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Onboarding New Recruits Has Never Been More Critical

By January 14, 2019 No Comments

Onboarding is a critical aspect of retention. Photo by Mimi Thian, Unsplash.

Onboarding new employees could not be more important than it is in times of low unemployment. It integrates new employees into your business by familiarizing them with people, processes, products, and services. Because onboarding orients employees with company mission, vision, and goals, it also puts them on the path to success. Plus, employers realize that onboarding is more significant since employees can easily find another job if the experience doesn’t meet expectations.

More than 90 percent of employers agree a good onboarding experience is critical to forming a new hire’s decision to stay with the organization. This according to a recent online survey conducted by The Harris Poll in conjunction with CareerBuilder and SilkRoad.

“It’s a sign that organizations are recognizing that onboarding can be a strategic lever,” says Lilith Christiansen, vice president of onboarding solutions for Chicago-based SilkRoad Technology Solutions. “The war for talent is real, and they are looking for more ways to differentiate and to retain talent. Onboarding is definitely seen as one area that can help effect that.”


1-in-10 new employees said they left a company due to its poor onboarding experience. Photo by Jeshoots, Unsplash.

How Effective is Your Onboarding?

If you are seeing a less than desirable performance levels from your new employees, take a closer look at your onboarding process.

Even organizations that recognize the importance of onboarding, may not be getting it right. Twenty-nine percent of employees interviewed said they don’t feel that the organization they joined did the right things to prepare them for their new role. In fact, one in 10 said they left a company due to its poor onboarding experience.

In part, that dissatisfaction is a result of today’s record-low unemployment, says Christiansen. Employees are in the driver’s seat and have high expectations that must be met for them to stay with their employer. Those who don’t feel connected with a clear understanding of the culture of the organization and their role in it, are not likely to stick around long.

“Culture and mission should be front and center when somebody walks in as a new employee,” says Beth Browde, a principal at Mercer. “People pick an organization because they believe its purpose resonates with what they value and they feel they can make a difference there. If their first week is not at all like that, they frequently still have another offer in the hopper.”


When there is a seamless onboarding process in place, the experience for everyone is more successful. Photo by RawPixel, Unsplash.

Ensuring Employees are Happy with Their New Job

Engagement levels are highest during the first 90 days of employment. This is the time when new hires typically are in “the honeymoon period,” according to Teryluz Andreu, North America culture and engagement leader at Aon.

Incoming employees are excited to have a new job. They want to get to know their co-workers and immerse themselves in the culture and mission of the company. When engagement levels are low, the chances of improving them later are slim. However, when HR takes ownership and ensures a seamless process, the experience for everyone is more successful.

“Oftentimes, it’s a bit of a hot potato, where nobody has ownership of it, so HR leaders need to put a stake in the ground and say, ‘We’re going to own this process,’ ” says Christiansen. “What really moves the needle is when the investment in enhancing the onboarding experience isn’t only driven by HR, but by HR and the business together because they are the ones that have the need for talent.”


For good reasons, HR is often too busy to prioritize onboarding. Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi, Unsplash.

Empowering HR to Improve the Onboarding Experience

Often strategic onboarding process is on HR’s to-do list but because there are so many other things to do, it is overlooked. However, according to Browde, when HR leaders see the hard-dollar cost of failing to provide a positive onboarding experience, they recognize the need to prioritize and make improvements.

“You have to show up with the data to show HR where not addressing the onboarding experience is costing them—whether it’s people who leave quickly because they were promised one thing and the organization didn’t deliver on that promise or whether they are seeing the cost in longer-term engagement and time to productivity on the part of new hires,” says Browde.


The buddy system is one effective way to help improve the onboarding experience for new recruits. Photo by RawPixel, Unsplash.

Best Practices in Onboarding

Organizations that experience onboarding success typically extend the process well beyond an employee’s first day, says Andreu. Onboarding programs that work well typically take place over weeks or months. In addition, they include shadowing, coaching, or buddy systems to help new employees learn the job and get acclimated as quickly as possible into the culture.

Manhattan Resources intensely focuses on core strengths and culture. That focus helps the Manhattan Resources team maintain a reputation as unrivaled experts in top talent acquisition, management and retention strategies, and attrition planning. Plus, this unique position provides the company with a defined edge in designed-to-fit interim professional solutions.


Using culture fit and other unique processes, Manhattan Resources provides custom solutions. Photo by RawPixel, Unsplash.

A Unique Relationship that Lasts through Onboarding and Beyond

Using culture fit and other unique processes, Manhattan Resources provides custom solutions for term-based consultants, team members, and project managers. This provides long-lasting value that continues to deliver positive results well beyond the contractual arrangement.

Further, Manhattan Resources visits each new client on-site anywhere in the country before starting their search. Plus, the Manhattan Resources team spends time with top leadership and the position’s direct peers. This helps develop a personal understanding of the client culture and objectives for the role. In addition, this work drives the ability to provide true fit among the company, candidates, interim professionals, and consultants.


Manhattan Resources can provide you with the insight and execution you need to ensure strong onboarding practices. Photo by RawPixel, Unsplash.

Delivering the Personal Experience that New Employees Desire

Onboarding is a high-touch process. Reminders for managers to conduct check-ins at 30-, 60- or 90-days can help maintain momentum.  Regular surveys can also help but every company is unique when it comes to meeting expectations.

With more than 19 years of experience building high-performance teams, Manhattan Resources will help your business achieve its goals. Our Business Solutions practice extends our support to do more than source the right professionals to address complex business needs. The company also provides the insight and execution you need to ensure strong on-boarding practices.

About Manhattan Resources

Manhattan Resources is a retained executive search and advisory services firm with deep experience supporting clients in varied industries. We have roots in oil & gas, retail energy, power & utilities, and petrochemicals, to manufacturing & distribution, legal, and engineering & construction, to name a few. Manhattan Resources invites you to experience an executive search and business solutions partner like no other. We are there to help you fill mission-critical leadership roles, build short-term teams, and tackle your most significant challenges. Manhattan Resources has the agility, innovation and business acumen to assume a bold approach. As a result, we will help you take your business to the next level. Find out how the experts can help. Contact Us >>