As a leader and executive, hiring and onboarding probably falls under the umbrella of your official duties. Hiring talent is not simple, as it involves a number of moving parts. What direction is the company going in? What sort of talent do we want to recruit? How much of a budget do we have for new hires? How can we incorporate diversity into the team?
On top of all that, retention rates are at an all-time low. Over 30% of all employees admit they plan to leave their current job within the next year and 51% are actively searching for new jobs. In addition, Millennials, now a driving force in the working economy, are some of the hardest talent to recruit and retain. 6 out of 10 Millennials say they are open to new job opportunities and 21% switched jobs in the last year.
So how can you, as a leader, create a hiring process that vets long-term candidates and ensures that employee retention doesn’t dwindle for your organization?
Creating Onboarding Systems
You can’t be involved in every new hire across your organization or even team, so you need to create a system that allows everyone to evaluate a new hire for:
- Appropriate skill sets
- Ideal background/education
- Similar interests and values
- Interest in the company culture
While no process or system is perfect, the idea is to create a series of checklists or points that an interviewer can cover to show how likely a candidate is to add value to your organization — and not leave in a year or less.
Depending on your organization, your onboarding system could include:
- Asking the right interview questions. “Why did you leave your last job?” or “What are you looking for in your new position?” are interview classics, but can give great insights into a new hire who may not be in it for the long haul.
- Giving a new hire a test run with the team. Letting a potential hire sit in with your team or department can help them get a feel for the organization. It also shows them that your organization emphasizes community and teamwork — something that is proven to increase retention.
- In-depth training and introductions. The ‘sink or swim’ approach to high-level work can often be discouraging for new employees. Make sure you have a training program or mentorship that allows an employee to walk before they are expected to run.
- Frequent check-ins for the first few months. The first few months are critical for a new hire to get settled in and begin to work towards their specific position’s goals/tasks. Without constant communication, they may feel they are on their own — and they won’t feel compelled to stick around.
- Investing in developing diversity and culture.Study after study shows that onboarding great talent is about more than just pay. It’s about employees feeling like their work is important, their coworkers are people they can get along with, and that they are respected. If you have low employee retention, this should be the first thing you work on in your onboarding process.
Onboarding for the Long Haul
Employees come and go; it’s just part of doing business. However, you should focus on incorporating skilled people into your company that will add value while they are with you — not just hiring the best new talent available.
Employees know when their work is valued and when a company is doing work they are interested in. As an executive, it’s your job to make it easier to connect talented people to the jobs they can do well.