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Reducing turnover with onboarding

It’s one thing to find the right candidate to fill a position available within your organisation, it’s a whole other ball game entirely to ensure that the candidate remains beyond their probation period. To make this happen, recruiters and organisations alike need to be intentional and focused with their onboarding programs.

Employees leave, but it doesn’t have to be that way 

The onboarding process is fraught with danger. If a role doesn’t live up to expectations, employees don’t gel with the culture, or something else goes awry, employees are much more likely to leave throughout the onboarding period – there’s no loyalty built at this stage, making it much easier to walk away and look elsewhere.

Here in Australia, like in many of the developed economies, the job mobility rate – the share of those who have been working for their current employer for less than three months and were also employed in the previous quarter – is at a high level. It is one of the many ways the pandemic has impacted the labour market. More people are switching jobs, or looking to shake up their employment in the near future. 

Anecdotally, we are seeing Millennials and Gen Z actively looking to make a change in their career, with research from Microsoft backing up these stories, telling us that at least 56% of Gen Zs are thinking about quitting. According to SHRM, the robust job market has given employees more confidence to seek new opportunities than ever before. 

It’s not light work to find the right people for the right roles. Recently, we were approached by an organisation with over 500 employees, but each year 40% of their positions become available – that’s over 200 positions they need to find the right people for, over and over again. They found that people were leaving within 3 months, then another wave would leave between 6-9 months and a third wave would leave between 2-3 years. When this kind of cycle is occuring, the rinse and repeat can become onerous. 

When this organisation approached us, they were looking for third-party support with stay interviews to understand what they were doing right and what they needed to work on, to help reduce their turnover and alleviate some of the repetitive hiring that wasn’t getting the results they were looking for.  

This is the key question: how do you actually ensure that the people you place will become embedded in your organisation and stay for a significant period of time? 

Implement intentional, focused onboarding 

The vast majority of recruiters believe that their job is done when a candidate has been placed with an organisation. They send them off into their new role and hope for the best. 

Wishful thinking isn’t effective and this approach is what sees so many employees leaving after a short period – they aren’t supported by the recruiters who placed them and they aren’t supported by the organisation they’ve been placed within. They have nowhere to find support, so they leave. 

Instead of throwing employees in the deep end, support them with thorough onboarding processes

This can be done with internal processes, ensuring that your onboarding program is extensive and allows employees to understand their responsibilities, what is expected of them and the lay of the land within the organisation.

It can also be done through a third party, like my recruitment firm, Soulidify. Recruiters shouldn’t be placing candidates in roles and then stepping away, hoping for the best. Instead, they should be working with the employee and the employer simultaneously, to: 

  • Communicate regularly about how employees are becoming embed into the organisation
  • Clarify any issues or discrepancies in understanding
  • Support both parties to achieve the best result 

Stay interviews are also a crucial part of the process, and should be conducted at various intervals with your best and brightest, to get further insight on why your employees stick around. Conducted by a third party like Career365, stay interviews are powerful tools to gather honest feedback. 

Recruiters and organisations shouldn’t be like helicopter parents, engineering every situation so their candidate never faces any hardships, but recognising the dangers of the onboarding process and putting structures into place to ensure that new employees have the best chance of thriving in their new role and sticking around for years to come, is an investment worth making. onboarding meeting

Do you need help with supporting your employees?

Want to support your employees through restructures and redundancy with effective onboarding, stay interviews, offboarding and outplacement programs? Get in touch with me today to discover how Career365’s Programs can help to implement affordable outplacement for all your employees. Click here for more information.


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