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Onboarding: Avoid making a bad hire

The statistics from a recent study by the global staffing firm, Robert Half, on “Making a Bad Hire??? clearly speak for themselves:

  • It has been estimated that, on average, 45 hours are wasted on hiring and the subsequent onboarding of an employee that ultimately did not remain in the position;
  • Over half (53%) of the study respondents reported that the team working with the ‘bad hire’ experienced increased stress levels; and
  • 20% of respondents indicated that they had lost some degree of confidence in the manager’s ability to make good hiring decisions.


The same study also found that correcting the negative consequences of a bad hire does take a much longer time:

  • 58% of small business owners indicated that it took under a month to know and acknowledge that they had made a bad hiring decision. The same business owners then said that it took an average time of 8 weeks to subsequently get the employee out of this position.
  • Subsequent to this, it typically took at least 5 weeks before a replacement employee was able to start working in the position. The result of this is that 68% of businesses transfer the workload to existing employees, which of course has its own set of negative consequences.


These statistics help us understand the risks and consequences of making a bad hire. However, if you are able to make a successful hire, there are some important steps that should be followed to make sure that your new employee stays in their new position.


Onboarding a new employee

So you have made it through a long a laborious hiring process, and you have finally hired the right person for the job. All contracts have been signed, and now all that you are waiting for is for the new employee to arrive at work on their first day. You are expecting them to dive right in and get going with their actual work, without any delays.

However, the reality is that things work a little differently. If you as the employer or manager aren’t properly organised and welcoming, this new employee might not last very long at all. You need to take steps to ensure that your new employee receives the best welcome possible.

Did you know that globally, one out of every four employees quits on their first day at work?

In fact, only 44% of employees say that they actually had a positive experience on their first day.


Make sure everything is ready

Prior to employment, employers should make sure that the following are in place:

  • Transport Plans;
  • Induction Programme;
  • Safety Briefing;
  • Company Policies;
  • Employment Contract has been signed; and
  • Equipment (computers, safety gear, stationery, has been issued).


Steps to follow on an employee’s first day

When a new employee arrives for their first day, make sure that somebody is there to greet them. This should be right at the front door to the office. Make sure to help them get organised with a parking permit, or show them where their assigned parking would be.

First impressions certainly do count, and so the person who greets the new employee should be chosen carefully. This person should also be in the right frame of mind. Showing a new employee how stressed everybody is on their very first day might not be the sort of first impression you are hoping to portray.

Give the employee a programme indicating the Induction Plan. This includes everything from a tour around the office, to safety briefings.

Give the new employee a tour around the office. Show them where their desk is, where the kitchen is, where they can make tea or coffee, and where the restrooms are. Also mention to them any particular rules or conventions that they might need to be aware of.

Importantly, ensure that they have been issued with the correct stationery that they will need for the job. Make sure that their workstation is ready – this includes the computer, with login details, an active email address, and anything else that might be important for their particular job.

It is important for each employee to have a mentor. This is a person that a new employee can go to with questions, who is able to provide help, and who is able to provide guidance. It helps the employee to feel that they do not have to figure everything out by themselves, but that they have somebody on their side. In addition to this, is might be a good idea to specifically ask somebody to spend the first lunch break with the new employee. There is nothing worse than having no friends at your first day at school, and the same can be said for your first day at a new job.

Responsibilities need to be clearly defined, right from the first day. This helps to give the employee a sense of purpose and direction, and avoids any confusion further down the line.

Making sure that all documentation is correct, and in order, when the employee arrives helps to create a great first impression. It also means that no time is wasted getting this paperwork in order.

You might like to take the new employee around and introduce them to key personnel, team leaders, and anybody else important. It might be worth considering sending out an email to all employees which introduces the new employee. Knowing the new employee’s name can help to make them feel welcome at their new company.

Click here for more information on the iFacts Online Employee Engagment Tools.


iFacts Personal Development Analysis Tool

A final, and often overlooked step, is to make sure that you as the employer or manager understand the company culture. Know what motivates your existing employees, and try to understand what might motivate your new employee. The iFacts Personal Development Analysis Tool is the ideal tool to understand these complex issues. The Tool will enable you to identify these key areas, and give you a much better understanding of your employees and what motivates them.

Click here for more information on the iFacts personal development analysis tool.





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