Strategies for Improving New Hire Retention
Boost your new hire retention rates with these tips!
When you add up the cost of recruitment (developing a job description, posting the position on online job boards, attending job fairs, hours spent interviewing candidates, etc.), employers invest thousands of dollars into a new hire before they even step foot in the door on their first day.
But, just as it happens in the stock market, not every investment pays off.
A report published by the Society For Human Resources (SHRM) found that half of all senior-level employees hired from outside a company fail within 18 months of starting a new position. The new hire retention outlook is even bleaker for rank-and-file employees: about half of all newly hired hourly workers leave their new jobs within just the first 120 days of employment. And, as much as employers spend to recruit a new employee, they often spend much more trying to replace them.
Given all the time, money and energy that’s at stake, it’s understandably frustrating for an employer when their bright, shiny new hires only stick around for a few months or weeks or days. So what happens during those first few days of employment that causes so many employees to leave?
Reasons why your new hires are leaving
- Inconsistent expectations.
Buyer’s remorse isn’t just for shopping. Sometimes someone will think they’re interested in a job, only to change their mind once they spend a few weeks doing that job. Other times, it’s the employer who realizes that their new employee doesn’t have the skill set or temperament to perform that job well.
- Lack of training.
Even if a new employee has decades of experience in similar roles, they will still need some help to learn their new employer’s systems, procedures and processes. When new employees don’t get the training they need, however, they are likely to feel overwhelmed and unsupported, and may cause them to think they simply don’t have what it takes to be successful in that role.
- Feeling unwelcome.
The charm of being “the new guy” wears off fast. Employees who don’t feel welcomed by their new employer or have an opportunity to engage with or establish relationships with their new colleagues are apt to feel isolated and unhappy, and are more likely to leave sooner than those that do feel welcomed.
Strategies for improving new hire retention
For employers struggling to turn new hires into successful employees, it can seem like there’s no end to this revolving door of employee turnover.
Check out these strategies employers can use to boost new hire retention rates and enjoy the benefits of a tenured workforce:
- Start by attracting the best candidates.
One of the best ways to combat employee turnover is to simply get out in front of it. Take this opportunity to look over your company’s compensation package, and do some research on what other companies in your industry and area are paying their people. Competitive benefits packages not only help attract the best employees, they also help retain them in the long term.Employers that frequently lose great candidates to competitors might want to consider outsourcing their recruitment process to a company that specializes in recruiting and hiring.
- Get the paperwork out of the way early.
Onboarding shouldn’t begin on a new employee’s first day. The first day of a new job is already stressful enough for new hires without having to fill out mountains of employ paperwork. The majority of these forms (W-4s, direct deposit authorizations, I-9 forms and other consent forms) can (and should) be completed well before an employee’s first day starts.Employers can alleviate some of the administrative burden of hiring by sending these forms to new employees via email and asking them to complete and bring them with them, or eliminate the new hire paper chase altogether by investing in an online employee onboarding technology platform. Electronic employee onboarding programs not only reduce paper costs, but also minimize the possibility of error by providing new hires and managers online access to all necessary employment forms so they can easily review, complete, sign, submit and verify them within minutes.
- Invest in professional development and personal growth opportunities.
Are you fostering an environment that promotes professional development and training? More and more, candidates are considering opportunities for personal and professional development as a desirable perk. And if employees don’t see potential to move up in your company, they’re much more likely to look for other opportunities.While not every company has the budget or ability to develop a stellar in-house training program, there are a number of online learning management systems (LMS) and free or low-cost subscription training platforms employers can take advantage of.
- Implement company-wide recognition initiatives.
Employee recognition programs don’t need to be extravagant to be effective. There are simple things you can do, like recognizing employee anniversaries at staff meetings, that your staff will appreciate.
- Review your performance management process.
Your best and highest-performing workers not only want to know what they’re doing right, but also how they can improve. If you don’t have a performance management system in place, implement one immediately. If you already have a process, make sure that it’s working. Consider having more than just an annual review (which isn’t the most effective way to improve performance, anyways), and make sure the process is a constructive exercise for both managers and employees.
New hire retention isn’t something that’s going to be a quick fix – employers need to be willing to invest time and resources into developing long-term strategies if they really want to see results. While not every organization will have the resources to roll out the red carpet for new employees, taking the time to creating an effective and successful new employee onboarding program will help ensure that you get the best ROI on the investment you made for each new hire.
As part of its HR technology offering, G&A Partners, one of the nation’s leading HR outsourcing companies and professional employer organizations (PEO) for more than 20 years, equips employers with smart and effective recruiting, onboarding, payroll, time and attendance, benefits administration, eLearning and performance management processes and tools that eliminate the need for new hire pencil pushing.