiring for Performance and Retention: Examining the Relationship between Cognitive Fit and Employee Turnover in the U.S. Navy

As a U.S. Navy Captain with 26 years of service, and a PhD in Business Administration with a specialization in organizational leadership, NCU’s 2017 Dissertation of the Year Award winner understands the importance of employee retention in today’s global knowledge-based economy. According to Dr. Renee Squier, “Retaining top-performing talent is one of the most fundamental human resource challenges, and it is critical to workforce quality and controlling human resource cost.”

Given the change in how people are managing their careers – shifting from a career in a single organization to shorter stints in different jobs – Squier was interested in finding out if there was a measure being used for hiring that could also predict future retention. The purpose of her study was to determine whether there is a way to know which employees to hire based on the likelihood they will be both top performers and stay long-term with the organization.

Squier compared U.S. Navy enlisted sailor Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test scores to the cognitive demands for their career fields in the Navy to determine if sailors with the closest match stayed longer. She credits this dissertation work and her education at NCU with her own success in the Navy. During her time at NCU, she has been promoted twice and was recently selected to serve as Director of the Strategic Actions Group for the Chief of Naval Personnel.

“My coursework and research helped me to see problems and issues from a different perspective than I had before,” said Squier. “My goal in this new position is to use what I’ve learned to help shape our future Navy processes to take care of our sailors, and to continue to pursue additional research on employee fit.”

Squier currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her family.