Why does the new hire experience matter? If you are asking yourself this, think back to the last time you started at a company and how it set your expectations for what working there would be like. Were you made aware of your expectations? Did you understand what you needed to do, both from a paperwork and also to get up to speed in the new position? And how did your interactions with your team affect your success in the early days of the new job?
And, even if you had a good experience, there is a good chance you’ve also had a bad one, so don’t forget to think about that, too, and how it may have set the stage quite early for your decision to move on.
Some of the common frustrations of new hires when they come into the work space stem around a few areas: too much paperwork, nothing is ready, and everyone is too busy to help them. There are solutions you can put in place in both cases to alleviate these concerns and make the experience positive for everyone.
Too much paperwork
There are so many forms a new hire has to complete, it is not uncommon to spend a significant amount of time with HR or alone at their desk on their first day filling them out – and this isn’t fun for anyone. Where ever possible, you should make these forms available for the new hire to complete before their first day on the job – an online onboarding portal is the perfect place to capture this information. Definitely make sure to include government forms, employee manual, and code of conduct, but also make sure that this new hire portal is welcoming to new employees by sharing a written message or welcome video.
Nothing is ready
Part of making the new hire feel welcome is having things ready for them when they get there. Having a desk is great (especially if that desk is already assembled for them), but there are many other things – such as laptop, phone, email, and office supplies – that should be ready for them day one. This can be done quite easily by letting others know ahead of time that the new hire is joining. Once you’ve had that offer accepted and are ready to move forward it is time to let others know that your new hire is coming so there is no delay and no sitting twiddling thumbs on their first day.
Everyone is too busy to help
While it can be hard to have everyone stop what they are doing and help the new hire get adjusted, you should have at least a few people in their corner to help them succeed. At a minimum, HR and their manager need to make an effort to meet with them their first few days – HR to wrap up any outstanding paperwork and answer questions, and their manager to introduce them to their new team and make sure they know and have what they need to perform their job duties. But you should consider adding a third person to this mix – a buddy or mentor is a great way to build a relationship between employees and make sure they have a good example to follow. This buddy can be involved earlier than the first day, too, by including them in interviews and welcome aboard messaging. They will also be a great resource for the new hire (especially if the manager is busy as is often the case) as a helper, keeper of knowledge, and coach in special skills needed for the job.
New hires and their experience matter, so make sure you take the above into account to plan for success. Engage the team and mentors in a new hire’s success and work together to win for both the new hire and the team. To get more insights watch our webinar: Enhancing Onboarding for Shorter Time to Productivity
In 2017, Baby Boomers will be between 53 and 71 years old. Their waning numbers underline the need for good succession planning, especially since this segment likely represents the majority of the senior team. Yet 68% of firms have no formal succession plan leaving organizations at risk when baby boomers retire.
While succession planning is typically thought of as more of a learning and development discussion, more and more organizations are finding the need to tap recruiters’ skills for both external recruitment and internal redeployment of roles, finding talent that is often overlooked or neglected by traditional development methods.
Retirement Trends for 2017
According to Deltek’s 2016 A&E Clarity Report:
1 in 10 workers in the A&E industry fall into the Baby Boomer or Millennial categories.
The average turnover is around 13.3%. Departing Baby Boomers are likely contributing to this number but turnover is being driven primarily by voluntary departures.
As retirement rates accelerate for Baby Boomer-era partners who have historically bore the lion’s share of the Business Development burden, the responsibility is now spreading throughout the organization.
59% of firms have the same number of open positions as last year, while 1 in 4 firms reported more open positions and only 16% reported fewer. Large firms had the most unfilled jobs with more than 30% reporting a greater number of open spots than last year. Large firms are losing employees faster than their small and mid-sized counterparts, highlighting the need for better processes to engage and recruit employees.
70% of firms rank talent acquisition as one of their top three most expensive HR processes, with succession planning at the sixth most expensive.
Just 19% of companies surveyed said they have a repository that helps them source and acquire talent for projects.
68% of firms have no formal succession plan or the plan applies only to a select few people leaving organizations at risk when baby boomers retire or a key member of the firm leaves unexpectedly.
