According to the 2016 SHRM Customized Human Capital Benchmarking Report, it takes 42 days and $4,129 on average to fill an open position in the United States. When companies fill high-paying positions using agency recruiters, that cost can easily to rise to more than $100,000 per head. The last thing your company needs, after investing so much time and so many resources in finding, screening, and signing the right candidate, is to have your new hire underperform or walk away after just a few months at your company.
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That happens often enough to be concerning. In a 2014 survey from BambooHR, one-third of the 1,000 respondents said they had quit a job within the first six months of starting it. More than 16 percent left between the first week and the third month of their new job. Such a short tenure makes that hire an incredibly expensive mistake!
While some hires are likely unsuccessful due to problems with fit or flaws in the hiring process, too many good hires fail to thrive for avoidable reasons. Here are three ways to save your company time and money by ensuring the success of your new employees:
1. Invest in Onboarding
According to a 2010 SHRM report, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with their employer for three years if they have a satisfying onboarding process. Successful onboarding starts before an employee's first day.
Instead of wasting the first day with paperwork, send out all paperwork to new employees ahead of time so they they can get down to business when they arrive. Along with the new-hire paperwork, send an orientation schedule for the first week so the employee knows what to expect. It's also a good idea to include a welcome note expressing your excitement about having them on the team. It's better for everyone if your new hire feels excited to start their new job.
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Your new employee should arrive on the first day to a set-up workstation and the opportunity to do some of the work that they were hired for. For example, if it's a telesales job, have them work the phones for at least part of the day. At some point during the day, meet with them to establish mutually agreed-upon short- and long-term goals.
George Bradt, managing director of PrimeGenesis, recommends having a debriefing at the end of the first day to make sure that the new employee had a good day. Send them home with an organization-specific care package, too. If your company makes soap, give them some soap samples. If you're a household appliances company, send them home with a coffee machine. That way, when the new hire gets home and their loved ones ask about their first day, they have something positive to share.
2. Involve Your Whole Team in Onboarding
An employer's role in onboarding is providing the structure and managing the process. It should not be conducting the entirety of the onboarding alone. Current employee involvement is critical to ensure that the new employee feels welcomed and integrated into the team. Andre Lavoie, CEO and cofounder of ClearCompany, recommends reminding current employees of their role before the new hire arrives.
Current employees also serve as important assessors of a new hire's success. Lavoie recommends asking current employees how a new hire is assimilating and performing in their work. Current employees can provide a more unbiased perspective than simply asking the new hire would. Given their direct contact and collaboration with the employee, current employees may also be better able to make initial assessments than managers are.
3. Have Check-Ins
The best way to know whether an employee is unhappy is to communicate with them. Communication should be frequent and begin early so that you can nip problems in the bud before they become major enough that your new hire starts considering alternate employment options.
Ron Thomas, managing director at Strategy Focused Group, recommends having new employees fill out a questionnaire at the end of week one. The questionnaire should give them the opportunity to grade their experiences with different aspects of the onboarding process, including orientation, goal setting, assimilation, adaptation, motivation from the manager, feedback, the organizational philosophy, and so on. Not only will this allow you to identify any pain points that might reduce your new hire's job satisfaction, but it also helps inform you about onboarding best practices for future hires.
With as much as 20 percent of staff turnover occurring within the first 45 days of employment, 15- and 30-day check-ins are important to monitoring a new hire's success and satisfaction in their position. A 90-day check-in to assess performance on projects and progress toward goals is also beneficial.
Don't drop the ball after you make the hire. The onboarding process is just as critical as the recruitment process when it comes to optimizing hiring results. Smart hiring practices extend into your new hires' first few months of employment, and recognizing that can save your company a lot of time and money.
Danai Kadzere is a content marketer at Happie.