From Recruiting to Onboarding
The importance of quality new hire work flows
By Paula Bradison

ith more than 100 million employees in the American workforce, we have a melting pot of generations working amongst teams or actively seeking employment. We find ourselves caught in a paradox; torn between change resistant dynamics of honoring the legacy of a company or accepting advancement in management philosophy. Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z dynamic organizations are challenged with engaging a work force including multiple generations in the workplace. Complicating matters, according to Gallup (2017), only 18 percent feel their work is important based on the mission and purpose communicated by their employers. Furthermore, in 2016 the average annual organizational turnover rate in the United States workforce was roughly 18 percent. It is estimated that all other generational turnover aside, Millennials, who report the lowest rate of engagement, cost the US economy roughly $30.5 billion annually (Gallup 2017). Millennials (ages 23-28) make up roughly half of the work force and when combined with a tightening labor market, it is vital to recruit, hire, manage, communicate, and develop employees in a way that addresses turnover and a lack of purpose.

Changing Dynamics
With such transparency, employees no longer approach employment based on pay and benefits. Rather, employees from multiple generations are seeking employment with a consumer’s approach. This is evident in the competition for skilled and talented workers. Candidates of all generations have access to technological information available about company brand, purpose, culture, and development opportunities and they are doing their homework. Suddenly a company’s website, employee reviews, community outreach, and brand management all become part of the recruitment process.

Employees of all generations are seeking an experience and a brand they can commit to. There is no question that pay and benefits remain relevant, but they are no longer the basis for all employment decisions. This dynamic demands companies attend to their reputation, culture, and talent at hand. At a time that online recruitment has become cost effective, trends show an uptick in the use of marketing and recruitment firms to identify and secure the best resumes. Employees are seeking a workplace that provides a quality work experience from beginning to end. For this reason, research from Gallup’s 2017 Report State of the American Workforce captures the dynamic best: “Employees make judgments and from options about their organization every single day-from the first day” (Gallup 2017)

Employee Life Cycle
Most onboarding and orientation processes are combined into a few-days process that focuses primarily on getting the person in the position as fast as possible and making sure that person is as productive as possible, as quickly as possible. Small to midsize firms typically depend largely on a “sink or swim” process of training or on the job training shadowing another employee with a fulltime job or leaving the position for which they are training. All things considered, when hiring or addressing turnover, there is a bottom line that needs to be met. What we find is that we have managers reluctant to compromise investment to set aside limited resources in order to address the actual problem. Research suggests that a company’s bottom line cannot afford not to invest in an employee life cycle from the get-go.

In reality, employees develop opinions of trust and commitment to an employer from their very first interactions. Consistency between recruitment, training, and onboarding with vision and purpose are key to advancing a lasting and productive relationship. Whether acknowledged or not, the employee life cycle encapsulates the most significant and influential interactions between employee and employer, and can be understood in seven distinct stages.

Attract, Hire, Onboard, Engage, Perform, Develop, and Depart
Each stage requires deliberate attention and investment to the employee’s role, the manager’s relationship to the employee, the team dynamic, the available workspace, and the well-being of the individual-Keeping in mind that the engagement, performance, and development of each employee is the goal of each stage and the cycle as a whole. Performance reviews no longer address the needs of employer or employee. Constant commitment to the coaching and development of an employee lowers turnover and significantly increases productivity. Not only does attention to an employee life cycle improve the bottom line, it offers structure and consistency between hiring and departing of employment. The employee life cycle is an integral piece of fostering a brand and culture that can be trusted and invested in before, during, and after employee tenure. Based on a development focus, attention to the employee life cycle attracts top talent and facilitates improvement of both the individual and the organization as a whole.
Paula Bradison is CEO and Managing Director of Alaska Executive Search. She can be reached at or 907-276-5707.
Paula Bradison is CEO and Managing Director of Alaska Executive Search
HR Matters is sponsored content.
Alaska Executive Search
Alaska Executive Search
HR Matters is sponsored content.