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Allegis Group have just released an excellent report Explore what sets high-performing recruitment organisations aparta paper that offers insights from nearly 12,000 employers and candidates across various industries and functions from North America and the EMEA and APAC regions, revealing benchmarks that set high-performing recruitment organisations apart.

There are a number of very useful data points on recruitment but the information that really turned my head was about onboarding.

Consider the following results from the survey.

Onboarding area for new

Agreed by hiring managers

Agreed by recruiters

Agreed by new employees

Job expectations are always clear
Job expectations are always realistic
Job expectations are always aligned to the job description
Is truly welcomed to the team
Is met with at an appropriate frequency by their manager


Unsurprisingly the research also uncovers a direct and unavoidable link between the quality of the recruitment experience that the new employee has just come through and quality of their onboarding experience with the same employer. As the Allegis report says on page 24: 

“…the survey finds that candidates who are very satisfied with the recruitment process are much more likely to feel truly welcomed by their new team (65% versus 36% of candidates who are not very satisfied), feel that job expectations are aligned to the original job description (52% versus 24%), and feel that job expectations are clear (53% versus 26%) and realistic (53% versus 26%).”

In my view these differentials are:

  1. unsurprising
  2. damning
  3. changing very little over time 
  4. relatively easily fixed (with some data, thought, expertise, a plan and a commitment to execute said plan)

In a market where every conversation with a hiring manager will inevitably cover the predictable topic of how difficult it is to find and hire good staff, it’s completely insane that these hiring managers are not doing everything they can to maximise the likelihood that (a) their recruitment process is both efficient and effective and (b) their onboarding process is both efficient and effective.

Why don’t a majority of employers get this (very basic) stuff right when not getting it right costs them a fortune every year?

At its core, it must be continuing to occur because hiring managers don’t think it’s important to get it right or don’t bother to establish the facts of their performance in onboarding their new employees effectively and in line with the new employee’s expectations.

As the Allegis reports notes “Fewer than half (45%) of employers ask new hires to complete an onboarding survey within the first two weeks.”

And I suspect recruitment agencies are just as complicit in poor practises as any of their clients.

The major problem for recruiters is that when hiring managers continually fall short of what is reasonably expected of them by a new employee, and that new employee fails to perform to (uncommunicated) expectations and/or losses motivation and leaves or is terminated, the recruiter is inevitably blamed for referring a sub-standard candidate. In reality it is the hiring manager who has caused the problem they are (almost always) unwilling to accept proper responsibility for.

I have no idea what’s going to substantially shift this sorry state of affairs as clearly as the Allegis survey results demonstrate; that there were no significant regional differences reported – this part of the world is as woeful in this area as the other two regions surveyed.

Owners and managers: What needs to happen before you change?

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Rich Boldock

Very interesting post Ross. At enboarder we are addressing this very issue through providing an automated and engaging personal experience for the new hire and hiring manager. I agree that not many companies have got this right and the costs are enormous. Cheers.

My Recruitment Plus

Great article Ross! Making the onboarding process more efficient and effective through things like paperless signing, induction, and training is definitely something more hiring managers and recruiters should look at!

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