Successfully onboarding new employees
Very few companies have a really satisfying onboarding process. Yet, the latter largely determines the commitment and loyalty of the newcomers. How can you welcome new staff members really well?
Companies struggle to build loyalty among their new staff members. Thus, at least 25% of newcomers leave the company within a year following their recruitment, according to the Allied Workforce Mobility Survey conducted a few years ago among 500 human resources professionals in the United States. Even worse, nearly half of the staff recruited for their first job are gone within 18 months. Yet, recruiting a new employee is expensive. It is thus estimated that business executives should stay at least 6 months in the company for their contribution to cover the sole direct costs of their recruitment, not counting the disturbances caused by too frequent changes.
When a new staff member prematurely quits his/her job, companies are prompt to consider that the problem stems from a casting error. They reach the conclusion that the candidate was finally not fit for the position, and look for means to improve the reliability of their recruitment process. Very few among them question the onboarding process of the newcomers. Indeed, administrative processes are generally well practiced: the legal declarations are done, the payroll follows, the furniture and computer equipment are available. But integrating a new recruit goes well beyond that: you need to accompany the person in his/her discovery of the cultural and social codes of his/her new working environment, in the identification of the key counterparts he/she should refer to, in developing a fine understanding of the strategy and of the implicit expectations underlying the stated objectives.
This transition from the time when a person is selected for his/her competences and potential, to when he/she is capable of working really autonomously in the company is critical. The recruitment consulting firm Egon Zehnder has conducted a survey among 588 leaders who recently joined a company at a vice-president level or above. The results are bitterly disappointing: 60% of them consider that they needed more than 6 months to have an impact in their new function. And less than a third considered that they had received a significant level of support to ease their successful integration. There is much room for improvement!
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