Your candidate accepted the job offer and he/she will be starting soon. It is never too early to start ensuring that your new candidate has a great first impression when he/she walks through the door on day one. A great first impression can have a huge impact on how long this new employee will stay with your company. During the Great Resignation, we must be thinking about improving first impressions to retain our top talent.

A 2009 study by the Aberdeen Group of senior executives and HR staffing and recruiting functions found that 86% of respondents believe new hires make the decision to stay with a company long term in the first 6 months. Employers can influence this decision with a great onboarding experience. A great onboarding experience has 3 key components: Making the employee feel welcome, helping the employee make connections with other co-workers, and an extended timeline for onboarding.

Often a new hire’s first day is spent isolated in a room filling out paperwork. This does not make for a good first impression or get your new hire excited about their job or your company. Yes, this paperwork is important and must be completed, but it is possible for the employee to fill out the paperwork electronically prior to day one. This frees up their time on the job to learn more about the company and make connections with co-workers.

We spend more waking time with our co-workers than anyone else in our lives. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got to know our co-workers and enjoyed spending time with them? Let’s give our new hires opportunities to learn from the existing employees and grow in their knowledge of the company. Give your employees a “buddy”. This is someone they can reach out to and ask questions when they aren’t sure who to ask. Those relationships can be a way of cementing new employees into the culture of your organization.

In a survey conducted by Kronos Inc., a workforce management technology provider, and the Human Capital Institute (HCI), a talent management association based in Cincinnati, of 350 HR leaders across the U.S., 53% of onboarding programs are scheduled to last between 30-90 days. Only 10% of respondents have onboarding programs lasting a year or longer. Studies show that in order to increase retention the ideal onboarding program will last at least one year. This allows employers to have touchpoints with the new hire during their first year. These touchpoints can often be an opportunity to catch problems before they become large issues.  Employers can use these opportunities to ensure new hires have what they need in order to do their job well.

We’re living in a different world post-Covid. Employers need to do all they can in order to retain the top talent that was recently hired. If a great first impression will encourage your new hire to stay with your company long term, it is an easy thing to improve to keep your new hire.

Do you need help developing a great onboarding program? Silberman Group can help!

Jennifer Webster SHRM-CP: HR Advisor, Silberman Group