90-day employees

We’ve heard a lot about the challenges of hiring over the last year, but with around 30% of new hires considering leaving within the first 90 days of a new job, retention has arguably become the much bigger hurdle. 

For employers, this figure is worth some serious reflection. Hiring takes time, money and resources, and no organisation wants that investment to result in a quick resignation. But why are new hires becoming disenchanted so quickly? According to Frontier Software, it is often because employers focus on providing a great benefits package and interview process – but once the hiring is complete, they drop the ball.

“After accepting the offer, a common mistake is not continuing to embrace and engage the employee, and not reinforcing your messaging via a well-constructed onboarding program,” head of sales and marketing Kim Boyd says.

“The employee begins to recognise the walk not matching the talk, which may be triggered in any number of ways.”

Boyd says that for some hires, the reality of the role simply won’t align with how it was presented at interview. The misalignment can be personal, or it could be things like their supervisor not being the ‘great guy’ that was described, or their work environment being nothing like the one they saw when they were interviewed.

She notes that for younger candidates in particular, the chemistry they have with their manager can be a major driver to stay or go. For an employer to provide a good experience from day one, they need to help new hires integrate into their culture, understand their rules, and fully understand their job role.

At this early stage, good software support is often a vital point of difference. If employees have a clear and structured onboarding process, their chances to staying to continue their development will improve.

“Onboarding software can provide things like induction videos and team introductions, or links to social media accounts to help with team bonding,” Boyd says.

“The software can also deliver the essential stuff like policies and objectives, as well as gathering the must-have payroll information. This achieves two things; the employee feels like the organisation knows they exist, while also helping them to understand how things are done.”

Good onboarding software should also map out a learning journey for new hires. It should allow them to clearly see what on-the-job development they can expect, and how they can open up new opportunities as an employee.

“Perhaps the most important thing of all, however, is the capacity of the technology to prompt managers to make personal, one-on-one time for their new hires,” Boyd explains.

“The importance of this type of check-in can’t be underestimated, as it allows the employee to ask the questions they have (e.g. I noticed everyone doing XYZ, can I do that too?), check their understanding of reality (e.g. we have pizza and drinks every Friday night?) and even clear up misimpressions, (e.g. Sue said you have resigned, is that true?).”

Boyd notes that when it comes to onboarding, employers are all at very different stages of the journey. Some will have excellent processes already in place, while others will need to invest significantly into their onboarding and retention strategy. However, one thing is clear – if employers put in the work, they will see results.

“For organisations with existing onboarding software, they may only need to tweak some of their existing configurations,” Boyd says.

“For those with no programme, no software and no feedback mechanism, the potential gains could be huge.”

Article originally published in HRD Magazine, November, 2022.