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Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey: 90 Percent of Executives Say New Hire Retention an Issue


Nearly all (90 percent) of executives polled in a recent survey say that retention of new hires is an issue in their organisation. In the survey, conducted by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the majority of executives also say that between 10 percent to 25 percent of new hires leave within the first 6 months. The top reason new recruits leave, according to the survey, is their role is different from what they expected it would be during the hiring process.

“With low unemployment rates and increased need for specialised talent, keeping new hires is a critical issue,” said Bill Gilbert, President, North America, Korn Ferry Futurestep. “It’s incumbent upon recruiters and hiring managers to paint a clear picture of what will be expected of the candidate in his or her new role, and make sure promises of resources, job structure and reporting relationships are fulfilled.”

Nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of respondents say new hires leave because they don’t like the company’s culture.

“Especially for millennials, company culture is key to job satisfaction and companies must ensure they are correctly portraying the culture during the recruiting and onboarding processes,” said Jonathan Brown, Managing Director, Talent Acquisition Solutions EMEA at Futurestep.

Nearly all the respondents (98 percent) say onboarding programmes are a key factor in retention efforts, and 69 percent say they have formal onboarding programmes for all employees. However, nearly a quarter (23 percent) says the programmes last only one day, and approximately one-third (30 percent) say they only last a week.

“Onboarding must be about more than just the basic administrative processes such as entering time, submitting paperwork and logging onto the intranet,” said Gilbert. “It should be an in-depth process that introduces the new hire to company culture, vision and strategic priorities, and should also help new hires understand available development opportunities to help them succeed in the organisation.”

Nearly half (42 percent) of respondents say they use data collected during the recruiting process, such as candidate assessments, to help with onboarding once the candidate is hired.

“Many of today’s assessments provide a treasure trove of information about the candidates, such as their competencies, traits, drivers and experiences,” said Brown. “Based on the individual’s specific opportunities for improvement, Futurestep’s offering provides clients with customized development and onboarding plans for new hires.”

The survey also found that less than one-third of respondents (29 percent) say their company surveys new hires about the recruiting experience. Of those who do conduct surveys, more than half (52 percent) say they look at results on a regular basis to formulate/adjust hiring practices; 20 percent review results to help with retention strategies; and 10 percent use the data to trouble shoot when issues arise. Nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of respondents say they don’t do anything with the data, even though they collect it.

“Candidates are the best source for insight into the recruiting process,” said Brown. “Asking them how to make the experience better is an easy, direct way to enhance the ways companies source and attract the best and the brightest.”

Finally, when asked about mentorship programmes for new hires, 98 percent of respondents said such programmes would help new hires acclimate to their new environment. However, nearly half (47 percent) do not have a formal mentor programme.

“Mentor programmes are not only beneficial for new hires to learn about an organisation, they also benefit existing employees by helping them understand the viewpoints and experiences of those new to the company. This allows them to have different insights and encourages them to become more agile as they go about their jobs,” said Gilbert.