New Hires

Hold on to Your New Hires

Ask The Expert

By Barbara Mitchell

Q: I saw a statistic recently that said a third of new hires quit their job in the first 90 days. I will be hiring a few new people soon, and I know the time and money that goes into hiring and onboarding a new employee. What can I do to hold on to my new team members?

A: This is a serious issue for management. In addition to the cost of hiring, onboarding, and getting employees up to speed, losing new hires takes a huge toll on your current workforce. They invested time and energy into working with their new team member, only to have to start over after the person quits.

Research shows that people quit a job early in their tenure for a few common reasons:

  • The job wasn’t what they thought it would be.
  • They didn’t see eye to eye with their manager.
  • They didn’t like the organizational culture.
  • They were recruited to a better job by another employer.

Look at your hiring process to be sure you are giving applicants as much information as possible about the job and its duties, and let them ask specific questions about each.

Look at your hiring process to be sure you are giving applicants as much information as possible about the job and its duties, and let them ask specific questions about each. Give them a tour of your office space and let them see employees at work. A client of mine once had a huge turnover problem with the luggage handlers at an international airport. The issue? They weren’t taking applicants on to the field to experience directly the noise level, the extreme heat or cold, and the physical demands of the job. Fortunately, that was an easy problem to fix.

Provide training to your managers about how to onboard new hires. Managers play a significant role in helping a new employee integrate into the organization and become productive. Explain their role in the process, since most managers seem to think this is someone else’s responsibility.

Check in often with new hires during the first 90 days. Ask them how it’s going and listen to their suggestions. New employees are more likely to stay when they believe their manager is supportive and interested in their ideas.

When new employees leave, do exit interviews to find out where your culture failed to engage them. Remember: Most employees want to be productive as quickly as possible, and they may be frustrated if you have processes or other bureaucracy that they think is holding them back.

If a new hire’s dream job comes along after they’ve joined you, there’s not a lot you can do to keep them from leaving, but consider keeping in touch so that you might be able to recruit them again someday.

Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR,The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook and the latest book—The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book. Do you have a question you’d like her to answer in “Ask the Expert”? Send it to [email protected].

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