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Why Onboarding Should Be Part of your Recruiting Strategy

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Everyone likes to think that the first day of work — and every day thereafter — is enjoyable. However, applicant tracking systems show that of all newly hired employees, half leave their new career within a year. Factors like workplace environment, commuting, and compatibility influence an employee’s decision about whether or not to stay. A good impression is even more crucial, though. With a good onboarding plan, new employees will start and stay.

What Is Onboarding?

Onboarding is a welcoming strategy to make new employees feel appreciated and comfortable. It’s not just beneficial for large companies, though. Research shows that onboarding is effective for companies of all sizes. Despite the proven effectiveness of onboarding, however, only about 20 percent of all companies currently utilize it.

The Onboarding Outline

In order for a new employee to feel welcome, an onboarding plan should have several elements. First, it should last more than one day. As a “best practice,” the National Systems Contractors Association says that your plan should have an introductory session and an orientation. Managers should also provide all equipment and tools necessary. Breakfast meetings and lunches should be scheduled, too. Paperwork will need to be completed, but it shouldn’t be thrown at the new hire all at once. As the employee gets into the work routine, it’s important to give him or her job-shadowing opportunities with a trusted mentor. Finally, as an ongoing part of onboarding, it’s imperative to track progress.

Tracking an Employee’s Progress

You can spend days planning a perfect onboarding plan, but when you stop to ask new hires how things are going, how do you know you’re getting an honest answer? The truth is that not everyone will speak up about problems he or she is encountering for fear of retribution. This stage, however, is when recruiting software comes in handy. Tracking an employee’s progress through software is the best way to tell whether or not your onboarding plan is working, and more significantly, if your company is retaining new hires. It’s also a great tool for managers to use for periodic evaluations to decide whether or not an employee is a good fit for the job and the company. It also lets management know if an employee needs more training.

The Key to Onboarding Success

Although some companies believe a sink-or-swim mentality is the way to retain new hires, evidence shows otherwise. Now, when employees are more likely to change careers and look elsewhere for work, it’s important to make them want to stay. What are the winning strategies, you wonder? First is hiring the right candidate for the job. Then comes proper training, a suitable workload, a mentor, and showing appreciation. With a successful onboarding plan in place and ATS tools at your disposal, you’ll find that the new hires keep coming, and they’ll stay.

Now, when employees have more freedom than ever to change jobs, employers no longer have the luxury of taking minimal action to get them to stay. As employees are leaving new jobs in higher numbers than ever, employers are frantically trying to get them to stay. Impress your supervisors and show your company’s personality with an effective onboarding plan that keeps new hires around.


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