Onboarding an experienced professional – or any employee, for that matter – is far too important to leave to chance. However, it takes more time and a greater investment to onboard a veteran than it does an entry-level worker.

  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has reported that the time to onboard an executive hire averages 26 weeks, compared to an average of 20 weeks for an entry-level employee.
  • Retention also poses a challenge. Half of executives quit their jobs or are fired within three years. Of these, as noted by Forbes, 40 percent fail within half that time: just 18 months

The transition period for an experienced professional is one of the most challenging times in their career. They need to contribute to company productivity and to the success of their direct reports, all while getting used to a new work environment and responsibilities. Yet, many such professionals continue to note that their companies have no formal processes to help them assimilate into their roles.

The Importance of a Well-Designed Program

A robust professional onboarding program directly impacts your company revenue and employee morale, as well as the new hire’s level of success.

  • Research has shown that 80 percent of new hires decide during the first six months whether or not they will stay with a company. One in four will leave during this time period, well before making any truly productive contributions.

Often, a company’s failure to invest the necessary time and resources in the transition process for experienced employees has a devastating long-term impact. The cost of turnover can range from 50 percent to 200 percent or more of an employee’s annual salary. Given the proper onboarding commitment, this financial hit can be avoided.

Your effective onboarding process should:

  • Clarify role expectations, both for the professional and for related stakeholders.
  • Clearly outline success criteria and parameters.
  • Identify early organizational wins.
  • Enhance an individual’s self-awareness and leadership style.
  • Drive understanding of company culture and align goals with organizational vision.
  • Develop relationships and coalitions across your company.

To achieve these objectives, you should begin the process even before a professional assumes their new role, and be open to continued refinement and improvement of the process.

Need assistance in designing your onboarding strategies and tailoring them to various jobs and organizational levels? Consider partnering with the workforce development experts at StaffMasters. We can not only help you source, hire and retain top talent, but also develop the processes you need to keep them on your team for the long term. Contact us today to learn more.


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