Recruitment or Engagement, is it the Chicken and the Egg, or Onboarding?

I have had a few colleagues and friends reach out to me lately about beginning a new job. However, for the candidate, the work that goes into preparing the resume, looking for appealing positions, improving interviewing skills, writing cover letters, applying for the job, and waiting to hear if they got the interview can be pretty challenging. Then they nail the phone screen and the interview, land the job and receive the offer letter.  They are so excited it’s difficult to sleep the night before. Finally, after carefully selecting the clothes to make a great impression on their first day, they arrive, and then WHAT?  Here is a list of scenarios I know new employees have encountered ON THEIR VERY FIRST DAY:
  • Not getting a tour of the facility, break, and restroom locations — might be necessary, maybe?
  • No one knows they are coming — seen it!
  • Limited introductions — been there!
  • Their new desk is filthy — sounds like fun, NOT!
  • There is no point person for them to speak to about office supplies, computer difficulties, etc. — HELLO?
  • What time is lunch — I’m new here!
  • They go right into computer training; no one is inquiring how the training is going; fast, slow, not stimulating enough; the computer just locked up — HELP?
  • Who do they ask questions regarding their work? The department manager, team leader — Bueller, Bueller?
  • They have no assigned leader — that’s always a good sign!
  • No one is checking in to ensure they are engaged and understand their role or if they are planning on returning for the second day or week — is there anybody out there?
  • I could go on forever — but if they are being treated this way in the “honeymoon phase” or “still should have that new car smell” at their new job, what is really being said to the new employee about the organization they have signed on for 40 hours or more a week to work? Would you put up with that as a person or customer?  NO, and you can forget the tip!
Does that sound like money, energy, and time well spent?  You can have the best recruiters who hire the best employees money can buy, but without genuine engagement, you might as well continue to spend your money on the pony ride and get nowhere fast, or ever! You may get lucky, and some people will remain because of the money, commute, or some reasoning convenient for them, but how will that work out for your organization in the long run? Disney states that if you do not engage your new hire in the first 30 days, you will lose them forever. Employee engagement begins on the first day; welcome to the team; we are glad you are here and hope you stay.  Employee engagement starts on the first day and lasts — FOREVER, EVERDAY in the employee lifecycle. Unfortunately, there are employees which you hire for one reason or another, but the marketing didn’t meet the packaging, and it didn’t work out. But, if you do the right things first, you will keep the ones meant to stay. And, as for the people I know:
  • The one with the filthy desk lasted 8 days; she told a co-worker she would not be returning. She then received a call from a manager she had never met — wanting to know what had happened.  Too late!
  • One new employee texted me expressing his frustration at the lack of communication, no assigned leader, and boredom with the training pace. Do you think he has enough time to look for another job while training for this one?
  • And yet another is seeking a position in Marketing, but the companies interviewing her are looking for her to create a business marketing plan without her being on the team; how is that even possible? Again, I get the need to assess a candidate’s skills — but really?
If you have a terrible onboarding experience, you would like to share; I would love to hear it! When you need concise, expert help with your recruiting, onboarding, or engagement, contact Uncharted HR today, we are here and eager to help!