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Imagine investing a lot of time and money wooing and hiring a new job candidate only to see them leave their position within 45 days. According to a new study from the Human Capital Institute, the reality is 20% of new hires do exactly that.

But if you have an effective onboarding program in place, you can increase the odds your new employee will stay on the job and become proficient. Onboarding programs enable new hires to quickly and easily become proficient in their roles by learning the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to function in their new environment.

According to the 2016 Talent Pulse reports, organizations that invest in onboarding programs are twice as likely than those who don’t to reduce the time it takes to bring new hires to proficiency.

The neglected state of current programs

Talent Pulse found that the onboarding process at many companies is heavily weighted with administrative processes – versus focusing on people, culture, and performance.

• A combined 58% of organizations describe their onboarding programs as either formal or informal programs focused on paperwork and processes.
• Only 40% say onboarding is “effective” in retaining new hires.
• Just under half (47%) say onboarding “speeds up” time to proficiency for new hires.

Onboard the first year, not the first week

One best practice to improve onboarding: Create a formal plan to smooth the way for new hires throughout their first year (not just the first weeks and months) that includes continuous training, support and communication with managers. Also, it’s a good idea to work with business units to ensure new hires get the right training.

But how do you know in advance what kind of training new hires will need? Technology helps. For example, feedback from references can help. Using SkillSurvey’s Pre-Hire 360®, the automated reference-checking tool, you get the relevant information on the specific areas or soft skills to customize onboarding training.

With reference feedback on more than 20 specific behavioral competencies, and specific comments about a candidate’s strengths or areas where they could improve, hiring and training managers can see if there are specific areas to focus onboarding that would be most relevant to a candidate’s success.

Learn more best practices to improve onboarding. Read the full Talent Pulse report sponsored by SkillSurvey: Onboarding Outcomes: Fulfill New Hire Expectations.

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