Talent Management

Is your Onboarding Process Driving Away Talent?

Is your onboarding process deterring top talent? Explore how to improve your onboarding practices and attract and retain skilled employees.

Close to one-third of new hires leave their job within the first six months. New hires quitting is extremely expensive for organizations. Factor in the costs of advertising for talent, the overhead of HR personnel, the expenses of the hiring process, the price tag of onboarding and early job training only to lose the valuable employee within the first six months and you are looking at a hefty bill with little return.

But more importantly, how can companies streamline the onboarding process to retain talent instead of repelling it?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is a trite statement. It's cliché. But it's also true.

Every precaution should be taken to streamline the onboarding process and make it as accommodating as possible. Research shows that companies with a structured onboarding process:

  • Have employees that are 69% more likely to stay with company.

  • Their new employees are 58% more likely to stay with the company for longer than three years.

  • Their new employees are more productive.

Analyze your company's onboarding process

The first step to analyze and improve you onboarding process is to honestly dissect it. Try to forget everything you know. Push all your experience and familiarity with the company aside and take on the outlook of a new hire walking into your company on his first day. What would you want to know? What would make you nervous? What would make it easier?

You can even walk through your onboarding process, pretending to be a new employee. Do the whole process and take notes on trouble spots that need improving. Every company and every onboarding process has different obstacles. But here are some of general tips that apply to onboarding in any company.

Start Early

Onboarding should take place before the new employee’s first workday. Preparation is key.

A lot of companies spend the first day of work having the new employee fill out tedious paperwork. Assemble a packet of vital documents you need filled out and send them to the employee well in advance of their first day. This way they can fill out forms at their leisure and have it all done before they step onto the premises.

A first day at work filling out a bunch of paperwork full of questions regarding current contact data and tax forms is boring. Who wants a boring first day?

When you send these forms out, you can also send a welcome letter. This sets the tone of the company culture before they start. Tell them the dress guidelines, where they should park, where they can eat...think of all the routine things that make life easy for you at work that you don’t think about anymore. Tell the new hire these things right away.

Let current employees know someone new is coming

You want a welcoming team. You want a team that works together. You want an informed team that isn’t caught off guard.

Announce that someone new is being hired. Do this before their first day. Informing the team ahead of time will make it so when the new employee arrives they aren’t surprised. You can avoid awkward “I wasn’t told someone new was starting” comments by keeping everyone informed of new hires before they show up.

This small action will make for a welcoming environment for your new hire’s first day.

Set up their office space.

This might not seem like a big deal, but having the new hires office space setup for a seamless move-in makes a good first impression.

Set up their desk. Make sure the computer is hooked up. Is there a chair? You don’t want to be scrambling for basic furniture while your new hire stands waiting awkwardly on their first day. Having their work space set up upon their arrival communicates that you care about them and are prepared.

Introduce them to the team

Don’t leave it up to your new employee to introduce themselves and make new friends all on their own. Everyone is different, but most people will have some degree of butterflies to overcome. You can make this process as easy as possible by formally introducing them to the team.

Either have a mentor or HR rep or personally walk around with the new employee and introduce them to their peers or welcome them in a group setting.

Who doesn’t like the red carpet treatment and some recognition? Give some to your new hire on day one.

Match them with a mentor

One of the most effective ways to make a lasting impression on your new employees is to pair them up with a mentor within their first week of starting. Remember the suggestion earlier on in this article about taking on the viewpoint of a new employee? Imagine how you would feel if within the first week of starting at a new company you were given the opportunity to be mentored by a top-flight executive or a peer with a skillset you are dying to learn? Would that encourage you to stick around for awhile?

Workplace mentoring programs don’t only make the new hire feel cared for, it also engages them instantly, develops them as people and workers. 

Mentoring reduces turnover significantly. Good mentors can handle trouble spots and act as a guide so talent sticks around. Undetected problems that are never voiced to managers can buildup and push an employee to leave a company. But if there was a mentor around acting as crutch that problem may have been caught and solved in a simple conversation.

The best way to oversee this process is to use powerful mentoring software which uses tested algorithms to match and automates large portions of the process for executives.

Check-in all the time

Personally or have managers check in on employees frequently early on. In certain circumstances, it isn’t too much to check in multiple times a day. The process of onboarding, making an employee feel comfortable and settled in doesn’t end in the first week or even first month in some cases. Simply checking in by asking “How is it going?” often really helps.

Ask for feedback

Compile a survey for new employees to fill out after their first three weeks on the job. Ask them to honestly respond. Ask them how their first day went? How was the onboarding process? Did they feel welcome? Is there anything that needs to be improved?

This will help the company in two ways. First, it will make the new hire feel he has a voice and that his opinion matters. Secondly, you can take the feedback and improve your onboarding process.


Try some of the above tips and improve your onboarding process.

The key is to do your best to put yourself in a new employees shoes. Try to envision what it would be like to start at your company not knowing anyone or anything. You can then work out things that would help make getting settled in and productive easier.

Having an effective and structured onboarding process will save you a lot of headache. Not only does it make it easier on new employees, but will facilitate production in your company.

Mentor Resources can help any company to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect, and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.

Reach out to us today for a Free Demonstration of our software.





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