Sue Lingard, Director of Cezanne HR shares the results of research into the realities of onboarding, and why a non-digital, non-inclusive onboarding approach could be costing businesses millions.
Our survey earlier this year, which polled senior HR practitioners across the UK, found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of organisations are suffering from ‘Non-Starter Syndrome’, with HR respondents reporting that they’ve had new recruits quit before they even start.
The research also found that nearly one-fifth of employees stay in a job for less than a year. These statistics present a clear picture of the challenges – and opportunities – for UK HR teams when it comes to reducing talent churn.
So what are the problems surrounding employee onboarding? And what can organisations do to resolve them?
What’s missing with onboarding?
From an employee perspective, it’s clear that organisations are struggling to get communication right. In other research conducted by Cezanne HR, almost a third (31%) of ‘non-starters’ cited bad experience or poor or no follow up from the organisation between being offered the job and starting, and 45% stated they would have liked more communication before their job started. When asked which onboarding communication tools were deployed within organisations, a significant 87% of respondents lack a web-based onboarding tool or portal.
Hidden in clear sight
Our research also revealed that 60% of gig workers aren’t included (or organisations don’t know whether they are included) in the organisation’s onboarding process. And, with the gig economy the fastest growing section of the UK workforce, the visibility, productivity and retention challenges that this creates are only set to increase.
A third (33%) of HR teams are also not tailoring onboarding experiences to include those returning from leave, including maternity, paternity, and long-term sick leave, meaning these employees are also being left out in the cold.
The cost of churn
The research also revealed that while the average cost of recruitment per candidate is £1,739, the mean spend for onboarding is just £290 per employee, or 17% of average recruitment expenditure. Add to this the extra business costs that arise from time and money being spent on new hires that only stay a few months, and the basic economics of investing in efficient and effective onboarding systems become very apparent – and that’s without even touching on the significant benefits that optimised onboarding delivers in terms of fast time to employee productivity, greater engagement and lower administrative overheads.
With only 17% of respondents describing their onboarding processes as ‘best in class’, there is a clear requirement for HR to focus on improving onboarding processes and systems across the organisation.
With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising – yet encouraging – that recent research from Fosway Group suggests almost half (48%) of organisations are looking to invest more in onboarding systems this year.
In short, the financial and employee wellbeing benefits all stack up to onboarding being a central strategy for the future of successful HR.