Prevent lack of leadership or critical talent
Identify talent gaps
Identify individuals with potential
Speed up development
Minimize leader turnover
Discourage talent hoarding
Goals of Succession Plans
Shortcomings of Traditional Succession Planning
Succession plans fail when you don’t have the right mindset, processes, and support to make them succeed. There are some things you should definitely think about to reduce the chances that your plans will not work out.
Don’t use the “set it and forget it” mentality. Let’s face it – things change and you need to make sure that you are able to account for those changes. People leave; availability changes; the company changes direction. You need to be thinking about these things when making plans and evaluate the plans regularly (at least once or twice a year) to make sure that you still have the best people identified as successors.
Have a backup plan. Again, things change and you don’t want to be caught in a lurch if there are unforeseen changes. It is a good idea to have other potential successors identified provide for flexibility in succession planning.
Develop your potential successors. Once you’ve identified potential successors, make sure you groom them so that they are ready if they need to step up. Under-developed leaders weaken the entire organization, erode workforce confidence, and impact job satisfaction. Make sure you have the resources in place to get your successors ready for the next step.
Include managers in the process. This will not only broaden your search, but it fosters engagement. Both managers and team members feel they have a voice and are represented in the company’s planning.
Consider your entire workforce. If you only consider HiPos, you may miss hidden talent. Don’t overlook talent that is new to the company. And make sure to consider all important criteria, not just past jobs held and skills/competencies.
Listen to what your employees say they want. This encourages engagement, positively impacts retention rates, improves job satisfaction, contributes to overall business success and demonstrates support for employees’ goals and aspirations.
Don’t keep your employees in the dark. Tell employees they are on a succession plan. This is a huge opportunity to impact retention in your highest performers, and this engagement can impact the bottom line. Also, keeping employees aware can motivate self-development.
Tapping Recruiter Skills for Finding Talent
Recruiters can be a great resource for identifying potential successors within your organization. They are already strong at sourcing for openings, and those same skills can come in handy for succession planning. Recruiters have multiple sources at their disposal, can ensure the job is the right fit, and can include external candidates.
Your recruiting team can also be a valuable resource in building career paths for employees, evaluating the quality of new hire, looking at HiPo employees to build interview questions, and sharing information with managers.
Another good reason for including recruiters is that sometimes (unfortunately) managers might not be the most reliable source for identifying potential successors. This happens when managers fail to develop their talent, either for their current role or future possibilities. Also, some managers will hold back employees who are ready for more because of the impact that would have on their team’s performance. Study after study identifies bad managers and lack of challenge/opportunity as the number one and number two reason people leave a job. This could lead to your best talent being deprived of growth opportunities and walking out the door.
From finding the best talent and the right fit for your company to looking internally at the possible employees who are best suited to take on a higher role. Understanding your company’s values and culture and having the right systems in place will help make the transition to the next role easier.
Knowing what to measure and when to measure it helps define your HR team as a crucial addition to the company’s success. Gone are the days of simply posting job opportunities on your company website, and hoping for the best. Building a strategy, being smarter about where you are finding candidates, and knowing how effective your recruiters are will determine the future of your organization’s talent. When it comes to recruiting, there are dozens of metrics that you could report on, but we have picked out just the top five most commonly used to focus on in Part 1 of this post, with another five coming in Part 2.
1 – Time to Start
Time to Start refers to the amount of time it takes to bring a new hire on board from the moment that you first publicize the open position.
It is important to distinguish that this means the time until a new hire’s first day on the job, not the day they accept the offer. This is probably the most important recruiting metric to focus on as it relies on the efficiency of the recruiters and the sourcing channels used, but also determines the success of your overall recruiting strategy. Job vacancies within an organization can mean a loss of productivity until that position is filled, so the longer the time to hire, the longer your organization is lacking in that area.
Of course, the time to fill is going to vary based on the job level and perhaps the skill set that is required. As time goes on, however, HR should be able to determine an average time frame across all positions and work towards reducing that time.
