Are we failing our new recruits?

As I write this article I think back to my first ever job in recruitment.

Induction – smuction! Are we setting our trainees up for a fall?

As I write this article I think back to my first ever job in recruitment ….. (insert dreamy music here….) Small boutique company with 20 staff, ruled by the iron fist of the Owner/Director whose idea of an induction was to take your chair away until you had billed your first Client …. Combined with copious amounts of yelling and hair pulling – his hair, not mine – during the first couple of months if you failed to do something that he had obviously explained in great detail using a process of either osmosis/telepathy/language only audible to dogs as I swear to this day I never heard him utter a word of coaching to me!


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I was expected to watch, listen, and learn – and fast! I did learn and I became very good at my job… But it took a long time, and I made a lot of mistakes. I eventually left that business, and the MD eventually lost all of his hair….

As my recruitment career progressed, and I moved onto pastures new, I was always met with the same ‘just sit down and get on with it’ style of induction – regardless of the Company.

Now hopefully many of you reading this will be aghast, shocked and appalled at my reminiscence… But I secretly wonder how many of you are sitting there wondering if your own induction (or lack of) is as effective as it needs to be to (a) Create high billing, happy, loyal recruiters and (b) generate true ROI for your business?

A few scary facts for you:

  • The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) estimates that 22% of new recruits leave Companies within their first six months as a direct result of little or no formal induction process.
  • According to ExpertHR 91% of HR professionals said that the induction is the most crucial stage of a new employee’s training.
  • 4 in 10 employers believe that their induction process needs a complete overhaul.

Our research has proven that Companies with a structured induction and development programme are not only generating better results from their new starters over a quicker period of time, but can also help to identify under performers at an earlier stage than those without an induction programme.

Here are our top tips to creating an effective and ‘easy to use’ induction programme for your Managers:

  1. Perform a full training needs analysis on each new member of staff (regardless of previous recruitment experience) and ensure that even the most seasoned of new consultants are still ‘washed through’ your induction programme – Do they know the right way and the Company way of doing things?
  2. Create a full training programme – This needs to include orientation checklists for their first day and beyond, Company manual, social media policy, and then in house learning such as administration, paperwork, Company systems (PC/phones/email etc) as well as a list of all of the recruitment related topics that need to be trained.
  3. Engage an expert, or delegate an experienced members of staff to each training topic – Train the Trainer courses are widely available to give your ‘trainers’ the skills that they need to get it right. Training and inducting should take up approx 20% of your Manager’s time – This will only happen if the programme is structured correctly and is a blend of classroom based training, at the desk coaching and measurement and review.
  4. Ensure that your Trainer is aware of all working processes – This will reduce the chances of a ‘learn from Aunt Sally’ situation where all new starters are trained differently with different processes and proformas.
  5. Decide what ‘minimum expectations’ you are looking for from your new starter. This will obviously depend on the new starter and their role, but typically you should be aiming for new starters to be achieving all targets set by end of Month 3 and have minimum expectations from Week1 in the business.
  6. Set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual targets – It is important that alongside their monthly KPI’s and their annual financial target, your consultants have daily and weekly targets to aim for.
  7. Review your induction after each new starter has completed it. Get feedback from everyone involved – Your programme will need to flex and adapt each time you use it in order to become the best that it can be.

Happy inducting!

Jo Gregory

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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