How do we stop so many employees from quitting in their first six months?
It is a question that many organizations are asking right now, especially as attrition rates remain around 20% higher than their pre-pandemic levels.
One answer lies in the quality of new employee onboarding. While people often think of attrition as an issue for the HR team, Talent Acquisition leaders can play an impactful role in setting new hires up for success. We all know that a good introduction is vital for getting new joiners up to speed, but a lack of attention to onboarding is impacting retention negatively.
“Restrictions have made it harder for organizations to run onboarding programs in the same way as pre-2020," says Jacob Zabkowicz, Vice President and General Manager, Global RPO. “Remote onboarding can be more difficult than in-person onboarding.”
When working with candidates, these were some of the most common reasons employees reported on why they resigned within the first six months:
- Not understanding what the employer expects of the employee
- Discovering the tasks and/or responsibilities were not as expected
- Lack of friendly or helpful co-workers
- Not enough attention from managers and co-workers
Luckily, these attrition issues can all be addressed by improving your onboarding process, starting from the day the contract is signed.
Don’t wait until the start date to begin employee onboarding
One mistake that organizations make is to only complete basic administrative paperwork between the contract signing and start date. This is a missed opportunity, as the interactions between employer and employee before the start date set the tone for the relationship. The time before an employee’s start date is a crucial time that can also be used to prepare the employee by providing clear and honest insight as to what to expect in the days and weeks ahead.
At the same time, the onboarding process should be flexible and feel personalized. “Many new employees are keen for information before they start, so do share any relevant info that you can,” Zabkowicz says. “But don’t pressure new hires to give up their free time to review it all before their first day. They might be juggling other jobs and responsibilities.”