2 – Retention Rate
Employee retention is an important metric for many reasons. Not only does it show how successful your recruiting efforts are in finding qualified candidates, but is also a great indicator of the overall health of an organization. For now, we will focus on what the retention rate can tell us about recruiting efforts.
If your organization has a hard time retaining people for longer than a year after their hire date, you may be hiring the wrong type of candidate. Once you have determined the cost per hire for each position, it’s no wonder that the retention rate is such an important metric. Your company could be bleeding money with this unnecessary turnover. The cost of replacing an employee can be upwards of two times their salary! (Article from the Center for American Progress)
So, as with any problem, the first step is to identify whether or not your organization has a reasonable retention rate based on your industry’s standards as this can vary widely by industry.
Then, rather than trying to look at retention rates for all positions across all levels of the organization, it will be more insightful to analyze by sections. For example, you can look at the turnover rate for a specific role. If one role is causing turnover every year, maybe you need to take a look at the responsibilities of that role. Are there unrealistic expectations or unattainable goals? Another way to look at the data is turnover by pay grade or even by department. In this way, you can determine if the retention problem is company-wide, if it’s in a certain department because of a bad manager, etc.
Ultimately, measuring the retention rate will allow you to pinpoint whether or not the issue is a recruiting one. To quote an article from Forbes, “The best recruitment strategy is a solid retention strategy and this has to start at the top.”
3 – Applicant Satisfaction
While related to the employee retention rate, it is important to look at applicant satisfaction on its own to ensure that your recruiting efforts are placing applicants into positions where they feel they can grow and excel.
The best way to measure this is simply to have a standardized new hire survey, and then use performance reviews as another chance for employees to express how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with their job. Surveys can include questions on the hiring process, on-boarding, and overall job satisfaction. These metrics will help you determine how positive an applicant’s experience is from the moment a recruiter reaches out to them. This allows a company to take a step back and look at their processes from an outsider’s perspective, and shed some light on how they are portraying their organization to applicants versus what they experience when they are hired.
In today’s social world, this firsthand experience and testimonial is as important to a company’s reputation and messaging as any other marketing effort. The real goal is highlighting where a change needs to occur internally.
Is there an opportunity for more training for not just the interview process, but the competencies of employees? Is there a reason for employee dissatisfaction with the company that can be fixed to help retain top talent? It may be as simple as the job descriptions need to be revised. But it may be the job, the role, or the company direction that may need to be refocused, clarified or redirected. These are just some of the insights that can be gained by using applicant satisfaction company’s self-reflection.
4 – Sourcing Channel
Sourcing channel or source of hire simply refers to the efficacy of the different job boards or media a company uses to publicize its current job openings. The reason for tracking this metric is simple – there are hundreds of options for sourcing candidates, but depending on your industry or your specific organization, certain sources will prove to be more effective or provide higher quality candidates than others.
Talk about sourcing channels comes up often when thinking about Big Data – gathering the information above, you are able to combine this data to see the big picture and support your sourcing choices. As noted by David Bernstein on HR.com, “Big Data analysis also enables the employer to measure the effectiveness of their recruitment campaigns in real time and make necessary adjustments—sooner rather than later—to improve performance.” Not only do we need to take a look at what we’ve done in the past that worked, but what are we doing now that isn’t working? And how might we shift our resources towards more effective sources?
5 – Quality of Hire
It will take some time to determine the quality of a new hire, but the longer the employee is at the company, the easier it will be to establish. This should take into account not only performance ratings, but also their potential. Over time, you will be able to see a trend in their performance reviews, and determine their overall worth to the organization. This metric can then be linked to the sourcing channels to help determine where the highest quality candidates originated from, as well as the time to hire so recruiters can get a sense of how long it takes to find the right candidate.
The formula for Quality of Hire should be comprised of recruitment-focused quality measures and post-hire contribution / performance quality. The factors that contribute the data for each side of this metric can differ from one organization to the next. Deltek’s Quality of Hire report plots recruitment efficacy and directly correlates this to post-hire performance appraisal scores.
Quality of hire may sound rather subjective and difficult to determine, but nevertheless is one of the most important metrics. Because the cost per hire and retention rate are constantly scrutinized, it is important to find quality hires that are going to stay with your company for a long time, thus diminishing the need for another costly hire down the road.
