Human Resources News & Insights

5 ways managers drive away new hires

The old saying is true: People join companies and quit bosses. Here are some common manager mistakes that make new hires think twice. 

According to a report last year by consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, 90% of employees decide how long they plan to stay with an organization within six months of their arrival. Many employees will even make that decision within the first few days.

Most companies have the basics down for getting a new hire ready — get a mentor, make sure the workstation is ready, show them where the bathrooms are, etc. But here are some other reasons a new hire’s early experiences could drive them away from the company:

  1. Managers assume the deal is set in stone — When candidates accept an offer, the “sale” isn’t over. There’s always the chance they’ll get a counter-offer or an offer from another company before their first day with your organization. And even after someone starts, there’s a chance they’ll change their minds. Managers need to understand the impact that an employee’s early tenure will have on long-term retention.
  2. No one keeps in touch until day one — New hires’ biggest complaint is often that the few days are disorganized and they don’t get to do any actual work quickly enough. One solution: Have managers contact new hires before the start date and give them any pertinent information. Contact before the first day also reduces the chance the hire will accept a counter-offer and quit before even starting.
  3. HR doesn’t stay involved — HR pros are a new employee’s first point of contact with the company. They’re familiar with the person’s expectations and what motivated them to take the new job. So HR can provide a big retention boost by periodically checking in during a new hire’s first few months.
  4. Managers’ expectations are unreasonable — When a desirable candidate gives a knockout interview, it’s common for the hiring manager to expect a miracle as soon as the person arrives. But any employee, no matter how talented, needs time to adjust to a new environment, and managers  should temper their expectations accordingly. But note: The flip side can also be true: Some managers take too long to start trusting new employees, so the person is unproductive and feels disgruntled.
  5. The same is expected from every hire — Some people will get going more quickly than others and require different things from the boss. For example, some people learn best independently, while others need frequent check-ins. If a manager’s newest employee isn’t progressing as quickly as the last hire, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.
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  1. You might find this useful

  2. I believe that it is important for the potential employer to keep in mind that the interview needs to be a two way street. It seems that too often in this market the focus is more heavily weighted on whether the candidate fits the company rather than putting a structure in place that takes the process one step further by helping the candidate determine if the company is a good fit for them.

    Culture and values may seem less important to the candidate in the current job market but without a good fit, the company and the candidate will eventually go different directions. Teaching managers the art of successful interviewing is the beginning of reducing turnover, improving retention and increasing measureable results.

    It is easy to minimize the value of intelligent interviewing in a market where there are an avalanche of applicants, many qualified, for each and every current opening.

    Are some companies driving away new hires in this market?? Maybe not today, but many of them are practically handing their new hires the car keys for that trip when the weather improves.

  3. Richard Chellingsworth says:

    With regards to corporate culture: many companies try to fit the candidate to the job (and the company). But shouldn’t we rather be looking at fitting the job to the candidate? Only like that, will the employee stay motivated as the job evolves along with the employee.

  4. Sam,

    Well founded article. It then becomes a great concern to HR leaders to increase the value of the orientation programs, increase measurable components and for those programs without a 360 feedback in the short order…to implement.

  5. Wow how old is this article?! This may have been true 20 years ago but in 2009, people take whatever jobs they can find. They may quit their boss or company but mostly they take A job, any job until the right one comes along. Anyone that believes an employee will stay with a boss (or company) when a better offer comes along is dreaming.

    Company loyalty, like employee loyalty, is not only a 2 way street, it’s also a thing of the past.

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