How much time and resource do you invest in recruiting staff for your business? And how many of those new recruits stay with your company for longer than a year?

We recently carried out a survey of over 2,000 full-time employees who had changed jobs in the past three years. Nearly 70% of these employees came to the conclusion that their previous job wasn’t right for them within the first year of being in role.

So most new joiners decide whether they are going to stay in their jobs based on their experiences in that first year. That means that no matter how much time and attention you invest in the vetting and recruitment stages, your onboarding process is key to helping you reduce attrition rates, build a stronger workforce and avoid unnecessary costs related to continually recruiting for the same roles over again.

Our report also revealed that most HR leaders don’t believe they have any problems with onboarding new starters. The research, which also surveyed 150 HR Directors of organisations with more than 500 employees, found that 59% had full confidence in their current onboarding process.

Yet almost 20% of our employee respondents specifically stated that they left their last positions because they were not onboarded properly. These research findings suggest there is a disconnect between what many HR directors think is working when it comes to onboarding and what some new hires experience in reality.

How to make onboarding work for you

There are many reasons why organisations may struggle to build bonds of loyalty with employees during the first year of employment. Working culture has evolved dramatically with technological advancements, digital tools and social media and we need to adapt our onboarding processes to embrace these changes.

With the right onboarding systems in place, you can make sure that your new hires successfully make the move to employees, become brand advocates and feel part of the team, even before their first day. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Have everything ready and waiting for your new joiner. Set up systems in place that automatically notify relevant departments, such as IT, as soon as you recruit new staff. That way, new recruits will have everything they need to hit the ground running on their first day.
  • Most, if not all, staff will have mobile devices that they will be in the habit of using to access the internet. Can you provide mobile access to onboarding information and training videos online? Providing easy access to your employee portal where they resolve issues such as pre-booked holidays or payment details can make a big difference to the employee experience.
  • Make sure you’re communicating effectively with your new joiner before they start. Do they know what to expect on their first day? Share information about who they’ll be meeting, what the dress code is, maps to offices, start times and schedules etc.
  • Provide hiring managers with the tools they need to be able to keep track of how new joiners are settling in. Have they been able to work through the relevant tasks and training required? How can managers and buddies provide extra support to assist them through the process?

The right technology, when used in this way, can work to improve the employer/employee relationship and help reinforce that your organisation is looking after the needs of your workforce. This positive sentiment goes a long way when attempting to build the bonds of loyalty that will prevent recruits from questioning their employment decision.