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33% of New Hires Quit After 6 Months. Here's How to Avoid That Fate

By Maurie Backman - Feb 24, 2018 at 7:03AM

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Bringing employees on board costs time and money -- so the last thing you want is for new hires to leave early on.

Anyone who's ever been tasked with onboarding employees knows that there's a cost of bringing new hires up to speed. It's therefore natural to hope for some sort of return on that investment -- namely, in the form of workers staying on board for at least a year before moving on to different opportunities.

But when it comes to retaining talent, many businesses continue to fall short. It's estimated that one-third of new employees leave their jobs after only six months, and while there are a host of factors that may be contributing to that trend, it's safe to say that a large chunk of companies need to do better. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help ensure that your new hires don't jump ship quickly.

Man sitting at a desk, holding his head

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Be clear about what the job entails

Imagine you're an employee who's hired to do a certain job, only to realize early on that the day-to-day work at hand has little to do with the initial job description. It happens more often than you'd think, so if you want to avoid having folks quit on you within six months' time, be sure to have a clear sense of each job you post before offering it up to the public. Just as importantly, reinforce that vision when dealing with candidates, whether via phone screens, interviews, or while negotiating actual offers. The clearer you are about what tasks a given role will involve, the less likely you are to land in a situation where an employee leaves because they're doing things they never wanted to do in the first place.

2. Encourage questions during the interview process

It's not always easy for employees to gauge how content they'll be in a role by virtue of a job description and interview alone. That's why it pays to push prospective hires to ask questions while interviewing, and openly express any concerns they might have about the roles they're applying to or the company itself. Hashing out these issues at this stage might help you avoid a scenario where an applicant accepts an offer they're likely to regret. And on your end, that means you avoid sinking time and money into training someone who's apt to leave after only a few months.

3. Talk about company culture

It's often the case that workers leave their jobs not because of the work itself, but because they're not happy with the environment they've landed in. In fact, dissatisfaction with their office environments is the No. 1 reason younger workers quit their jobs. Just as it's crucial to clearly explain what each role you're advertising entails, you must also give candidates an accurate description of the atmosphere they're about to enter. If the environment is rigid and pressure-loaded, say so. There's no sense in pretending your company culture is something it isn't, because the truth will become evident to new hires early on. And once it does, you might see them leave if that culture was indeed misrepresented.

4. Check in with new hires frequently during those early months

Sometimes, new employees need a little extra help adjusting or getting up to speed. That's why it's wise to give them added attention, whether in the form of monthly sit-downs or weekly one-on-ones. Taking this step accomplishes two goals: You'll make your new hires feel valued, but just as importantly, you'll have a chance to address their trepidations before things escalate and they grow largely dissatisfied.

If you'd rather not join the ranks of the companies whose new hires leave early on, then be sure to heed the above advice. With any luck, it'll save you not just time and money, but a world of stress and aggravation.

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