inPERSPECTIVE / STAFFING: Hiring Practice Is Broken: Time to Adjust


Times have changed, and no longer do new hires stay in entry-level jobs for as long as they did in the past. Management tends to blame the younger generation but instead needs to look in the mirror and own some of the responsibility. This is not a one-sided issue. Hiring professionals need to understand how they are contributing to this issue and realize that today’s generation of workers has changed. It’s time to take a deeper look and figure out what can be done to make hiring more effective.

It has been reported that “up to 20% of turnover takes place in the first 45 days,” said Michelle Smith, vice president of Marketing for O.C. Tanner. This is the most crucial time for both the employer and employee to gain trust and certainty of one another. When we dig deeper into the first 90 days, we see that many companies are losing as many as 50% of new hires. This can be both the employer thinking they made a mistake and the new hire realizing they are not happy, so they quit. 

Let’s uncover why this is happening from the employer’s perspective. Many employees do not have a “structured on-boarding” beyond basic orientation. Some organizations throw new hires in the deep end and just expect them to succeed. Those who bring on new staff need a more thought-out plan. 

With the significant investment of time and energy in the hiring process, we can’t help but be disappointed in not finding more success with new hires. Why is it so hard to find good people? It really comes down to fit. 

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Does the candidate have all the requirements for success at this position as it was posted? If so, then there is a better chance of success. Things become more challenging when the candidate pool is not as robust. Employers can be tempted to drop their standards and fill the job with someone who is not truly qualified, simply because there is a need and they have been without someone in that role. A better solution would be either rewriting the posting or reposting the position later, with the hope of attracting a stronger applicant pool. 

What does the organization need to move forward, and does the administration support it? The candidate needs to possess the required job skills necessary and be able to adapt to those who are already in the workplace. 

New hires are adapting, adjusting and learning the current system. They should not be left alone to figure things out for themselves. Proper onboarding is especially important when you understand that the costs of employee turnover are estimated to range between 100% and 300% of the replaced employee’s salary.

What should happen when onboarding a new hire? There should be a methodical approach in the first 90 days. This means many touch points so the employer can verify that the new employee is settling in well, and that they have the resources to help the new hire be successful. These should include: 

  1. Understanding the basic policies and procedures.
  2. Comprehending the job and related expectations.
  3. Gaining a sense of the formal and informal organizational norms.
  4. Building a connection by establishing relationships and networks.
  5. Visioning for the future, if you want to keep this hire.

New hires need to know what this position can lead to; if not, they will get bored and may leave on their own. To retain

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 employees, we need to understand the hire’s motivations. Today’s generation wants flexible work arrangements, travel opportunities, training and education, meaningful work and a vision for personal growth. The goal is to develop professionals and create a nurturing environment. When the right amount of attention is devoted to a new hire, an employer has a better chance of retaining their new employee. 

In summary, the employer needs to stay engaged after they hire a new employee. No longer can they just let the new hire figure it all out on their own. They need many touch points so the employee’s questions can be answered. It is imperative that the employer has thoughts toward the new hire’s future. We should want to see this person grow under guidance. Just letting the new hire know that you care about their success can go a long way in keeping your people on your team.     RM

Peter J. Titlebaum, Ed.D., is a professor in the School of Education and Health Sciences: Health and Sport Science at the University of Dayton. Emily Lander is pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Marketing and Sports Leadership.


Dr. Peter Titlebaum
Emily Lander | Author