Onboarding…and that War for Talent Thing! 

by Laura Belyea, COO at KonnectAgain

It’s a war zone out there!  The competition for talent is real, and if you win the war how do you hold onto it?  The companies winning are challenging the status quo and revolutionising those old traditional HR programs THANK GOD!   I think it’s fair to say that the tech sector and the millennial generation have played a key role in this change.  Organisations are looking at their employees as their customers and creating an engaging employee experience that often replicates their consumer experience in the marketplace.

However, even the coveted “best workplaces” still have issues retaining their top talent.  What is going on?   There is lots of research out there about this, but the most compelling is around onboarding.
Onboarding is one of the most important indicators of how long you will retain an employee.  If you get it right first time by having a well structured on boarding program, the research out there says you are significantly more likely to retain employees.  The Society for Human Resources Management says you will retain 91% of your employees in their first year and 69% are more likely to remain up to three years.  Wow, impressive right!  That’s a pretty good business case, but it gets better.  The research done by the Aberdeen Group and ICMS shows that you will get a 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue and 63% year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction.  Onboarding also improves company ROI by more than $79,000 per year.

So, what does your onboarding program look like?  It can take employees up to year to become fully acclimated and productive in their new role, does your on boarding program support them throughout this journey?
In my experience working as a Senior HR Leader across the globe, organisations often see onboarding as an HR function. Contract generation, welcome packages, setting up system accesses, meeting and greeting on the first day, gathering all the newbies to sit in the dreaded classroom drinking a firehouse of too much information corporate blah blah.  The checklist is completed and now we hand them over to the Hiring Manager.  The Manager has put together a two week plan to shadow other employees, meet and greet stakeholders, organise a team lunch, etc.  Ok good luck, now you’d better hit the ground running, oh and be productive!
How come we spend so much investment in retention tools like engagement surveys, performance management, training, development programs and not on boarding?

So, one step closer to winning the talent war is for organisations to go back and look at their on boarding process, is it working?  How do you evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of your onboarding program?  Do you get feedback from your employees on their on boarding experience?  Who better then the new hire to give feedback.   This feedback from employees is critical to helping organisations understand why and give insights into areas to improve and retain that talent you worked so hard to get!

About the author
Laura’s role is to successfully support the start up growth and strategy for KonnectAgain, as well as provide product support with her expertise within the HR industry. Previously posts were director of HR & operations in Telefonica, Elizabeth Arden and ICON