The war for talent isn’t won when employees walk in your company’s door. The challenge simply changes from hir- ing them to keeping them—and that battle begins on day one with effective onboarding. Indeed, smoothly integrating workers into their positions—and the company’s culture—is critical, given that up to 20
percent of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of
employment, according to research by O. C. Tanner, an employee
recognition company based in Salt Lake City.
The stakes of going back to the drawing board are high, especially at small companies that can least afford the vacancies. It
now takes a whopping 68 business days to fill a white-collar
job in the U.S., compared with 42 days in 2010, according to a
2017 study by CEB, an Arlington, Va.-based management and
technology consultancy. And the average company loses roughly
$407 each day a job remains open, CEB found.
Unfortunately, many companies struggle with onboarding.
Over a third of employers don’t have any structured process in
place to assimilate new employees, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey. “If a company doesn’t have a formal onboarding
process, it says to new employees, ‘ We don’t care about you,’ ”
ALL ONBOARD ALL ONBOARD
How HR leaders at four small companies are taking
onboarding to new heights by creatively engaging
new hires in their organizations’ cultures and teams.
By Daniel Bortz
says George Bradt, managing director at
PrimeGenesis, a Stamford, Conn.-based
onboarding and leadership consulting
firm. That message can lead new employ-
ees to adopt a bleak sink-or-swim men-
tality, Bradt says.
Of companies that do have structured
programs, many mistake orientation for
onboarding, says business consultant
It’s about showing new hires how the company operates and
how their positions fit within the bigger picture. It’s a way of
introducing people to your company’s culture and integrating
them into teams. “Orientation should only be one piece of your
onboarding program,” Spies says.
Done well, onboarding enhances retention. According to a
2013 survey by the Aberdeen Group, companies with an engaging onboarding program retained 91 percent of their workers
through their first year.
That’s why a growing number of employers are using innovative practices, such as games, video and team-building exercises, to get new hires excited about joining the company.
They’re also working to make sure people can hit the ground
running with functional workstations and equipment.
Facebook, for example, has a “45-minute rule,” which I L L