The True Cost of Onboarding

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Ensuring an organization has standard procedures for onboarding and supporting a new hire makes good business sense. The cost of hiring, onboarding and acclimating a new hire ranges between 50 and 150 percent of annual salary. The data shows that if a new-hire leaves a company within three months of hiring, it costs the organization one and half that person’s annual salary. So making the right new hire selection the first time is very important.

Organizations today recognize their responsibility to support staff to be successful. This starts with the recruitment process. We now know that hiring is not only about one’s knowledge and experience, but also about fitting into the organizational culture.

There are recognized best practices in giving feedback through performance reviews and an understanding of how not to terminate to ensure legal action from an employee. A gray area however, is how to support a new hire with onboarding and training to ensure he or she is set-up for success. It is the responsibility of the organization to provide such training, with the expectation that a new hire will seek out training and take responsibility to be successful. This is accomplished through open communication with others and integrating within the organization to understand its needs and gain insights around personal responsibilities.

If your organization doesn’t have a defined onboarding process, or individual managers need support in knowing how to manage and support a new hire, here are several processes to implement:

  • Review the job description carefully with the new hire after the offer is made but before the hiring is completed. This will allow a line-by-line review of what the job responsibilities are and a clearer understanding of expectations between the manager and new hire.

  • Create an outline grid that identifies the tasks and responsibilities of the new hire that delineates what new knowledge or information is required to meet specific responsibilities and how the new hire can acquire each.

  • It may be through one-on-one conversations with colleagues. It may require participation in a training session, or it may require face-to-face meetings with clients. Whatever it is, it must be outlined for both the new hire and manager to be aware of the requirements to be successful in that specific area.

  • A mutual understanding between a new hire and manager around performance expectations is tantamount to meeting individual and organizational goals. This requires the development of a three month plan that outlines what organizational or client knowledge is needed to complete identified tasks and responsibilities.

We now know there needs to be organizational commitment to a new hire’s success to make sure it is the right hire. The organization needs to support the growth and development of new hires and existing employees so they know what is expected of them and so every individual talent can come forth and be realized. Creating a standardized onboarding approach and program that is fully integrated into the organization will not only support a new hire’s first 90 days, it will build good will, employee loyalty, and a path toward employee engagement.

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