Bringing Them Onboard

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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While most HR leaders would agree those first days on a job can make or break the overall employment experience, a recent study finds orientation program for new hires lacking.

In response to the question posed by Accountemps: "Does your company conduct a formal orientation for new hires?" 34 percent responded, "No."

Surprisingly, the study showed that smaller organizations were more likely to have orientation programs than large organizations (67 percent compared to 52 percent).

One might argue that, during economic downturns -- when hiring is either slowed or non-existent -- companies have little need for orientation programs.

However, that situation is changing, says Josh Warborg, district president at Robert Half International in the Seattle area.

"Right now, as the job market is improving and as unemployment rates are going down, I think it's a wake-up call for some of the large organizations that have either cut or overlooked these programs in a more budget-tight environment," he says.

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"In an improving job market that is something that is not smart to overlook," Warborg says. "It is very expensive to bring a new hire on," and failing to effectively orient new hires could mean losing them and adding significantly to recruitment costs.

Lilith Christiansen, vice president of Kaiser Associates Inc. in Washington, and co-author of Successful Onboarding, agrees: "Onboarding is a great opportunity for an organization to create more value for the enterprise ... ," she says.

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