Because of its organizational impact, quality of hire is a more important metric to track than time to fill or cost per hire.
For more recruiting KPIs, keep an eye out for Part 2 of this blog post coming soon!
You may also find our Top 10 Recruiting Metrics Cheat Sheet to be helpful in your efforts to streamline your recruiting plans in 2017.
One piece to creating a successful employee engagement is having events in your company. Events, big or small create a sense of bonding between coworkers. They help establish relationships, which can lead to a sense of belonging to the company. Each company has their own way of bringing unity within the company. Below is a list of different types of events that your company is already doing or could maybe start to liven things up.
“A little Party never hurt nobody”
Different types of events:
Holiday parties- Oh the holidays! How they bring about such a wonderful, happy time. That happy time can create quite a positive mood with office employees especially when it comes to holiday parties. Having a holiday party is good about bringing unity and a good time outside the office. But make sure to keep a limit and don’t have the event get to out of control.
Fitness Classes- Fitness classes that the company provides, such as yoga or boot camps show another side of your coworkers. It’s a place where everyone can let off some steam before going back to work. And is a great added benefit or incentive if the company is willing to provide this outlet for their employees.
Happy Hour- an easy after work get together where everyone can go and enjoy a quick drink or some appetizers before heading home. It’s a nice way to end a work day. Some companies let employees leave a little earlier to attend, or some have the means to be able to have the happy hour in the office break room or a conference room, so employees don’t have to go far and can just head home.
Team building – Team building shows coworkers in a different light. Depending what the activities are for the day, usually they are exercises that show we need to rely on each other to get the job done. For example: Some companies have team building exercises at Escape rooms because everyone in their room is working together to get out before the time is out. Other teams do outdoor activities or go bowling to just create a relaxed environment outside of the office that also creates time for conversation besides work. Having an activity to bond about or talk about makes it easier to engage in those types on conversations as well.
Some other honorable mentions are attending Conferences with your team members and Employee Appreciation Day. The goal and benefit of all these activities is to create bonding experiences with coworkers outside of work in a more relaxed setting so that they feel a part of a community. What are other events that your company could put on to build your employees up?
Gallup studies show employee engagement is on the rise and, hand-in-hand with this, so are engagement initiatives with many companies going so far as to assess their managers based on how well their employees are engaged. The link between top performing companies and a highly engaged workforce is becoming more and more evident as this trend takes hold.
Who is engaged?
Employee engagement differs between different groups, with managers at the levels at 38.4% and millennials the least engaged at 28.9%. Many factors drive these trends, and for millennials specifically, lack of job opportunities coming out of college or jobs that don’t allow them to feel like a valued and respected member of the team can contribute to this.
What causes employee disengagement?
Whether we like it or not, employees have a life outside of work, and chances are, they care about that life with their family and friends a whole lot more than the 8+ hours a day they spend at the office. That is the life where they are able to create their own goals, set their own priorities, and manage their own work load.
This “dual life” of employees is the root cause of employee disengagement.
What about a lost employee?
A study done by “The Centre for American Progress” shows that the cost of replacing an employee is clustered between 10 percent and 30 percent of an employee’s annual salary.
Consider the real total cost of losing an employee:
Cost of hiring a new person
Cost of onboarding a new person
Customer service and errors
Impact on other employees
How can employee disengagement be addressed?
Many ways in which you interact with employees will drive their engagement at work, but this needs to be something addressed and reinforced at all levels of the organization.
Engagement starts at the top.
Mission and vision statements are a way of living.
Create harmony between the “dual lives” of the employees.
Communication is key.
Invest in your employees’ future careers.
Over the next couple of months, we will expand upon these ideas and dive into how specific areas of talent management can have an impact on your overall employee engagement. Some specific topics will include:
How having mobile talent management tools can increase employee engagement
How career paths can encourage and motivate your employees
How development plans can keep employees engaged and promote growth
How promoting your company culture can lead to a more engaged workforce
What is the impact of performance reviews on employee engagement?