SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal

Why you can’t afford not having Onboarding in your hiring success strategy

Winning the war for top talent requires you to close the best talent quickly, ahead of your competition. However, the economy has created a perfect storm for employers, making this harder than ever. According to the U.S. Labor Department’s recently published Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, September job openings rounded out the month at 5.5 million, after reaching a high of 5.7 million in July.

Employers have to come to terms that we are in the midst of a candidate-driven market.  Candidates and your active employees (GASP!) have options now.  We are seeing a market flooded with free agents.  Employees don’t have to stay put, as they have options.

In evaluating your hiring success strategy, if you haven’t considered a formal Onboarding program now is the time.  Your hiring team is firing on all cylinders by proactively sourcing the best talent, and collaborating together to close the right fit for the position and organization quickly. Don’t let this intensity die out after the candidate is hired.  Although these new employees have bought into your company story and the vision sold to them of how they can bring value to your customers and business, these new employees are still at risk.  Competitors are still lurking.   New employees are in a fragile state and require a formal strategy to connect them relationally to the people and the work, as well as enable them to achieve full productivity as soon as possible.

The Impact Instruction Group found that nearly 33% of new hires look for a job within their first six months on the job. What?! This means that although your hiring team has been scouring every corner to find the most qualified talent, a whopping 1/3 of the talent hired is already looking for another opportunity.  To make matters worse, according to a recent Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, 23% of new hires turnover before their first anniversary.

Turnover is beyond costly to an organization. Kim E. Ruyle, PhD, and member of SHRM’s HR Disciplines Special Expertise Panel, estimates organizational costs of employee turnover range between 100% and 300% of the replaced employee’s salary.  Protect your recruitment investment.  Retention is cheaper than replacement!  It’s time our hiring success strategies proactively include a focus on retention the minute we have a candidate formally accept an offer.  Onboarding technology makes this strategic goal a reality, besides creating a consistent process for new hires and reducing administrative overhead and manual effort.  Learn more with the Ultimate Guide to Onboarding.  

SmartRecruiters marketplace partner, SilkRoad, works with customers every day to develop their unique strategic onboarding process to Roll out the RedCarpet® experience to employees. A strategic onboarding roadmap begins prior to the employee starting on day one and extends beyond the employee’s first year.  Consider these SilkRoad employee onboarding best practices:

  • Prior to Day 1: With Onboarding remind new hires of why they said yes to come work for you, including highlighting what makes your brand special: your people!  With personalized communication expose the new hire to their team, your mission, employees living out organizational values, and how you will be setting them up for success through an onboarding plan to get started over the next year.  Increase productivity by providing the necessary new hire forms electronically for completion before they arrive onsite. Eliminate the nerves of where do I go, who do I meet with by lining this out prior to day one!
  • Day 1: Announce the new hire’s arrival to their peers in a notification.  Use day 1 as an opportunity to highlight your culture.  Host a peer lunch, introduce them to the facilities, and begin immediately exposing them to the value they can bring the organization with their position.  Reiterate how you will be investing in their professional and personal growth by reviewing the onboarding plan with them.  Since all the new hire paperwork has already been addressed, use this opportunity to speed time to productivity by exposing them to the details of their job.
  • Week 1:  Introduce your new hire to a buddy or mentoring program.  Lay clear expectations for performance and job scope, and schedule time to meet and discuss any questions.  Ensure the employee has access to all needed internal tools to do their job successfully.
  • First 30-90 Days: Survey the new hire about their experience, provide q&a time, and create opportunities for job shadowing that expose the new hire to customer experiences, as well as cross-departmental experiences.
  • First Year: Stay connected with continuous feedback both informally and formally.  Recognize and applaud employee achievements.  Onboarding makes it easy to encourage self-directed learning activities and introduce formal learning and development plans. Keep the personal relationships front in center by encouraging participation in various voluntary social company activities.

Onboarding doesn’t have to stop here.  Utilize Onboarding technology to facilitate employee transitions like Sharlyn Lauby of HR Bartender recommends with internships, work events, contingent workforce, and Offboarding.

Ready to start Onboarding?  Visit SilkRoad in the SmartRecruiters Marketplace.  Roll out the RedCarpet experience with SilkRoad Onboarding and improve day-1 readiness, accelerate time to contribution, and provide a personalized, company-branded experience that engages employees every step of the way. Now SmartRecruiters’ customers can request and activate a seamless integration with SilkRoad Onboarding at the touch of a button. Easily onboard new hires, transfers, and rehires into SilkRoad Onboarding without leaving SmartRecruiters.



This article was written by Amber Hyatt, SPHR, and Director of Product Marketing at SilkRoad.  As Director of Product Marketing at SilkRoad, she advocates new ways to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent. During her long tenure with SilkRoad, Amber has consulted with hundreds of customers on talent management best practices.  

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Amber Hyatt