Why it pays to invest in onboarding

Jul 20, 2023 | Development, Home Featured, Opinion

Onboarding is more than the start of a new hire’s development, it has become an inextricable element of a competitive attraction and recruitment strategy, explains Kerry McElroy, senior consultant at  Gradconsult.

Onboarding is now something that all ISE members are investing in. With over 70% including preboarding activities such as meetings with managers, virtual development sessions and social events. This starts way before day one for most.

We discussed how onboarding has become an inextricable element of a competitive attraction and recruitment strategy at this year’s ISE Student Recruitment Conference. Here are three reasons why it pays to invest in onboarding.

 

1. Increasing renege rate

In 2022 we have seen a significant increase in renege rates at the graduate level, with industry average now sitting at 12%, according to ISE’s 2022 Recruitment Survey.

One obvious reason for this is that demand for graduates is far outstripping supply, meaning the ball is very much in the court of the graduates – and they know it!

In Bright Network’s latest survey, 88% of students and graduates say they would renege on an offer if they were made a more exciting offer, offered a better salary or, even experience a more efficient recruitment process.

This is supported by data from Gradconsult’s ongoing research project in collaboration with Gradfuel, which has been capturing the thoughts of women across social platforms that are well used by students and graduates.

This is supported by data from Gradconsult’s ongoing research project in collaboration with Gradfuel, which has been capturing the thoughts of women across social platforms that are well used by students and graduates. According to this survey, 56% of women who would ‘ghost’ an employer would do so due to a lengthy recruitment process. You can register for updates on this research project.

Given this trend, the need for an onboarding process which engages new hires and engenders loyalty from the point of offer is clear.

Post start-date, onboarding should focus on making graduates feel embedded into company culture and integral to the function of their teams as early as the first weeks and months.

 

2. New generation, new attitudes

The level of competition for graduates is more of a concern when we consider it against the backdrop of recent data around Gen Z attitudes towards their roles and employers.

Prospects Luminate Early Careers Survey 2023 shows that one third of 2022 graduates are planning to leave their current employer this year, with the most common reason being to advance their career.

Career progression and development opportunities are also the top priorities for jobseekers.

This is data is supported by Gradconsult and Gradfuel’s research, where 32% of respondents said they would accept role paying a lower salary if it had better prospects and development.

This data from multiple sources clearly shows that investment in training and clearly mapped out career paths is the key to retaining your current graduates and could well be the most important elements of your 2024 attraction strategy.

 

3. Bigger transition than ever from education to employment

At the most basic level, onboarding is the process of supporting new employees through a period of transition. It is nothing new that the transition from education to employment is one of the most significant events we have to navigate in our working life.

However, given the disrupted educational and not to mention social experience of the most recent class of school and university leavers, this transition is tougher than ever, with data suggesting that 45% of students and graduates do not feel prepared to enter the world of work.

With our clients, we are working to ease this transition into the workplace via delivery of sessions such as learning agility, growth mindset and effective communication skills. By including support around these areas as part of the induction process, clients are observing new hires demonstrating greater self-awareness, ability to work independently and contribution to team discussion.

 

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