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Hire To Last

By Michael McDonnell on

Sometimes a great company hires a great candidate, but the relationship turns out to be…not so great. A seemingly good employer/employee fit doesn’t go the distance and a really talented new hire is let go before 90 days.

When this happens, the obvious question is, why? Every situation is different, but there is a hiring trend right now that seems to be a factor in some short-term engagements, namely— too much interviewing, not enough onboarding.

Companies are spending more time than ever interviewing potential hires. It’s fairly common for a candidate to meet with scores of people, prepare presentations, and wait months before hearing a decision. Extensive interviewing is a company’s choice, and there is nothing wrong with a vetted process. However, the amount of time and effort put into interviewing should be proportionate to the amount of time and effort put into onboarding. In a few examples we’ve seen, where an otherwise good hire doesn’t make it to 90 days, it seems like the interview process was robust and thorough, but once the candidate was hired, there was a bit of “What now?”

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to assist in alleviating this issue.

For the employer:

  1. Ensure that the onboard process is well considered. Are the first three weeks mapped out? Are expectations clear? Is training in place?
  2. Implement an open door policy for feedback and questions. Don’t wait a year to sit down.
  3. Introductions are in order. Don’t neglect what is often an overlooked step in hiring a new employee. Cultural fit and relationships are a big piece of settling into a new job. Helping your new hire get the lay of the land will help them to become comfortable in their new role.
  4. If you are working with a staffing firm, continue to tap into them after the job begins. It will help you stay on task. And if things appear to be unclear, the firm can assist in navigating through this period and confirming expectations between both parties. A staffing firm is just as invested as the client and the candidate. Nobody wants to see what should be a solid employer/employee relationship end in 88 days.

For the employee:

  1. Make sure you do your homework before you accept the job. Have you screened your new employer properly? Do you have a good read on your new manager and the company’s cultural? Getting a reference from someone who works or who has worked at the company is a smart idea.
  2. Take initiative and speak up. If you are unclear about your role and priorities, ask. Ensuring that the first 90 days go smoothly takes communication on the part of your employer and you.
  3. If you are working with a staffing agency, keep in touch. The hiring process doesn’t end after the interview, and a staffing firm is still a resource for you to ask questions and get advice within those critical first three months.

Recruiting is costly and time-consuming. Looking for a job is no walk in the park. Be sure that no one’s time and effort goes to waste by dedicating the appropriate level of attention to the first 90 days. It really does increase the likelihood of employers and employees enjoying long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.