Once hired by a company, new recruits go through a period of integration commonly referred to as onboarding. This is a decisive period, not only for the new recruit but also for the employer.
According to a recent survey, nearly three-quarters of employees know within the first month whether their new job is right for them.
Conducted by software publisher Bamboo HR, the study reveals that more than a third of employees (36%) know whether their new job suits them within a month of their arrival. Some know even more quickly, taking less than a week to get a feel for their new duties, colleagues and superiors (29%).
A very small minority (5%) know by the end of their first day whether they intend to stay or engage in “job hopping”.
On average, companies have 44 days to influence the retention of new employees. But they need to make sure they get them on board faster than that, as first impressions are often difficult to change.
Almost two-thirds of respondents say that the image they had of their employer on the first day is still accurate today. Hence the importance of ensuring no gap exists between employees’ expectations and reality.
Job descriptions that don’t add up, working conditions that are different from those described during the job interview – there are many elements that can turn out to be a bad fit once the employee is on site, leading to frustration. For example, 23% of employees surveyed said they cried during their first week of onboarding.
These types of feelings can quickly turn into more general regret, as 44% of those surveyed said they had regrets or second thoughts about accepting their new position during their first week on the job.
So, how can recruiters ensure onboarding delivers what is promised and needed for new hires? First of all, by making sure they get the timing right between easing new recruits into their roles and going too fast.
Almost all employees would like to be introduced to the missions and values of their new company as soon as they arrive (96%). They’d also like to be briefed on the tools and software they’ll be using frequently, and to be sure of their social integration, although there are generational differences.
And since a new company also means new colleagues and superiors, forging connections becomes an important aspect of the first days. New recruits often fear they won’t be able to find their place or make friends within a company, which is why 93% would like to be supervised by a colleague during their first few days.
In reality, however, few companies include this social dimension in their onboarding processes. Some 20% of employees surveyed said that their company does nothing in particular to help new recruits make friends and find support among their colleagues.
Poor onboarding can have serious financial consequences: it is estimated that the recruitment and integration of a new employee costs between US$7,500 (RM35,500) and US$28,000.