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Why Onboarding is Just as Important as Finding the Right Candidate

September 16, 2019  |  3 min read
team building for support staff

After they join your team, employee retention is the no1 priority.

When you find the right candidate, it’s all systems go – interviews, chats, negotiations, you name it. Every effort is amplified to get them on board until, yes! They sign the contract and they’re now a part of your team. As a talent company, we’re lucky to see this happen every day. 

As business owners will know, hiring the right people for your team is imperative to the success of your business – the right hire can boost morale, increase profitability, strengthen your team and overall, just make your company a happier place to be. If they decide to leave, it’s reported that it could cost your business up to 33% of ex-employees salary to find a replacement. So, with this much riding on each hire, why should that effort slow down the second they sign their contract? For us, staff retention and onboarding are just as – if not more important – as the hiring process. Here’s why…

Onboarding lets them hit the ground running

Typically, a new starter is going to take a week or so to settle in, which businesses often prepare for when they have a new member of the team. But what if that settling in period takes a month, or even more? This is what happens when there’s little to no onboarding process – and according to research from Gallup, 88% of organisations don’t onboard well

Put it this way, how can new starters be expected to work at full capacity when they haven’t been shown any processes, where to find things or ways of working within your company? No matter how many years of experience they’ve had in the industry, a misunderstanding of your internal infrastructure can slow them way down. By investing in an onboarding handbook, delegated time for questions and access to information, your business can get the most from its new employee and your new team member can have a positive, productive start. 

It makes them feel welcome

Let’s put productivity aside for a second and think about the person who’s about to start a new role in your business. As all of us will know, that first day can be pretty daunting. As much as onboarding is about giving a new start everything they need to do their job, it should also be used as a tool to immerse them into the culture of the company and introduce them to the team. 

It’s said that employee happiness is 23.3% more correlated to connections with coworkers than direct supervisors, so, although it’s important for their seniors to welcome them to the team and be on-hand for any questions, the onboarding process should also consider ways that the new employee can get to know those they’ll be working alongside every day. 

team building for support staff

It gives them peace of mind

As a business owner, the last thing you want is for a new hire to think ‘why the hell did I come here?’. In those first few months (and beyond that) your business has to live up to the promises made at the recruitment stage to make them stick around. Otherwise it’s adios! 

When onboarding is ignored and the promised perks suddenly become ‘forgotten’, people leave their new roles, and rightly so. In a study of over 1,000 workers, 31% reported having quit a job within the first six months, where on the other hand, employees who are “engaged and thriving” are 59% less likely to look for a job with a different organisation in the next 12 months. Onboarding is your first opportunity to let them know that they made the right choice. 

It sets a strong foundation for employee retention

For some companies, onboarding is a quick tour of the office, the fire escapes and where they can park their car, but it’s worth so much more than that. Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%eighty two percent – and yet, most organisations only delegate 1 week to onboarding a new hire. That seems like a lot to squeeze into just 5 days. 

Onboarding is just the first stage in your employee retention strategy and it should start as you mean for it to go on. The longer someone works for your company, the more valuable they become to your business (if they’re a good hire, of course) and so, should be treated as such. When you prioritise onboarding and carry that level of attention across your entire team, your business – and the individuals within it – will thrive. 

As a talent company, it’s important to us that candidates join businesses that make them feel valued at every stage of their career – from that first meeting, to their first day and beyond. For businesses, we want them to gain a new member of the team who’s engaged, productive and on-board with their goals. A strong onboarding process can help that happen from day one. 

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