5 reasons why a new hire fails – and what to do about it


Recruiting new team members can be a costly process, both financially and in terms of time investment. From writing the job description and sorting through applications, to actually interviewing candidates and providing feedback, it’s a relief when the new hire settles into their new role. Unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan with your newest employee. In this article, we explore the five main reasons a new hire doesn’t stay with the company, and how you can avoid this situation.

Your onboarding process needs to improve

Onboarding is one of the most important processes in your company. With the necessary support at the start of their employment, new hires will struggle to fit in, and won’t feel comfortable in their role. Each company is different, and just because your new hire might have substantial experience, they won’t know exactly how your systems work. From day one, set up meetings, team building activities and social events so that new hires can get to know their colleagues in both formal and relaxed settings. Consider implementing a buddy system so that your new hire always has someone to turn to for support, and co-define S.M.A.R.T. objectives so the employee can ensure they’re meeting your expectations. Don’t forget to ask your existing employees what they wish they’d known at the start, so your onboarding is as effective as possible.

The job is different than advertised

Another reason new hires change roles is that the job differs drastically from the advertisement. Sometimes a job description might be unrealistic, provide too broad an overview, or make exaggerated promises about potential for project ownership. Often, job descriptions don’t mention specific daily and repetitive tasks, leaving the new hire feeling disillusioned and unmotivated. It’s important to ensure that the initial job posting is as accurate as possible, and it’s particularly helpful if you’re able to provide an example day, or in depth descriptions of tasks the hire will be expected to complete. That way, candidates will be able to assess for themselves whether they’re interested before even embarking on the application process, saving time for everybody down the line.

Expectations aren’t met

In a similar vein, an issue that can arise with new hires is not meeting expectations – from both sides. Perhaps the new hire expects regular feedback and support, but is left to work independently. Maybe your company had a different understanding of a new hire’s skill level, and you now have to spend additional time bringing them up to speed. Differing expectations can relate to anything from the company culture to individual job tasks – but it’s a problem clear communication can solve. Encourage your new employee to share feedback with you, and let you know if something isn’t working. Differing expectations don’t have to be a deal-breaker necessarily: sit down with your employee and listen to their concerns, and endeavour to come up with a solution together.

Your contract doesn’t match the market average

Sometimes, the problem can be with the contract. If the contract doesn’t match the market average, your new employee could become unhappy with their set-up, and decide to move roles. To ensure that your contract is of high standard first think about which type of contract you want to offer: a temporary contract done via an agency or a direct contract with you. Your agency can also provide salary benchmarks and insights into typical benefits offered in your region, like contract duration, probation periods, and work-life balance. This will ensure your employee is as satisfied as possible with the contract offered, increasing the likelihood of them staying in their role.

There’s a problem with your hiring process

Finally, in order to consider why a new hire hasn’t settled successfully, it’s important to think back to the hiring process. If your job description and interview weren’t thorough enough, your employee might lack the necessary skills and abilities for the role. An example is language fluency: if you accept your employees at their word without testing their ability yourself, you could find they have a different perception of ‘professional working standard’ French. Some companies also forget to assess the candidate’s fit with the internal culture during the hiring process. Consider including interview questions that verify that the candidate’s personality fits with the team and that they share similar values to your company.

The long and short of it is that many of the reasons why new hires fail are completely preventable. You may feel like it takes too much time to adapt your hiring and onboarding processes, but the reality is that it’s much better to retain talent than it is to hire new employees. In the long run, it’s worth the extra effort to find a candidate who’s a perfect addition to your team.

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