From hiring to retiring: retaining talent starts with how you welcome staff onboard
Organisations need new HR tools to meet the challenge of retaining staff and shaping employee relationships
Employees want to feel that they are impactful in their workplace. Photograph: iStock
Up to 60 per cent of job seekers report a poor candidate experience when applying for roles. In fact, recent research from Microsoft revealed that up to 20 per cent of employees will leave their new job within 90 days because of a poor “onboarding experience” – the process of integrating a new employee into an organisation.
Human Resource professionals are under ever increasing pressure to maximise talent and ensure they are prospecting, recruiting and retaining the best people. Last year, Microsoft’s Irish research showed that there is a war for talented digitally savvy staff to help organisations digitally transform. The pressure to find, attract and retain the right people with the right skills has never been greater.
“These statistics are among the reasons we set about creating new HR management tools for our customers and ourselves,” says Microsoft Dynamics business group lead, David Riordan. “On the one hand, organisations had very sophisticated tools to manage their customer relationships but there really wasn’t anything to assist them with key aspects of their employee relationships.”
Organisations now expect a lot more from HR departments, according to Riordan. “They want them to align with the overall strategy and play a bigger role in the digital transformation journey. Employees are also expecting a lot more. They want a better work life balance and expect continuing professional development. They want to feel that they are impactful in their workplace.”
“The reasons for jobseekers having a poor candidate experience vary but they usually boil down to poor communications with the hiring organisation and difficulties with the interview process,” says Riordan. “With new talent management tools, candidates can set up interviews, manage the job offer if they receive one, and have access to a portal where they can check to see how their application is progressing. Once they have been hired they can also learn about their new colleagues before they start.”
Employees who leave within three months of starting a job usually do so for quite simple reasons, Riordan continues. “It can come down to something like not having a laptop ready for them when they start, not having passwords for networks and so on, or not having mentors within the organisation to guide them. There are new solutions that ensure these things are done and nothing is left to chance.”
“But technology has moved much further than simply providing checklists for interviewing and onboarding candidates. Now you have complete hire to retire solutions,” Riordan explains.
“For example, Chemonics is an international development company that we have worked with. They have the challenge of attracting and onboarding people across 80 field offices around the globe. Once recruited, it is essential that they can match the skills and expertise of their global talent with the right projects worldwide. Moving to a cloud-based HR tool has provided them with a standardised means of identifying candidates, managing hiring processes, efficiently bringing candidates into the organisation, and effectively deploying that talent. Having an integrated solution means their human capital management processes aren’t isolated from the rest of their business.”
Organisations can now identify the right candidates from the very beginning of the process. “In addition, LinkedIn integration helps the hiring manager understand more about the candidates. The integration with Office365 helps with scheduling interviews, while applications like Skype allow for interviews to be conducted online. The whole interview experience is greatly enhanced, both for the candidate and the organisation.”
Learning and development is key to employee retention. “Our research shows that one-in-two employees surveyed are actively on the lookout for a new role or would be open to one if it were offered. This can be tackled by giving employees a continuous learning experience and ensuring they can avail of opportunities within the organisation as and when they arise. Additionally, personalised learning management plans that match with employee needs are simple to deploy - if people know they are learning and moving forward all the time they are much more likely to stay.”
“The hiring and talent needs of organisations can vary significantly,” Riordan notes. “Take the medical sector, for example. It can take 10 or 15 years before a surgeon is fully trained and hospitals have to take a very long-term view of recruitment and retention. The hospitality sector, on the other hand, works to much shorter timeframes yet they both share a need to attract skills when they need them and to retain key people. The right tools can help both these types of organisations, as well as those on all points of the spectrum in between, to address their key talent needs.”