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8 On-boarding Tips To Ensure You Keep Your Best Talent

8 On-boarding Tips To Ensure You Keep Your Best Talent


Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Angela Nino – Training Manager at Versitas – instructor-led, onsite or online business skills classes delivered exclusively to your team or company. Her opinions are her own.

Hiring and retaining new talent can be a struggle for any organization. Often budget constraints will force your company to scale back on orientation and development, leaving your new hires to fend for themselves and navigate the waters without any tools at all.

Over 50 percent of the graduates in the latest Accenture Great Expectations survey said that they received no formal training at their first job. The study looked at the responses of the 2014 graduates compared with the follow-up survey of the 2012 and 2013 graduates. Only 48% of the 2012/2013 graduates reported that they had formal training for their initial job position. 80% of the 2014 graduates expected a structured orientation and development program for their first job.

What does this mean for our entry-level talent?

Most likely, our turnover will be higher than we would like, if we are not using every tool available to us to help create a meaningful on-boarding experience as part of our talent management programs.

In the Tower Watson study of 2014 global workforce and talent management, 48% of employers reported that they were involved in more hiring activity compared to the previous year. Over 1/3 of the companies reported higher turnover, too.

If four out of five of the 2014 graduates are expecting formal training, hiring managers will need to employ the resources to develop new hires in ways that will not only retain them but will assist them in becoming top-performers.

Here are some on-boarding tips to help retain your best talent.

1. Communication is key

When potential employees are job searching, communication is key. Job postings need to be clear and consistent. Interviewers need to be well-versed in the company vision and culture stories to be able to give prospective new hires an idea of what it is like to work for the company. As part of the interview process, consider including a video from one or more of the company executives to help introduce the potential new hires to the company and to see what the personalities/culture are like in your organization.

2. Look past the resumé

Focus on hiring for attitude and potential versus just finding a certain skill/experience set. Skills and processes can be taught. An enthusiastic worker that desires to learn can be very valuable in the long-run.

3. Reduce the paper shuffle

Automating paperwork (online, if possible) to reduce application, scheduling, and new hire form headaches is an amazing way to show that your company cares about “getting it right”. Start the process off in a way that encourages new employees to keep up that practice when they are hired. Do as much of the administrative paperwork as possible before the new employee’s first day of work.

4. Integrate “culture” into your learning management

Not only do your recruiters need to be well versed in the company vision and culture, but so do your training professionals. The formal training process needs to include time for various corporate leaders to tell their story. What kind of impact would it make in the orientation for a new employee to be able to hear a few fun stories told (in person) by someone with clout in your organization? The fact that the busy executive took the time to reach out to new hires is priceless.

5. Provide social rules and norms

One of the things that is so frustrating to many of us when we first start a new job is how to learn all the ‘unwritten rules’ without actually breaking one. Giving a new employee the chance to learn some of the unwritten rules from the veterans that know the ropes is very important. There is no substitute for helping a newbie to navigate the waters. Reaching out will make them more likely to help future new employees.

6. Incorporate times to build friendships

Create a new hire network that can provide opportunities to build friendships. Match new employees up with other new employees as well as with more experienced workers. Take them around and introduce them to other workers. The mentoring and coaching received can help productivity and improve morale. Don’t expect that friendships will naturally develop outside of work hours. This social time needs to be part of the work day.

7. Have everything ready on day one

It is incredibly frustrating for a new employee to walk in on their first day at a new job and not be able to work because they don’t have a network login or even a place to sit. Make sure that you have everything ready for them on day one. This includes a computer station, desk supplies, logins, and business cards. Develop an internal web page with links to helpful internal and external information for new employees, especially for benefits.

8. Smile

The best thing you can give a potential or a new hire is completely free. It is a smile! A smile may also encourage the new hire to ask questions, which can clear up and prevent misunderstandings. This may sound trite, but it is amazing what a simple friendly, welcoming smile can do to improve the on-boarding experience.

Angela Nino is a training manager at Versitas – instructor-led, onsite or online business skills classes delivered exclusively to your team or company, including free web based reporting of student performance and ROI stats delivered to your desktop. Angela also manages the Versitas blog.