The dictionary definition of onboarding is “the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organisation”. Yet, many individuals join businesses and feel far from integrated, describing a lack of information, lack of available tools and support to complete the work and on occasions not even an induction plan or a friendly welcome.
According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report by Employ, one in every three new hires will leave a job in the first 90 days and worker confidence is at an all-time high, with 35% of job seekers believing it’s easier to find a job this year than the previous year and one-third feeling comfortable quitting a job without having another lined up.
“Let’s face it candidates have lots of options in the current marketplace. It’s key that employers avoid unravelling all the great recruitment activity they have undertaken and the significant investment they have made to attract talent into their organisations.” said Taryn Wilkinson of executive and management recruiters, Walmsley Wilkinson.
“Over the years we have heard many tales of woe when it comes to onboarding experiences – individuals waiting up to five weeks to receive their company laptop and systems access, work backlogs and lack of resource with the expectation that the new hire should be working extra hours in their evenings and weekends, lack of interaction from their new boss or the allocation of a work buddy or mentor who is demoralised and unable or unwilling to share information effectively.”
As long as these types of situations are still occurring, hiring costs and attrition statistics will remain high. The ability to retain new hires, dramatically improves with the implementation of a welcoming, supportive, engaging and inclusive onboarding strategy.
It’s understandable that an employer or recruiter will want to portray a vacancy in the best possible light in order to encourage interest, but its more effective to ensure that a realistic insight is provided on business culture, role content, current challenges and expectations. This will help to eliminate the ‘mis-selling’ of an opportunity.
The hiring process isn’t completed when the new employee starts work; organisations cannot afford to be complacent at this critical stage. The welcome and support they receive within the first few days, sets the tone for their employment, demonstrates the company values and efficiency and hopefully backs up the expectations gained from the interviews. This new hire may have left a situation in which they were highly valued and the ‘go to’ person for information and advice and could now be feeling vulnerable and outside their comfort zone.
A detailed induction plan, dedicated time from line managers and colleagues, relevant training and efficient ordering processes that ensure vehicles, IT equipment / access, mobile phones etc are available from day one, should be the minimum expectation.
There are some organisations though, that have perfected their onboarding processes and are achieving great retention results and increased engagement by not just undertaking the basics. They are providing welcome kits, treats, virtual tours, colleague lunches, reduced hours during induction weeks, volunteering opportunities and introductions to career sponsors.
In fact, recent research by Brandon Hall Group found that organisations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent.
Taryn Wilkinson continues “Employees who feel connected to their co-workers and the business they have recently joined, will be more committed and with all the right tools and support in place, they will also be productive. Organisations that tolerate poor onboarding will be the losers when it comes to retaining talent”
Walmsley Wilkinson, owned by two partners, Linda Walmsley and Taryn Wilkinson, offers professional solutions for executive and management recruitment needs. They support a variety of organisations, including large corporations, family-owned entities, private equity and the third sector to identify and secure the best leadership talent, across the UK and internationally.