As a business owner who is involved with “Connecting People to Opportunities for Mutual Success,” I have a vested interested in witnessing a new employee being onboarded in the most efficient manner possible. I like to deliver benefits like stability, time and cost efficiencies, while keeping the process as simple as possible for all the stake holders.

Reduce hiring risk

One of the most important outcomes of this process for an executive search agency is to ensure that you get it right first time! You don’t want to have to refill the role more than once (certainly not within the first 12 months). Every action taken by the agency will play its part in mitigating this risk. From agreeing the perfect profile with the hiring manager/HR, mapping this profile to the market to create a talent pool, screening that talent pool to a short list and finally onboarding the successful hire. Lots can go wrong and there is no single correct formula, however the aim is to expedite a win-win for all stakeholders.

When a role doesn’t work out

If a role needs to be refilled inside the dates of a probation period because a candidate just didn’t work out (through no fault of the employer or candidate) it means repeating the  process at no extra cost to the hiring manager. It has a fruitless exercise for everyone, wasted effort and resources and no little sums of money spent.

The blame game can start, but it matters not. Whether the candidate let down his/her employer or the employer let down the candidate, it’s really hard to prove either way. The bottom line is 3 stakeholders lose out. The candidate will lose face with the employer, the employer is back to the drawing board and the agency’s reputation may be tarnished and has to try again to make right 2nd time round (that’s if the employer is happy to allow the an agency a 2nd chance).

That’s just the start of the negative fallout too. The costs associated with a failed sales hire in particular can often equate to 7 to 8 times the cost of basic annual salary, not to mention opportunity cost.

How can this be avoided?

Well there is no single foolproof way to avoid a change of heart by any party to an agreement, but there are ways to reduce the risk.

Here are a few elements that  can make the difference:


There exists lots of evidence to illustrate that Branding is a massively important factor in the attraction and retention of  staff.

“69% of job seekers would not take a job in a company with a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed“ Glassdoor

Company branding is omnipresent, from long before a candidate contemplates a role in your organisation right up to the point when they complete their probation period.

It may be that your company will never realise the hiring of some individuals of a certain moral fabric but that’s an argument for another day. The focus here is on the journey between the first probing phone to call to a passive candidate right up the point where they have become a fully-fledged employee.

Every touchpoint needs to be a positive experience.

From the outset, the search agency too must embrace and act as an extension of company brand. In effect, the hiring company needs to get a positive message out there for the potential hires in everything that they do.

“48% of global employers report talent shortages as their biggest hiring challenge” TMP Worldwide.

 “60% of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their length or complexity.” Career Builder

 Onboarding Process

Here are a number of steps that might be considered:

  • Plan and pre-board…Get all the stakeholders (Hiring Manager, HR and Marketing) involved from the start. Instigate a process, consider each touchpoint …by phone, email and face to face ….let it all be positive. If your company does not have all of these departments it doesn’t stop you from making sure this process is streamlined and fit for purpose.
  • Map the onboarding journey…Take steps to put a procedure in place for  who contacts, when and how, using what method? What is the message? Who is going to be accountable for this process and its individual parts in your organisation? Who is going to map the journey and ensure the plan is followed?
  • Automation of tasks…Where possible, promote the automation of some of those touch points, emails to say you received their CV, for example thanking them for being participating, automated company newsletters etc. All the good news your company is putting out there to show off good company values and maintain positive company image.
  • Notice to unsuccessful candidates… Regardless of success in the process or not it is imperative that those who are exiting the process are informed in a timely and dignified manner, that their participation was welcomed and although they were not successful on this occasion that they will be welcome to apply again in the future and their file will be kept in HR should something more suitable arise.
  • Paperwork completion, hardware and software requirements fulfilled… Make sure that all necessary paperwork is in order for the 1st day on the job, work visas, payroll, Super any insurances are done. Ensure all the hardware and software is ready to go with logins in place.
  • First day experience… Formulate a procedure, meetings, setup, H&S training, online courses to complete, people to meet in each dept.
  • Welcome pack… offering a sense of belonging and welcoming on the first day. It makes a huge difference to the long-term relationship that your new hire will have with your organisation offering a welcome first impression.
  • Training and mentoring programs to be put in place Need to show the new employee that you are thinking of their career and progression. They are now a coveted part of the organisation and their needs are being looked after and their future is been mapped out.
  • Buddy system… If you can’t compete with the industry leader on the payroll, maybe you can entice a new hire for other reasons – a mentor/buddy to make sure their experience sets off on the right foot from day one and remains on that trajectory. It offers the right nurturing way forward.

“89% of bosses believe that employees leave jobs because they want more money, while only 12% actually do leave for more money” Forbes

 “A structured effective onboarding process increases the hire retention by 82%” Glassdoor

So once you have them onboard, how are you going to keep them there?

How to retain new hires

Recent studies have shown that transparency from management is something that Millennials and Gen Z hold as the most sought-after criteria when looking for a new workplace. Seeing how their KPIs are formulated and understanding how they are judged is key in both their job satisfaction and retention. The new hire wants to know that they are making a difference and that their contribution is being measured, benchmarked and used in judging progress.

Enter the Performance Management system, a platform which represents a sure-fire way to retain and nurture talent in the company for the long haul. It makes absolute sense that once you have managed to secure vital talent that the job doesn’t just stop there but an ongoing element takes over.

For Staff

  • 92% of staff believe that corrective feedback improves their performance*
  • Staff want regular, scheduled feedback**
  • Staff want fair performance appraisals. Without an ongoing objective process,  appraisals become loaded with subjective and unfair biases***

* Zenger, J. and Folkman, J. (2014), “Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give.”

** Source: Zenger, J. and Folkman, J. (2014), “Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give.”

*** Source: Rosenzweig, P (2008), “The Halo Effect.”

For Management

“50% of an organisation’s time is spent on work that actually contributes to the organisation’s goals”  Kaplan and Norton Stanford University

“Organisations who use great employee performance management systems average $90.586 more sales per employee and $348,817 higher market value per employee than organisations with poor or no systems” Becker, Huselid and Beatty in “The Differentiated Workforce.”

Performance Management is a combination of goal alignment, timely feedback on performance and the engagement of people in their teams.

For the company

 On average, 58% of turnover equates to payroll

 Without goals, the company lacks a strategy.

 According to the Harvard Business Review, “companies only realize 63% of a strategy’s full value because of POOR PERFORMANCE.”37% is lost altogether.

 Considering this, a correct performance monitoring process with the inclusion of clear goals definition makes all the difference, turning poor performance into increased productivity by aligning performance/goals to strategy.

Want to know more? Contact us. We’d like to introduce you to Work Compass  our new partner in Australia. Between us, we manage to onboard new sales hires with minimum risk and optimise retention making a highly effective duo!