Management consultants Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen, studied the hiring practices and staff retention rates at Fortune 500 companies and authored the book, Successful Onboarding, in which some startling observations were made about hiring:
- Almost a third of employees employed in their current job for less than 6 months are already job searching
- Almost a third of executives who join organizations as an external hire miss expectations in the first 2 years
- With 10% to 15% annual attrition, companies turn over upwards of 60% of their entire talent base within 4 years
The authors argue (and we agree) that effective on-boarding programs achieve the following benefits:
- reduce new hire time-to-productivity
- improve overall level of productivity
- increase satisfaction levels of peers and managers
- raise staff retention rates
- transfer corporate knowledge from legacy staff to new hires
- improve reputation as an employer of choice by top candidates
That’s a pretty impressive list of benefits and yet in many companies we see, if there are on-boarding programs at all, they centrally driven by HR with limited involvement and or accountability associated with business units and departments, which in effect means that on-boarding is not a strategic priority. Furthermore, the programs are often one-size-fits-all programs, with a very short term-focus.
This raises some important questions about sales force development and the return on sales recruiting investment in many companies:
- Does your organization have the buy-in for on-boarding programs at both the executive and department level?
- Can your organization afford to lose 1/3 of the sales hires that required considerable effort and expense to recruit in the first place?
- Can your sales department absorb that kind of turnover and still meet its goals?
- Can you afford sales production from new reps to be less than optimal?
- Can you afford new reps to hit their stride later than they otherwise could with proper on-boarding?
Important questions indeed.
Find Peak’s prescription for an effective new sales hire on-boarding program here: The First 90 Days – Your Guide to Making New Sales Hires Produce Fast
Click here to read more about Stein and Christiansen’s book: Successful Onboarding
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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