It’s here. It’s real. And, it’s both stressful and awesome. The current talent shortage is great for employees and job seekers, but it’s also creating intense competition as companies try to both hire more employees, but also properly onboard new staff.
“It’s great to be hiring,” said Allison, an HR manager told us. “But, I’m a little worried that we’re losing focus on whether or not our new people are good fits for our culture.”
Allison isn’t the only leader who has shared this concern with us. And, for good reason. Numerous studies have shown significant turnover rates within the first 90 days of employment. Of course, these rates can also significantly increase during a talent shortage—because companies are actively recruiting your employees, and if you do hire someone new, you can assume that you weren’t the only company who has that person’s latest resume. In fact, a study by The Center for Creative Leadership suggests that 40% of executives hired at the senior level are pushed out, fail, or quit within the first 90 days. That’s not an easy statistic to digest if you’ve just spent time, money, and energy trying to hire only the best.
“Do you have any recommendations for proper onboarding?” asked Allison. “Is there a way we can improve the retention of new employees?”
While we have conducted research and have written extensively about best practices for onboarding, we also wanted to understand Allison’s situation better. We wanted to understand what kinds of jobs she was trying to fill. We wanted to understand what levels of the organization she was hiring for. And, we wanted to understand if she first looked for perfect fit, inside her organization.
Inboarding is a method where companies help existing employees improve their necessary knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitude to grow within their own organization. It’s not simply ‘hiring from within’ but instead it is empowering employees to discover new paths and opportunities within their organization, and re-socializing them (many who might be longstanding employees) to the current and emerging culture, of their company.
“I hadn’t thought about that,” Allison told us. “Do you think I have the right people already?”
According to a report released by Manpower, one in five employees are already in the wrong role. But, according to Jamie Schneiderman, CEO and founder of Career Spark, a success-based matching company, “Our clients typically come to us because they’re focused on recruiting the right people to fill their openings. But, when they assess all of their employees, it’s almost like they feel like they’ve struck gold—because they realize the people they like, trust, and already fit into the culture would exhibit superior performance in a different role.”
This makes sense. Think back to when you applied for your first job in your organization. Did you apply for a specific job that needed to be filled? Or, did you apply for a role that spotlighted all your strengths and abilities, while avoiding your weaknesses? Most likely you applied for a specific job.
“Companies typically hire people to fill a specific need,” said Schneiderman. “But, then sometimes they forget about what that person could do by either expanding the job description, or moving them into a different role completely. We shouldn’t be so focused on what people have done in the past, or what they do for us today. We should be focused on their potential.”
Schneiderman is right. As leaders, we should consistently be looking at the potential people could bring to our team if they were given the chance.
“It’s critical during a talent shortage and periods of mass hiring,” he added. “Think about how your current employees feel when you’re out hiring all kinds of new people and they’ve committed themselves to your company for five, 10 or even 15 years. If they see a perfect role open up and they get looked over for the position, they’re not going to be happy.”
If you’re a leader currently looking to hire new talent, here are a few things you should keep in mind before you start making the big offers.
Are your current people in the right roles? This is a big question. It’s a big process to undertake. But, it’s well worth it. “If you’ve got people in the wrong roles, and don’t change it, you’ll never reach your potential,” Schneiderman told us. “The wrong roles can be extremely costly.”
Have you created a good inboarding plan? Again, this is more than just hiring from within. Inboarding is not just reassignment. It’s re-introducing them to purpose, current culture, and emerging culture. Make your plan and consistently look for opportunities for your current people. Remember, your job as a leader is to help them become their best.
If you do hire, do you have a good onboarding plan? Onboarding is more than just showing people where the break room is and wishing them luck. There’s tons of advice you can find online and the advice will be well worth your time because research shows that 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.
Are you keeping your best? It’s one thing to be looking for new talent because your company is growing, and another to be looking if your people are leaving for other opportunities. Find out why they’re leaving. Is it compensation, benefits, or a better cultural fit. Do everything you can to hold onto your best people. And, never forget, 79 percent of employees cite “lack of recognition” as their reason for leaving.
With changes in the job market come changes in the way leaders need to view recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees. And, while hiring new people might feel exciting as you watch your team or company grow. Let’s not forget that gold you might be searching for might be directly under your feet.