Growing companies face one pesky obstacle in their path to changing the world: that whole “growing” part. Marketing organizations understand that recruiting, onboarding and training talent is a lengthy, costly ordeal. A select few go all-in on a process that guarantees employee happiness and retention, but far too many fail to develop an effective system and end up hemorrhaging time and money playing catch-up.
Each new hire requires approximately six months worth of initial training to get up to speed. The problem in today’s fast-paced workforce is that many employees aren’t even making it to the six month mark before at least considering switching to a new gig. Much like a newborn baby requires delicate care in its first year to stay healthy, new employees need your guidance and support in order to feel knowledgeable and appreciated. Without a proper hiring program, they’ll waddle away to a new crib.
Here are three reasons your hiring program might be costing you money and talent.
1. You aren’t hiring for the right gap
The gig economy has fundamentally flipped the way companies go about scouting and hiring talent, and that’s not a good thing. With 16 percent of today’s workforce comprised of freelancers and short-termers, it seems as if time, and not skill, is the primary gap organizations are looking to fill. Companies aren’t looking for lifers, or people who can grow from within and align with an overall mission; they’re looking for projects to get done on a tight timeline and are turning to mostly young people who are happy to hop from place to place if it means never having to work a traditional 9-to-5.
Knowing the type of person you want to hire is tantamount to getting the most out of your recruiting and onboarding process. It takes an average of three days to onboard a freelancer, so are you willing to repeat that process over and over again as you cycle through contract workers? Even if it takes a little longer to find the perfect fit, you’ll benefit from having an idea of what an ideal hire looks like, then conducting your interviews with those attributes in mind. Hire based on long-term fit, not short term need and you’ll fill your staff with more committed people who understand your vision.
It takes an average of three days to onboard a freelancer, so are you willing to repeat that process over and over again as you cycle through contract workers?
2. Your poor onboarding is contributing to marketing’s turnover problem
From entry-level talent to CMOs, marketing professionals just aren’t sticking around at the same company like they used to. By one estimate, in-house marketers are spending just over three-and-a-half years at one job, meaning that company rosters are in a near-constant state of flux. "The grass is always greener" is a cliche saying for a reason. It's true. And millennials are impatient. Rarely does an employee want to stay and MAKE their job the career they want, it seems easier and faster to just go find that existing holy grail. Further, the stigma of being a serial job-hopper isn’t nearly as strong as it once was. All that said, companies and marketing managers are part of the problem.
It starts at the very beginning. Companies aren't setting new hires up for success, and in many cases putting them behind the eight-ball from the get-go thanks to insufficient or non-existent onboarding programs. A whopping 35% of companies have zero onboarding budget, and yet throw millions of dollars away replacing employees who have moved on. Paperwork, recruiting costs, productivity lost from having to cover absences and then train new hires - all of these add upand far outweigh the cost of a good onboarding program that can help employees stay longer.
People are more likely to quit a job when they’re unsure what their role is, when they don’t feel encouraged to speak up or contribute ideas, and when they don’t feel like management values them as individuals. These are all company culture issues, and an onboarding program that answers all their concerns and - this is key - allows for frequent check-ins and on-the-job learning well into their tenure will help employees stay engaged for longer.
It’s more cost effective to train on-the-job, and it makes employees feel empowered, like their employer believes in them and is investing in their future.
3. You’ve failed to create a culture of continuous learning
Employees should be encouraged to grow into their roles in a rapidly evolving industry, which means they need to learn all the ways the world is changing. Conferences and online courses are a good start, but often even they lack the most up-to-date information.
Talent is something to be valued, for sure. But it’s also something that needs to be nourished, and companies that fail to provide consistent, RELEVANT professional development opportunities to their talented employees will always find themselves needing to find replacements. It makes sense - what worked five years ago doesn’t work as effectively today - but that’s no reason why the people you have currently on staff can’t fulfill those roles. It’s more cost effective to train on-the-job, and it makes employees feel empowered, like their employer believes in them and is investing in their future.
Employee development is too important to ignore. Yes, your company and your employees are always busy. That’s not a valid excuse. Pulling people out of their comfort zones is the only way to guarantee growth. You would much rather find out what your people are made of and have them rise to the challenge of learning something new than watch them languish and fall behind before growing resentful and quitting. If you’ve hired the right people who fit what your company is all about, they’ll be excited to take the next step in their careers with you.