Hitting The Ground Running: How To Onboard For Keeps

Statistically, the average amount of time that an employee stays in a job is approximately between four and five years, depending on whom you ask. However, that number is somewhat skewed by the fact that the older an employee is, the longer they tend to stay. For employees between the ages of 25 and 34, the numbers say that fewer than three years is as much as you can expect from a new employee. 

Given the costs included in recruiting, hiring, training and registering an employee, it’s obviously preferable if you can retain staff for longer. You’ll avoid the above costs, for one thing, and perhaps more importantly it boosts what is known as institutional memory: the array of facts and knowledge that a company can call upon thanks to shared experience. If you know you can turn to a group of employees and ask about a business matter that happened years ago – and that there will be plenty who can answer – it helps a business make better decisions each time.

So when you come to hire an employee, it’s important to look for someone that you can invest in. Someone who will, all things being equal, stay with the business through thick and thin. It’s not easy, but the following steps will help you manage this…

Advertise honestly and emphasise your values

The importance of choice is hammered into us all from early on, and it’s taken as read that “more applicants for a job = greater choice”, so job ads can end up reading quite samey. No-one wants to scare off an applicant who might be right for the business. But if you hire someone who might be right, then they might stay with you. They also might up and leave within weeks or months if they get a better offer. When advertising for a job, emphasise what your business is about. When interviewing, focus on how the prospective employee will fit into that; don’t be afraid to hire a less-qualified employee who can grow into the role.

Integrate new hires from Day One

Newly-hired employees – especially those who are hired as part of a mass recruitment effort – can end up in training programmes that initially isolate them from your main workforce. This may lead to a “them and us” mentality that may be good for intra-office competition but does little for cohesion. It’s best to integrate them from the start and let new trainees ask questions of their work peers. This way they can compare LearnUpon LMS training with the job itself, and be more ready when they have to take the training wheels off.

Be generous with reward schemes

It’s not uncommon for employers to silo off the best parts of their benefits package for the employees who have been there the longest. While there’s logic behind this decision, it might not be the smartest choice. If new employees can achieve bonus payments – and even access the internal career progression ladder – in the same way as others, then they will feel like a part of the business from early on. Better yet, they’ll be more committed.

Getting the right employees is an essential part of hiring in business. Keeping them is arguably more important – and if you know how to do that, it will boost your business.

Isa Lillo


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