Are you ‘sticky’ enough for your new staff?

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Think probationary periods are just for managers to check new recruits are up to scratch? A recent survey may have turned the concept of a trial period on its head.

Forget the first few days and weeks being all about the new starter impressing management; recent research shows it can be the other way round, too. It seems that businesses have just five days to impress new members of the team - or they’ll leave to find somewhere else.

Over 4,000 UK employees were quizzed on how quickly they make up their minds about a new role, and what makes them stick around or leave. The findings make for sobering reading:

  • 41% of new employees make up their minds in the first week of a new role (for millennials, this figure is more like 45%)
  • If they’re unhappy, 30.6% of new recruits will leave when they’ve found another job
  • 48.4% of people still job hunt for up to a month after joining a new company

Candidates hold the cards

The fact it’s currently a candidate-driven market is widely known. Companies are having to move faster to snap up the best applicants.

But staff members not committing to a new role until they’re sure it’s right for them may be unwelcome news to many businesses who assume they’re safe once someone’s clocked in for their first day.

There’s no denying it: recruiting, hiring and training a new member of staff is time-consuming and expensive. Some studies point to the price tag in monetary terms actually being between 30-40% of that person’s annual salary.

So as long as that worker is a good fit for your company and can do their job well, it makes more sense than ever to try and hang on to them. And if you only have a certain amount of time to turn a new recruit into a loyal member of your workforce, you need to act fast.

Getting onboarding right

Onboarding is all about making new staff feel welcome and giving them the information and training on the company and role they need to do their job. It’s also a chance for them to forge their first key relationships with colleagues - the  interpersonal networks that help engage them in the workplace.

In its download Best practices for retaining new employees: New approaches to effective onboarding” professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers offers vital tips on how to tackle this, including:

Starting the onboarding during recruitment to communicate realistic expectations of the role. At HR GO, we strive to make sure our candidates have an accurate picture on what the roles they’re applying for actually involve. Put simply, that’s the only way to get the best fit for our clients.

Proper training to avoid new starters becoming frustrated early on, plus an introduction to your company’s training opportunities to show them how they can develop and grow.

Assigning buddies to acclimatise new recruits to your company culture and get the insider track on the social nuances at work.

Making sure work/life balance initiatives such as remote working and gym memberships tally exactly with what new starters have been told during the recruitment process.

Getting it right

Clearly, trial periods are still a crucial time to judge a new recruit’s professionalism, competence and cultural fit for your company. But be aware that the spotlight’s increasingly turning on you as an employer, too.

Taking a proper look at what you can do to make yourself ‘sticky’ to newly-arrived members of the team in the first few days and weeks will pay dividends. In the current climate, it’s the only way to turn brand-new starters into hard-working, productive and loyal long-term employees.

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