By: Thomas Schlick
Every hiring manager I’ve known is always out to hire “top talent” – people who are rock stars in their field. These new hires come with sterling resumes and are part of a carefully orchestrated recruiting effort. Having typically been flown in from out of state, these high-performance individuals go through a wonderful interviewing process, which often includes lunch with the CEO or another senior executive. The mutual enthusiasm builds and by the end of the process, the candidate will depart very impressed with your organization, its strategic direction, the commitment of your senior leaders, and strong optimism for a bright career.
Then comes the first day on the job.
Your new candidate may have to wait in the lobby an extra 15 minutes until someone picks them up. The candidate is introduced to several of his or her team members along with some additional managers – and then sent to HR to navigate a minefield of paperwork. The day is mostly filled with tasks and introductions. But something is missing!
What has gone AWOL is all of the original enthusiasm that was part of the recruitment process. The on-boarding process is more of a “do-it-yourself” workshop than a dazzling exercise in building momentum, loyalty, and excitement about the road ahead. And your brand new “rock star” already has that little tinge of doubt about his or her decision to join your company.
So why is it that companies literally roll out the red carpet during the interviewing process, and then show up as minor-league bit players when it comes to onboarding? If this applies to you, don’t worry, you are not alone. A recent Gallup study found that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job on-boarding new employees. And further, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can be as much as 50% in the first 18 months of employment.
Let that sink in. The sheer amount of time and cost of bringing your new hire onboard – and now having to replace that person after 18 months – is (or ought to be) staggering.
Make your onboarding process a memorable experience. Build on the new employee’s anticipation for the first day. Help them visibly connect their eagerness and excitement to the company’s vision, and how their job will really make a difference. Ensuring that your new hire feels welcomed and immediately appreciated will help them develop a sense of belonging and commitment to your company. Make the process meaningful, not just a collection of tasks.
The labor market for top talent is tight. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to retain these key employees, starting with a stellar on-boarding experience!
By: Thomas Schlick