Employers have 44 days on average to “make or break” a new hire, and first impressions make a lasting impression, according to a Sept. 20 report from BambooHR, a cloud-based human resources platform.
About 44% of new employees say they have regrets or second thoughts about their new job within the first week, and 23% cried during their first week, according to the report.
“These findings show that recruiting top talent doesn’t end with an offer letter,” Anita Grantham, head of HR at BambooHR, said in a statement.
Seventy percent of new hires said they decide if a new job is the right fit for them within the first month, and 29% know within the first week, according to the results of the survey of 1,565 full-time U.S. employees and 500 HR professionals.
Onboarding and personal relationships play a key role in making a good impression. New hires said they value workplace friendships more than meeting the CEO, with 87% hoping to make a friend at work and 93% wanting to shadow a colleague.
During onboarding, employees’ top frustrations are a lack of clarity about who can answer questions (65%), inadequate training on company products and services (62%) and technology issues (51%).
“Smart organizations know that onboarding is actually ‘hiring phase two’ and is much more than a welcome email and a tech checklist,” Grantham said. “Those critical first 44 days need to create new hire confidence by continuing to advocate for the company’s mission and values, the importance of the role they fill and the plans for growth and success a new employee can anticipate.”
In fact, good onboarding can reduce new hire resentment as well, according to recent research from Talent Board. A positive experience — and lower resentment — could influence whether new hires refer colleagues and friends, become brand advocates and purchase or recommend the company’s products and services.
Creating a “buddy system” to pair new hires with experienced employees can make the onboarding experience stronger, according to a McLean & Co. report. The tenured employee can personalize the onboarding experience, serve as a contact person and provide advice about team processes or organizational culture.
A good onboarding experience can boost overall employee experience as well. Job-specific training from the beginning, welcome videos from team members and courses on company fundamentals can help new hires feel connected, empowered and confident about where to find the resources they need to do their jobs well.