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Talent acquisition: Onboard or risk man overboard

Fara Rives
By Fara Rives
on November 11, 2016
Image credit: nd3000 via iStock Talent acquisition is one of the biggest investments your business can make. Research completed by our parent company, Allegis Group, shows that it takes an average of 55 days to fill a full-time position and another 50 days for a new hire to reach full productivity. If these major time investments are to provide a return, effective onboarding is crucial. But is your process for integrating new hires as effective as it could be?

Are you onboarding effectively?

In many organizations, the onboarding process has significant room for improvement. Our research shows that when asked if they are ready for a new hire's first day, just 56% of hiring managers felt this was always the case. This is a surprisingly low figure, but the percentage dropped even further to 37% when recruiters and candidates themselves were asked the same question.

This isn't the only evidence of a disconnect between hiring managers' perceptions of the onboarding process and those of recruiters and candidates. Some 85% of hiring managers said new hires are always fully introduced to their colleagues, but just 68% of recruiters and 40% of candidates agreed. Furthermore, only 44% of candidates said they were given tours of their new company within their first week, despite 72% of recruiters and 78% of hiring managers claiming this is the case.

Improving the candidate experience

It's clear that in many organizations, the onboarding process is not delivering the necessary level of candidate experience. This has potentially serious implications, ranging from longer time-to-productivity to increased attrition due to new hires failing to settle.
 
What can be done to improve the onboarding process and reduce this risk? At Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), all of our Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) program teams include a dedicated recruitment coordinator who is exclusively focused on candidate care. They work alongside hiring managers to ensure engagement is maintained throughout the recruitment process and that everything is in place for when a new hire starts.
 
According to a recent Google study, a 'nudge' email to hiring managers shortly before a new hire starts can reap big benefits: a potential 25% improvement in time-to-productivity.
Additionally, there are many new onboarding tools that can keep candidates engaged through different means, such as text messaging. Companies like Enboarder use a mobile-enabled process to communicate important messages during onboarding that are designed to make new hires feel comfortable from the moment they sign their offer letter. This can help:

 

  • Share company culture through rich media and messaging.
  • Create connections between hiring managers and new recruits before day one.
  • Create checklists and workflows to ensure paperwork is completed on time.
  • Provide detailed map and calendar invites for day one instructions.
  • Ensure consistency in your onboarding process.
With the combination of a dedicated role focused on candidate care, paired with a top-notch communication platform, you can create a consistent and clear process that will set new hires up for success on day one. AGS uses this methodology and has decreased attrition rates in the first 30 days with a financial services client by 27%.
 

For another client, an online brokerage firm, access to enhanced onboarding support helped the organization to reduce its average time-to-fill from 110 days to just 62 days, successfully maintaining this throughout the following year. In addition, feedback gathered via new hire satisfaction surveys placed candidate satisfaction at 95% or above after an RPO implementation, highlighting the benefits for both recruiters and talent alike.

Onboard or risk man overboard

What are the benefits of an effective onboarding process? According to our research, even small things such as hiring managers being ready for a new hire’s first day, introducing the candidate to their colleagues and giving them a full tour of the premises can boost candidate satisfaction by an average of 38%. Some of the common techniques employed by best-in-class organizations include:

 

 

  • A structured onboarding process with clear ownership of responsibilities.
  • 30, 60 and 90-day plans for new hires that are developed at the job description stage.
  • Sponsored social activities, such as welcome letters and lunches, to encourage integration.
  • Collecting visible onboarding feedback early in the process to identify areas for improvement.
  • Leadership recognition and rewards for those that help in the onboarding process.
Remember, when a candidate accepts a job offer, this is far from mission complete. If a new hire is to do their best work and provide the biggest return on investment possible, what happens in the start of their tenure is key. Onboard effectively or risk man overboard, it's as simple as that.

 

 
Find out more about how AGS can optimise your onboarding process and talent acquisition as a whole.

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Fara Rives
Written by Fara Rives
Fara is the current director of product development at AGS. She currently drives AGS’ services team supporting our RPO programs. Fara is responsible for leading the RPO organization in research for new products, product enhancements and product expansion. She evaluates the potential and practicality of products in development and relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Fara earned a business marketing degree from Arizona State University’s, WP Carey School of Business, in Tempe, AZ.

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