Execs concerned about how they'll hang onto workers, as majority say at least one in ten of their new staff leaves within six months

Hayley Kirton
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Execs believe a good onboarding programme is important, but around a third do not have a formal scheme for all staff (Source: Getty)

Nine out of ten executives are wringing their hands coming up with solutions to hang onto their new hires, as a survey out today also revealed the majority have at least one in 10 staff members quit within six months.

Of the 1,817 execs quizzed in a global survey by Korn Ferry, 90 per cent believed the retention of new hires was an issue for their business, with 54 per cent saying it was a problem which affected them to a great extent.

Meanwhile, more than half (52 per cent) said between a tenth and a quarter of their new hires handed in their notice within half a year of joining. A further 12 per cent said between a quarter and half of their new staff had said their goodbyes within six months, while 1 per cent said more than half of their staff quit before their half-year anniversary with the firm.

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The most common reason for leaving given was that the job didn't meet the expectations laid down in the hiring process, cited by over a third (39 per cent) of those surveyed. Meanwhile, just under one in five (19 per cent) were told their ex-hire was unhappy with the company culture.

Around a sixth (15 per cent) were told their departing staff just didn't see any room for advancement in their role, and the same proportion were told their soon-to-be-former employee was less than impressed with their boss.

Top reasons cited for employees leaving

"The job wasn't what I expected from the interview": 39%

"I don't like the company culture": 19%

"I don't see any path for advancement": 15%

"I don't like my boss": 15%

"The company isn't what I was expecting from the hiring process": 12%

"With low unemployment rates and increased need for specialised talent, keeping new hires is a critical issue," said Bill Gilbert, president, north America at Korn Ferry Futurestep. "It's incumbent upon recruiters and hiring managers to paint a clear picture of what will be expected of the candidate in his or her new role, and make sure promises of resources, job structure and reporting relationships are fulfilled."

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Of those surveyed, nearly all (98 per cent) said a good onboarding process could mean the difference between somebody staying for the long haul and packing it in during their probation period.

However, only two-thirds (69 per cent) said they had a formal onboarding programme for all their employees and only a quarter (28 per cent) had a scheme which lasted longer than a month.

“Onboarding must be about more than just the basic administrative processes such as entering time, submitting paperwork and logging onto the intranet,” said Gilbert. "It should be an in-depth process that introduces the new hire to company culture, vision and strategic priorities, and should also help new hires understand available development opportunities to help them succeed in the organisation."

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