More than 40 percent of employee turnover happens within the first month of a new hire’s starting date. According to Ben Peterson, CEO of BambooHR, the average company is losing one of six new hires each month for the first three months.
This attrition is expensive. According to recruiting software company HireVue, losing an employee just after the first year can cost the company up to three times that employee’s annual salary in order to recruit, hire and train a replacement.
So what’s the answer?
“Ninety-one percent of [first-year] employees are retained in companies that have a formal onboarding program, but of those who don’t, just 50% are retained,” according to FastCompany) The earliest days are the most crucial in keeping an employee and leaders should dedicate significant resources to their companies’ retaining efforts. “How employers handle the first few days and months of a new employee’s experience is crucial.”
An ongoing onboarding process should begin before Day One and last well beyond it. Nearly 90 percent of employees decide whether or not to stay in a new job within their first six months, yet only 15 percent of companies continue onboarding within that timeframe. Susan Vitale, the chief marketing officer for talent acquisition software company iCIMS recommends chief executive officers shoot videos that provide company information, expectations, etc. that can be sent to new employees before reporting to their new job. “Employees appreciate getting homework and watching presentations to get acclimated to the company and industry and so they don’t come in blind. Sharing information about the company prior to day one isn’t necessary but it will go a long way.” Send them the mundane, albeit necessary, paperwork typically filled on their first day prior to arrival. According to Aberdeen Group, 83 percent of the highest performing companies began onboarding before the new hire’s first day on the job.
Company leaders should also be assigned as mentors to new hires. Help them set goals for both their role in the company and overall career, and provide support to help them get there. While CEOs certainly cannot be expected to mentor new hires, a high-ranking employee should be attached to the newbie to provide guidance. Provide an organizational chart. That will allow the new employee to see where he or she fits into the success of the company as well as understanding who the key people are.
Given millennials’ propensity to job hop and the fact that this generation is quickly becoming the largest cohort in the workplace, leaders, including CEOs, need to become increasingly more engaged with employee retaining efforts because keeping a steady and long-term workforce will increase not only productivity and efficiencies, but also the bottom line.