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Employee Engagement

7 Tips to Straighten Out the Kinks in Your Employee Onboarding Process

March 15, 2016
9 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged



It costs a lot of money to replace an employee. In fact, depending on job level and industry it can cost over 30% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. That number climbs exponentially for highly educated executive level positions and that’s just the monetary costs! Losing a new hire reflects poorly on a company’s Quality of Hire metrics and sends a ripple effect through the recruitment, hiring and management practices of the company. Let’s not forget the impact it has on employee engagement and morale.

Read about Understanding Quality of Hire Metrics for Success

Successfully onboarding new employees plays a vital part in new hire retention. In fact, companies lose 25% of their new hires in the first year, making those first few months crucial for companies to make a first impression, start engaging and start setting up new hires for success. It’s spring time and it’s only fitting that we offer these 7 tips to keep your new hire onboarding on a smooth path to success.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png Companies lose 25% of their new hires in the first year, meaning you should be doing this: 

1. Reflect the company culture honestly 

2016 is going to be the year recruitment marketing truly becomes a new form of recruiting. This is not a bad thing, but employers should proceed with caution. Employees today want authenticity, transparency and when we get into a “sales” mindset, it’s easy to misrepresent for the sake of closing a sale.

Straighten it out: 96% of job seekers say it’s important to work for a company that embraces transparency. Any hint of dishonesty or misrepresentation is going to impact their decision to stick around once they’ve landed a job. This means managers and recruiters have to be strategic so they are aligned with the company culture, values and mission.

Read about 10 Recruiting Dos and Don’ts for 2016


2. Invest in Paperless Onboarding, like, yesterday

Background checks? Offer approvals? New hire documents? All those tedious and time-consuming processes that make new hire onboarding feel a thousand years long, can and should be automated. It’s far too easy for deadlines to be missed and vital steps in the new hire onboarding process to fall through the cracks without some form of paperless onboarding software. Companies with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater new hire retention so get on board! Pun intended.


 All the pesky onboarding tasks you're doing that makes hiring feel 1,000 years long can be automated:

Straighten it out: Do an inventory of what processes can be automated (hint: there are many!) and research which paperless onboarding software best suits your needs. This is a well spent investment that keeps the new hire onboarding process consistent and frees up time to spend on more pressing onboarding matters such as training and development.

3. Make a Good First Impression

Making a good first impression during the new hire onboarding process has a huge influence on an employee’s initial engagement, job satisfaction and ultimately, decision to stay where they are. In fact, up to 20% of new hire turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.pngFirst impressions are important, but no first impression is as vital as this one:


Straighten it out: A huge benefit of paperless onboarding is new hires can complete all their documents online. If it’s possible, have new hires complete documents before their start date. The team should also have the new hire’s desk and computer ready to go before they come in so they can hit the ground running from day one!

Read 7 Things You Should Know Before Onboarding New Employees


4. Welcome them to the “family” 

Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%! Maybe your new hire isn’t going to be best buds with everyone on their team, but the sooner they get to know their coworkers, the sooner they can figure out where they fit in.

Straighten it out: Introduce new hires to the team right away. This familiarizes them with everyone and gives them a chance to learn about what each person does. Understanding the big picture and moving parts of the department will immerse them in the culture and engage them in their job right off the bat.

5. Map out the first year

60% of companies don’t bother setting milestones for their new hires. Such a travesty! The workforce today has an unrelenting desire to constantly improve and succeed, one main reason is compensation doesn’t bear the kind of weight it once did. Failing to support employees with the necessary resources and guidance means precious potential drifts away along with engagement and satisfaction. 


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png60% of companies don't bother doing this for their new hires, don't be 'that guy'


Straighten it out: Establish a timeline that keeps new hires on track for proper development up to the first year and share it with them so they know where they are headed. If you’ve got a comprehensive Talent Management Software like ours, with automated workflows, managers and new hires can easily be kept on track and accountable for their progress. Having a standardized new hire onboarding process leads to 50% greater new hire productivity.

Here are 7 Noteworthy Tips for Successful Employee Goal Setting

6. Lead engagement with the right feedback

Half of employees today find no meaning in their current job. Perhaps one of the reasons is a lack of value and goal alignment in performance milestones. If a new hire isn’t able to see how their job impacts the greater organizational goals of the company, they will be in the mindset that their contribution only extends to the corners of their cubicle. Failure to touch base with new hires is recipe for low engagement and lack of progress.

Straighten it out: According to a recent study done by Zenger Folkman, 57% of employees indicate they prefer constructive feedback over praise when it comes to improving performance. Note: constructive. The study revealed employees respond more favorably when feedback is focused on suggestions for improvement or alternative ways to carry out tasks for optimized results. Get new hires on the fast track to success with regular, constructive feedback on their work and invite them to understand how their job fits into the big picture. Shoot for weekly conversations in the first month and once or twice monthly after that.

7. Recognize milestones

You’re probably thinking, “I thought employees wanted constructive feedback, not praise,” but that’s only part of the equation. Employees want constructive feedback because it helps them improve. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel appreciated and recognized. After all, they’ve got to know what they’re doing right so they can keep on doing it. Only 42% of employees are happy with the rewards and recognition their employer provides.

Straighten it out: This one is easy. Monetary incentives for rewards are great if your company can afford them, but research tells us money only motivates employees to a certain extent. Simply put, we all want to be appreciated and recognized by our superiors and colleagues. The spoken words are nearly enough to make us feel engaged and appreciated. Throw a small ceremony or informal gathering to celebrate a new hire’s milestones. Let them know their progress is noticed and is important to the success of the company.

Is your new hire onboarding process up to snuff? Dust off your old processes with these 7 tips and get your employee onboarding process back on track for success. Your new hire retention rate might depend on it.

ClearCompany’s paperless onboarding software comes equipped with everything your company needs, including Quality of Onboarding metrics! Take your complimentary demo now.

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