HR processes are usually seen by entrepreneurs as something that they are planning to consider when their company is successful, and they have a big budget to spent in “HR issues”. In this article I would like to show how investing 30 minutes to think about what to do better when you hire a new person could drastically reduce your costs.
When I first started my career I joined, as a HR advisor, a company in London, that had a call centre, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Some people had been working there for 30 years and the younger ones usually lasted 3 to 4 months. They had several issues, but the biggest problem was filling those roles every time someone left. Specially on the night shift. Let’s just say that the company was not based in the nicest part of the city.
How did an onboarding process make my life easier?
From my point of view, the employee onboarding process starts in the recruitment. And that is exactly what I did. I changed the recruitment process and converted it in a whole new experience. It was fun, and they learned a lot about how we worked and what we did through their experience applying to the role.
By the end of it, those who were not that interested, have withdrawn their applications. The rest of them, knew exactly what they were facing. Not that it was horrible, but they knew already the story of the company and the kind of problems they would face in the role, which was a great help.
Obviously, we also changed the official onboarding process and included some training and meetings with the rest of the team that were not there before. However, the new employees arrived at their first days with a lot of knowledge about us. Their colleagues were impressed, and we raised the expectations a little bit. Everyone knew the new ones were strong professionals in their job and could not sabotage them to retain their political power.
How did this exactly save money to the company?
We saved money on the following points and we did not spend anything (money wise) in improving the recruitment.
Reducing recruitment costs:
They had been using a recruitment agency that was charging them a 12% of each employee’s first year salary, and that was a good deal. Just by doing that, we reduced the need of recruitment as the retention rate increased drastically, especially in the complicated shifts as we made an effort to emphasize the bad aspects of the role. Those who came in, stayed in for a long time.
Increasing your audience and brand awareness:
A good onboarding process can not only improve your employer branding, but is also the first contact of your company with a new potential customer, or “influencer” who will talk to their family and friends about their first week at the new role, or their recruitment process at this amazing company that does X, Y and Z… I understand that this is not measurable but check on Glassdoor the comments on the recruitment process for your competitors.
Are they good? Will candidates speak well about you? why are you investing so much money in marketing and poorly treating the people that are trying to work with you?
When planning the recruitment and onboarding process, please make sure you have a clear speech on what to say about your company. It must be attractive. They need to end the conversation eager to be one of your customers. Then, and only then, they will be a dedicated employee. There you go, you have saved money in marketing and recruitment.
One small tip: If you have worked properly on the recruitment process and the onboarding, add them to your LinkedIn account (only if you have treated them well) and you will have a real brand promoter.
Planning the perfect onboarding process doesn’t take that long, you can always record it as a process in order to make it automatic for your future hirings, and it really pays off.
Author: Mercedes García
Mercedes García is a HR consultant with extensive experience in working with small and medium company owners, helping them to make their companies more efficient. She is also the editor of the blog hr4smes.com where you can find HR advise for SME owners and the knowledge of a HR director.