HR Must Equip New Hires with Tools to Succeed
Posted by Jocelyn Pick
“With the high cost of recruiting, business leaders must understand that effectively integrating new hires into the organization is an important step to ensure their success.”
– Talya N. Bauer, Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success
One of the biggest responsibilities of an HR department is the acquisition and management of new talent. Losing an employee within the first year will cost a company approximately three months of that employee’s salary (Gest, J. Smart Business). This means that it’s in every company’s best interest for new employees to remain as long as possible, a goal that is much more achievable with the aid of skillfully equipped human resource teams.
In addition to the financial burdens of losing new employees, many other factors come into play. It costs money to post job ads, but beyond that, it takes time and company resources to interview new applicants and train a replacement. Losing new hires also takes a toll on your remaining workforce, which then has to shoulder extra duties. An overworked staff lowers productivity, and it becomes more likely for a few overlooked tasks to slip through the cracks and cause problems. Finally, each new hire lost translates into lost knowledge and skill. Everything that a hiring manager saw as valuable in an applicant walks out the door with him or her. For these reasons and many more, human resource departments must take every initiative available to give new employees the tools they need to succeed.
New hires will undoubtedly have an abundance of concerns that come along with their new and unfamiliar jobs. Their worries may include how to fit into the company culture and become productive members of the organization. According to the Wynhurst Group (2007), “new employees decide whether they feel at home or not in the first three weeks in a company and 4% of new employees leave a job after a disastrous first day.” Human resource departments usually work closely with new employees for their first three weeks of employment, guiding them through the adjustment, learning, and training processes. This employee-to-HR relationship is an integral part in making new hires feel welcome and confident in their new positions.
Here are a few ways HR teams can equip new employees with the tools they need to succeed.
- First and foremost, the HR department should make sure they are selecting the best person for their company. This means that new employees should be pre-tested and screened to heighten their chances of success. Likewise, it also means that HR should identify the new hire as someone who will fit in with the company culture. Assessments such as ProfilesXT can determine the strengths, weaknesses, and core behaviors of applicants, so that HR can efficiently determine how well-suited someone is for a particular job and company.
- Human resource departments should be performing job analysis studies, writing job descriptions, and detailing the performance expected in each position. A job analysis can also provide checkpoints for new employees to monitor how they are doing in their new position. These tools are helpful for both management and job applicants, so that everyone understands the skills a particular job will require. This leads to informed hiring decisions and well-matched, effective employees.
- Onboarding programs for new employees help shorten the time it takes for them to learn about and feel comfortable in the company. Human resources can implement these programs with mentorships and frequent check-ins to make sure the job transition is going smoothly. Training programs give new employees the opportunity to ask questions, address concerns, and start their employment with a positive outlook. Essentially, onboarding programs such as those provided by PDI Prescreening Assessments give HR the information they need to provide new employees with the necessary resources and guidance to make an impact in the organization.
- Human resource teams can make the job transition a little easier for new employees by taking on the role of their operational executors, handling testing, entry requirements, training, and payroll. This makes it easier for new employees to focus on learning the skills needed for their new job, instead of having to learn the legalities of their employment. Since some new employees, especially recent graduates, may not necessarily understand entry requirements, HR can answer questions and clear up any confusion.
- Finally, human resource departments play an important role in facilitating employee relationships and handling conflict management. This department is often the go-between for management and employees, and the mediator in any dispute. As such, HR is vital for office harmony and resolving the kind of workplace conflict that could drive valuable employees away. In team conflicts, role assessment tools such as the Profiles Performance Indicator can provide insight into optimizing the most effective teams, based on personality and work habit evaluations. Well-balanced teams prevent office conflict and encourage productivity.
Well-executed human resource operations often go unnoticed, but they affect the entire organization. When it comes to assisting new hires, there is no department better suited to helping employees succeed, from their first few days on the job. From assisting new employees with paperwork to ensuring that they understand the company goals, human resource departments are fundamental in the success and seamless transition of new employees.
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Jocelyn Pick, MBA and MSBA, is an HR consultant with more than a decade of experience in performance management, job matching, team building, and organizational and leadership development. Currently completing a doctorate at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, she is actively involved in an extensive network of international HR practitioners and educators.