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:

  1. Not understanding what the employer expects of the employee
  2. Discovering the tasks and/or responsibilities were not as expected
  3. Lack of friendly or helpful co-workers
  4. 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.”

Recruitment Process Outsourcing

More than RPO — talent realized

We’re glad you’re here, Joe: the importance of employee personalization

Personalization has become even more important when communicating with today’s candidates as they have higher expectations when it comes to the onboarding experience they should receive from employers. Many people are used to managing their lives through personalized apps and technology, and as Lenka Burnett, Senior Client Partner, RPO outlines, “New joiners will expect admin and bureaucracy to be quick, easy and seamless. But they also will also want to feel valued – and the evidence of that comes from a personal touch.”

Don’t gloss over new hire introductions

“The worst-case scenario is when a new joiner is just placed into their team, then left to get on with the job,” says Burnett. “What message does it send if a new hire is not introduced properly to their co-workers? It will also take longer for them to become familiar with the team structure and responsibilities, making it more difficult for them to do their job.”

Managers also need to understand the role they play in building the attachment between employee and employer. As Burnett says, “All employees resent being ignored by the boss, whether they have been in the role for five days or five years. On the flip side, a senior manager who makes the effort to say hello and engage with a new hire will make a lasting, positive impression.”

Whether onboarding activities are being delivered by people or technology, the key is to create an informative, candidate-friendly process that feels high touch.

To find out more about retention-focused onboarding and other ways Talent Acquisition leaders can help their organizations reduce attrition rates, download our latest paper on Talent Acquisition and Attrition or contact us today.

Download the paper

Related Capabilities