In today’s world, anyone in the HR department deals with a number of issues that just weren’t a problem in the past. From issues with potential new employees ghosting during the hiring process to retention rates being lower than ever, it can be hard to figure out what the problem is.
If you’re dealing with a retention issue among your new hires, it might be time to address this problem in one of these three simple ways. The solution, surprisingly, might lie in the employee onboarding itself!
Many companies are facing a retention problem among new hires. While the reasons that these employees leave the company, there are a few reasons that seem to be happening time and time again:
- The employee doesn’t fit in with the company environment or basic policies
- The employee doesn’t feel like a good fit for the specific job
- A counter-offer rolls in while they are still onboarding
Each of these three common problems can be solved with the way that you handle employee onboarding. The onboarding period sets up the future of each employees time at the company, so getting through it successfully is key to a healthy, long-term working relationship with each new member of the team.
#1: Integrate Company Culture From Day 0
Not every candidate will be a good fit for your company culture. Even if you love their work ethic and skill set, it is possible that they simply won’t mesh with the current company culture that exists.
Make a simple list of what your company culture is all about. This list should include:
- Company size
- Company dress code
- Prevailing types of personalities
- Office layout (i.e., open, cubicles, individual spaces, etc.)
- Company meetings (daily, weekly, etc.)
- Company gatherings (how frequently do they happen?)
- Policies on time off, tardiness, etc.
Once you decide that you like a candidate, it can benefit you to bring out this list and introduce them to your company’s culture. Give them an opportunity to ask more questions about the culture at this time, and answer honestly. Lying to make them come to your company won’t result in a long-term win.
Sharing this information at this stage gives candidates who really hate certain aspects of your company’s culture (e.g,, they simply can’t work somewhere with an open layout) a chance to say that or to bow out of the process. While it’s sad to lose someone you like in the hiring process, you’re saving yourself resources in the long run.
#2: Improve Employee Screening
Another way to improve retention is to improve employee screening!
Sometimes, the conversations and basic tests that you do with a candidate can make it seem like they’re going to be a great fit for the open position, but it turns out that they don’t excel in it as much as possible.
To avoid ending up in this awkward position where you are likely to lose an employee because they cannot do the job or they simply feel overwhelmed by it, you should tighten up your employee assessments during the hiring process.
There are a number of assessments that you might consider adding to your hiring process:
- Interview Mocha: A paid service that has skills-based assessments available for hundreds of different types of positions from AWS programming to social media skills
- Personality test: If personality has been shown to be a big factor in which employees last for a long time and which ones do not, try a personality-test.
- Skills-certification: If someone absolutely needs to be able to pass a skills test for a certain position, consider requiring this to be done before they are hired. You can foot the bill for this testing to make this option more appealing to candidates.
No matter how you tighten up your screening process, know that adding an extra layer of assessment will make it more clear to both you and the candidate whether or not they are the right fit for the work.
#3: Set Up Pre-Boarding Checkpoints
Even after you’ve determined that you love a candidate and want them to join the company, it’s possible that they will go with another offer or simply disappear during the hiring process. Many candidates have been lost to powerful counter-offers.
To counteract the power of counter-offers, consider changing how you handle onboarding.
Do you currently onboard new candidates over a period of three days in which they are given the tour, the training, the paperwork, and the desk all at once?
If so, you’re living in the past. Onboarding in this way has been shown to be detrimental to the long-term health of an employee’s relationship with their company, so you should try to change it up for better working relationships.
Split some of the most basic tasks into “pre-boarding” tasks that will be sent to the candidate before they actually come into the office:
- Get them excited with personalized welcome notes or videos that introduce the company and team.
- Send out menial paperwork to be completed on their own time before coming to work for the first time.
- Give them basic access to company communication tools so they can start bonding.
- Give information about insurance, time-off, 401k, and more. These are things that they want to know ASAP, so answer those questions!
- Let them know what kind of certificates and training they’ll be eligible to do on the company’s payroll.
The goal in pre-boarding is to decrease the number of candidates who quit their new jobs within 45 days (right now, that number is at around one-fifth of all new hires). Keep it simple yet engaging so that the candidate will begin to feel loyal to the company from day 0.
This loyalty is what you will need to keep them from leaving the company too soon, and you can ensure they feel it with great pre-boarding before you begin onboarding!
Retention Rates are in Your Control
Often, it can feel like you did everything right throughout the hiring process and yet the new employee still leaves the company relatively quickly. Sometimes, there is nothing that you could have done to fix it.
At other times, however, small changes along the way might have made a huge difference! If you’re seeing a retention problem at your company, try reverse engineering the cases of the candidates that you were most surprised to see go. By looking more closely at the process they went through, you might be surprised to find out where you went wrong.
These three ways address some of the most common places that companies have gaps in their hiring process. Improve these things, and you may see a rise in retention!
Sabine Ghali is Director at Buttonwood Property Management, a property management company in Toronto. Buttonwood offers both residential & commercial property management services and endeavors to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area.