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The Human Capital Quandary

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 14/03/2016 Jose Costa
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Imagine an aspect of your business model, be it a product, material, or piece of the supply chain so directly correlated with your success that without it, you are virtually assured of failure. Now, imagine a fresh load of that product being left in your lobby to languish and atrophy, ignored and underutilized.
This is the danger whenever we fail to properly onboard new talent on our teams, and it happens every day.
What candidates learn about you in the first week interacting with your brand can impact their perception and their job performance for the long haul. You must foster and cultivate these investments during this critical time.
And they absolutely represent investments, both in time and money. Between the cost of recruiting, training, integration, technological support, physical space, salary, benefits and perks, the average employee represents thousands of dollars in sunk costs before the end of their first month. Staffing.org reports that we spend between $2,209 and $11,209 to get a new employee up and running.
A Harvard Business Review survey of 610 CEOs estimates that these "investments" don't reach their break-even point until 6.2 months into their tenure. Ask yourself: After half a year with your company, has the bloom come off the rose for your employees? If so, then what was the point? And more importantly, what did you do wrong?
The right people literally make or break companies. They should be welcomed with open arms and guided expertly through their interview, vetting and orientation, not tossed off like hot potatoes from one person to the next who drew a short straw on that day.
The process--and its associated challenges--starts at the very beginning of the first interview. For some reason, it has become accepted practice to keep interviewees waiting, cancel or reschedule at the last minute, rush through the conversation, and then fail to communicate in the subsequent days and weeks.
Some might say the challenges of running day-to-day business necessarily distract from tasks that are not as pressing, to which I counter: What is more pressing than your brand's future? The person walking out your front door after experiencing a subpar interview likely feels as though they are at the very bottom of your priorities. If they were promising enough to warrant an interview from you, they will probably have other interest and offers.
Once hired, these resources must be integrated into the existing corporate culture. At some point, it became the sole job of human resources to shepherd new team members through their first frenetic days. This thinking is wrongheaded. HR has a crucial role to play, but the onboarding of new team members is a responsibility we all share. I've seen organizations where HR is solely responsible for all things pertaining to new hires, and other smaller organizations where new hire first days are completely forgotten or neglected, left to fend for themselves and "figure it out."
It is of paramount importance that we carve out ample time in our days for interviews, talent assessment, training and development. This rule goes double for leadership, and triple for those in the C-Suite. With this strategy, we can winnow away at that 6.2-month break-even term.
Look around your office. Are you satisfied with the present state of your organization? If you want to grow and improve, you will need to hire, and hire well.
What is your turnover rate telling you about your culture? It is possible that if you trace back the genesis of what made a new hire become an ex-employee, you'll find the root of the problem began their first day.
They showed up to the interview because they want to help your brand grow into the future. Do your part by helping them do it.

Some best practices for onboarding:
1.Share a comprehensive Brand Packet with the new hire upon their acceptance of the offer. This should include information about the brand's values and history, as well as legal paperwork. There is no reason to waste time on the valuable first day filling out paperwork.
2.As a member of the leadership team, reach out and congratulate the new hire yourself. Don't just leave it to HR.
3.Plan a comprehensive schedule for the first three days, including one-on-one time with leadership and lunch with colleagues.
4.Ask IT to pre-load the new hire's hardware with all necessary software. A designer shouldn't waste time having to install a Photoshop license, for instance.
5.Send this schedule to the candidate two days before their start date.
6.Send a team-wide email the day before letting everyone know the new hire is starting.

7.Inform security and parking attendants about the new hire. No time should be wasted waiting in lobbies or lots for someone to come down and meet them.
8.Schedule face-time on Friday to review how well acquainted the new hire is becoming with the brand. Do this at the end of their first month, and at the end of their third month.

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