Human Resources



Why on-boarding is essential – even for CEOs

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Overlooking the process of onboarding for higher management could lead to costly problems in the future.

According to research by Hays, how a company manages the onboarding process for senior staff members as well as junior employees could be the difference between success and failure.

Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Malaysia and Singapore, said the common misconception is higher management – such as CEOs – come with years of experience and do not require onboarding.

“It’s also much less likely that you have a formal onboarding process in place when hiring your CEO because you only do it once in a blue moon,” said Mead.

“But the risk increases the more senior you go. Getting a senior leader’s onboarding wrong from the outset is a fundamental problem for any business.”

Most organisations fail to realise these executive hires need more than just the names of key stakeholders, top-line figures and detailed project information – they also need essential information on the company, such as organisational culture and values and working processes, which are often overlooked in the onboarding process.

Onboarding does not begin on day one of a new job but before the new employee has started working, from the moment that he or she is shortlisted for the job, the Hays Journal reports. This will help in avoiding the problem of bad hires and lower the re-hiring cost.

The financial cost of a bad hire to an organisation can be up to 14 times the employee’s salary, though the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in the UK puts this at a more modest level of between four and six times’ base salary, depending on the seniority of the person in question.

Having an effective onboarding process for staff of all levels may not guarantee the retention of your staff but it can certainly improve the probability of a cultural fit, said Mead.

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