By Luke Rees

Hot-footed employees can be a massive drain on a company’s bottom line. Huge amounts of time and money are spent on-boarding new team members, and it can be incredibly frustrating when a new hire doesn’t even make it through the critical first few months.

More and more millennials are entering the job market – typically a demographic that isn’t afraid to switch jobs if the fit isn’t immediately right. Marketing to and actually holding on to these people, once hired, is currently the real test for corporations looking to grow.

What can be done to reduce employee turnover during this difficult introductory period? Take a look at some tips below.

Improve Sourcing Strategies

The job market has become much more transparent, with the growth in online recruitment platforms and social media. Recruiters need to become a lot savvier with these new systems if they want to source the best talent.

Advertising using classified ads or job fairs, for example, are all passive ways of finding candidates, and give you very little control over candidate qualifications. In contrast, sourcing from LinkedIn, ATS systems, social media, and other online resume databases is a much more active strategy, and offers significant control over candidate qualifications. The best candidates often won’t be the ones doing the job searching.

Incorporate Data Into Your Screening And Hiring Process

People working in the marketing or finance department would never make an important decision without the relevant big data in front of them, so why is this not the case with HR, where intuition is often still the main currency? With people analytics, companies can approach talent acquisition with the same rigor they would give to any other decision – known as ‘evidence-based’ HR.

Google, for example, takes a data-based approach to recruitment. A collective score from a series of interviews gets put into an algorithm and used to predict that employee’s suitability for the job. It tends to boost retention rates of new employees due to the fact it relies much less on human intuition – something naturally prone to bias.

Set Expectations Early

It’s easy to forget that new hires bring a whole host of expectations when they start a new job – the majority of which are unfounded. Making sure new hires understand precisely what their responsibilities and accountabilities are – whilst showing them what they can hope to learn and achieve during their time at the company – will ensure there are no awkward or ugly conversations during the first few months.

Companies that do this very early on – ideally in the job interview itself – tend to save considerable money and hassle in lost productivity in the future.

Provide a Clear On-Boarding Program

As well as reviewing the job description and employee expectations on their first day, it is helpful for new hires to have clear on-boarding information for them to follow during their first few months. Walk them through things like:

  • Company rules (e.g. professional standards, communication methods, dress code, etc.)
  • Hierarchical structure (so they understand where they fit in and who they are accountable to)
  • Training requirements (be sure to provide support and set realistic goals)
  • Company philosophy (having a tangible code of ethics will help new hires fit more easily into the company culture)

Offer Regular Feedback

Periodic reviews will ensure new employees have the necessary means to discuss any concerns, whilst generally feeling looked after by the company. This review could compare their current performance to their assigned goals, how they’re getting on with others at the company (including their manager), any pain points, etc.

The key is for this discussion to be a two-way street, where employees can speak frankly about their initial impressions of the company. Those who are valued in this way will be far more reluctant to give up on the job so soon (and if they fit really isn’t right, arrangements can be made with limited loss to company morale).