Can Hiring Managers Resolve the Most Overlooked Retention Strategy?

July 9, 2015 at 1:30 PM Kathleen de Lara

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After much searching and sifting, you did it – you made a hire. Filling an open role may very well be the most satisfying experiences of recruiting, but slowing down your hiring efforts here could be the difference between a candidate staying or quitting several months later. 

The way an employee transitions into a new org impacts how quickly they ramp up and integrate with their team, progress in the role, and fit in and contribute to the company's culture. Ultimately, it's crucial for a company's first impression on an employee to be its best impression, a relatively accurate representation of what's expected of each person paired with clear ways for reaching those goals. 

Your engagement strategy kicks into effect from an employee's first day on the job. Some talent pros might even argue it starts from a candidate's first interview with the team. In any case, making a hire lightens the load on the talent funnel, but it also marks the beginning of your retention strategy.

Set up the team for a successful year ahead (and longer!) with appropriate, thorough training, and companies can decrease employee turnover by 30%. Don't believe it? We asked iCIMS' Brendan Cyrus to share the details as we count down the days to our upcoming webinar, Key Components for Building a Successful Onboarding ProgramRead on. 

What's the value in implementing an onboarding program?

Saving time and communicating the company is prepared. Get new hires up to speed and ready to contribute by working with your recruitment team ahead of time to consolidate who's responsible for which tasks, and create a cohesive onboarding program. You only get one first impression on new epmloyees, and it's your most important.

What's kinds of differences do you recognize in employees who are and aren't properly onboarded? 

I would say retention and engagement are definitely areas where you can see a spike in employees who go through a robust onboarding process. When you’ve made the decision to invest your time and effort with a company, you want to feel necessary and feel the company is invested in your success. When a company makes those things immediately apparent, it positively affects the energy and eventual loyalty of an employee.

What are common misconceptions about the purpose of an onboarding process?

Winning the war for talent is such a time intensive and hard fought battle. When you've finally found and won the candidate, it's easy to overlook the next immediate steps to getting him or her acclimated to the company atmosphere and welcomed to the team.

What's often missed is the need for a personal touch to the onboarding experience. A welcome video, a welcome lunch, a 15 minute sit down with a mentor are things clients sometimes don’t take into account. Making sure those events take place to make your new employee feel at home and valued. Too often onboarding is just a set of administrative tasks.

How do you respond to hiring teams who don't have an onboarding program in place, or don't believe they need one?

When consulting clients to look for areas of opportunity to gain efficiency, we’ll generally ask the question “What are the things you are doing as a recruiter that cause you to not have enough time in your day?” More often than not, the answer is related to handling the distribution and execution of different tasks for handling their new hires. Implementing an onboarding program makes your team more productive and saves the company money in making replacement hires.

What are recruiters doing wrong today?

Much of the disconnect comes from the difficulty identifying what's important to top talent you are seeking. For some it's salary, for others it may be work life balance. Others might want more autonomy in their position. Being ineffective at identifying these things, and not being straightforward with the talent can lead to great talent not getting what is really important to them, and result in costly bad hires.

Got any tips to share with fellow talent pros on implementing or improving the onboarding program? Not sure where to get started? Join the discussion and save your seat for our joint webinar with iCIMS to get your questions answered! 

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