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You can now sleep again at night. There are solutions for high turnover.

Company owners, managers, and employees spend countless nights losing sleep each year worried about how all the work will get done due to high turnover. Now imagine a work environment where your turnover was lower: less training, more time, and happy teams.

Written by Kim Ranlett 5/30/23 Human Resources Experience 20+ years.

New hire turnover is considered common, but does it have to be? The term “new hire” refers to someone in their first year of employment. It takes the average employee 3-8 months to become productive.

If they leave within their first year of work, they have now cost your organization up to 60% of their annual salary, if not more. There are cost-effective, sometimes even free ways to avoid turnover.

No one involved in the interview process from either party goes into the process thinking, "Hey I want to waste a bunch of time and suffer through emotional and financial pain." If both parties feel this way and are putting effort in, why don't things always work out?

Are you making these onboarding mistakes?

Interviewing without preparation

The hiring process starts with an internal conversation about your open role and your ideal candidate. From these conversations comes an advertisement that is created and likely posted on several online job boards. Something to keep in mind is that both the candidates and the companies come into the interview process with a desire to gain something, not to waste time. It is unlikely anyone enters this process being purposely deceitful, how would that benefit them? Both parties would be wasting valuable time and resources to do so. Let's walk through a common scenario in the recruiting world. Candidate Jack is an overall strong candidate. He comes in as an employee referral since Robert, a current employee, and Jack live in the same neighborhood and enjoy watching baseball together.

Robert will attest that Jack is a “good guy”.

When the hiring managers meet with Jack the Halo effect is already in full force. The Halo Effect is when our overall impression of someone influences how we feel and think about their character. The necessary job skills are discussed during the interview, but a strong level of trust is in place since Robert referred him, so maybe the hiring managers don’t dig as deep as they should. The managers are so focused on Jack's positive attributes that they forget to mention this team is behind on a critical project and everyone is dedicating a minimum of 55 hours per week to getting it done.

Candidate Jack is so excited to work with Robert as he has been hearing the fun happy hour stories for years. Jack forgets to mention he cannot work over 40 hours a week due to being responsible for carpooling every day. Did candidate Jack and the company purposely mislead one another, or did both parties go into the interview with good intentions, and sometimes people lose their focus? If a recruiting strategy had been in front of them, this question would have been checked off the list preventing the mistake.

Recruiting is a team event

HR or Recruiting is commonly responsible for the hiring process from A to Z at most companies. While either of these departments (Sometimes the same) is the ideal choice to manage this process, everyone at the company should be involved. Everyone you say. Yes, everyone. Communication about your company culture, expectations, and environment should be shared and aligned. Candidates can research your company like you would research buying a product on Amazon. Some websites such as are dedicated to past and present employees leaving reviews, and they can do it anonymously. Many candidates have complained over the years that they hear one version of the role and company culture from the recruiter, another from the hiring manager, and sometimes even another from the senior leadership team. Aligning communication throughout your organization around recruiting is key! Finding the right candidates is difficult. Managers will have connections on LinkedIn with peers in their field that the recruiting team may not be able to acquire. Encourage everyone at your company to be a brand ambassador and always be on the lookout for new talent. The ability to pick out your co-workers is an advantage for all involved.

Onboarding with Intention

Not only does a good onboarding program increase your chances of keeping your new hires by 83%, but your new hires stick for several years. Good onboarding also improves overall productivity up to 70% higher years later. Onboarding with intention is a fantastic way to plan out how each person and their new company role should be onboarded to set them up for success. Streamlined onboarding is ideal as it is more efficient and easily repeated. If possible, small tweaks may be added to lead to better onboarding, such as asking what type of learner the new hire is. If they are a more visual learner, enable them to watch the new hire orientation on their own, then discuss. If they are an auditory learner, present the new hire orientation to them, then give it to them to watch. Different roles and different responsibilities can also be a factor in how someone is onboarded. Some might work in a role that involves a laptop, and others might take a role based in the field and typically only have access to a phone during the day. Is your online orientation mobile-friendly? Your new hires' first 4 weeks should ideally include time for not only new hire onboarding and training but also for getting to know their new company. Give them time to learn about the industry from the ground up, your competitors, and tips and tricks to thrive in your environment. Part of this scheduled time should also include downtime. If you put them in back-to-back meetings, when do they get a chance to ingest the information? Offer them 30-minute breaks and encourage them to review what they just learned, or take a walk. Have a touchpoint daily on what is overwhelming them, or what is moving slower than they can manage.

Cost-Effective Solutions

  • Have an interview strategy in place which will help eliminate recruiting biases and find candidates that will stick. Be sure your approach focuses on job skills and company culture fit.

  • When you create your company recruiting process (which overlaps with the transparency message) be sure to get team buy-in and input. Culture audits are a great way to take a deep dive into your current company culture. Communication during and after this process is essential.

  • When interviewing, discuss uncommon topics such as management style. Is the manager for this role a bit of a micromanager? If so, ask the candidate if they can work in that type of environment.

  • Recruiting and Onboarding processes should be improved jointly. Otherwise, your efforts in recruiting the best candidates are lost to them once they join the company.

  • When building out your new hire orientation, be sure that the new hire has a good balance of learning material, time to integrate with the team, and some downtime. This avoids boredom and burnout. When your new employee has a structured and thought-out onboarding plan, it will create feelings of value which leads to lower turnover and higher productivity.

  • If you are unsure how to create a new process, look in the rearview mirror. Talk to your new and long-term employees and find out what they liked and did not like about new hire orientation. A great question to ask that will give you insight is, “If you could go back in time, what would you have wanted to know in your first 2 weeks that you know now".

  • Don't focus on just listing out job duties when your new employee starts. Give your new employees crystal-clear information about what is expected of them to be successful in their new roles. Precise expectations=higher success rates.

  • Give your new hire a "cheat sheet" with critical information such as who owns IT, Accounting, HR, and any other internal teammates that can help them when they need directions.

  • Assign your employee a mentor and assign a specific amount of time they must spend together. Consider a spot bonus for that manager to encourage them to mentor other new hires. Have them document anything they found successful.

  • Gather your managers and create a new hire playbook of information and items they found worked for their new hires. Keep this book somewhere such as Google Docs where it can be shared and edited.

If you want to create any of these processes with the help of an HR expert,

reach out. Fill the Gap HR can create solutions that will pay for themselves the first time you keep just one of your employees from leaving. Imagine the savings!

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Fill the Gap HR is driven by a passion for finding repeatable and efficient solutions. We want to take the HR stress off your plate.

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