The time and costs associated with hiring a new employee can be significant, to the tune of $4,000 per hire for many businesses. And with turnover always being a consideration, hiring and onboarding new staff can be a disconcerting expense for your company.
With the right strategies, however, you can shave off some of the costs and time spent with a new hire.
1. Create Processes for Onboarding
Smaller companies especially may “wing it” when it comes to onboarding new hires, but this can come at great time cost. Getting a new hire up to speed on employment paperwork, introducing them to their new colleagues and training them in their new role are all time-consuming. As a result, that position you hired for isn’t getting any work done for several weeks until the new employee has settled in — and accommodating their needs often means that you need to step away from other activities.
That’s why creating processes is so key when onboarding. If you have a training manual or handbook with all the important details the new hire needs to know, you can email that to them as soon as they have accepted your offer, cutting down on the questions they ask once they start work.
Training is easy to turn into a process: simply have each employee create detailed documents illustrating how to do each function they’re responsible for. Include logins and websites that they will need to do the work. A new hire should be able to read this document and work through the processes (with help, of course), cutting down on the time spent learning their new role.
2. Streamline Payroll
While larger companies may outsource payroll functions, smaller businesses who can’t afford to (or don’t have enough employees to justify the service) can do just as well with the right payroll software.
These days, it’s dead simple to automate direct deposit through payroll solutions, so once you’ve entered a new hire in the system, you don’t have to think about ensuring they get their paycheck — it just gets done! Payroll software will also deduct from the employee’s check for health insurance and taxes, and provide you with robust reports on what you’re paying your staff.
3. Simplify Training
Sometimes training is specific to one employee, and other times, it’s applicable to multiple employees. When the latter is the case, consolidate your training. If you happen to hire several people at the same time, schedule one training session for everyone to cut down on time spent training.
This is also useful when you need to provide ongoing training for all staff. Take one department at a time and block off a few hours to get them up to speed on new software or strategy. Not only will you reduce the time they spend away from their desks, but you’ll also foster a sense of camaraderie because they’re training together.
4. Create a Mentoring Program
Starting a new job is intimidating for the best of us, and new hires (especially inexperienced ones) may be reticent to ask questions of you. This can create bottlenecks in productivity.
As a solution, pair up a new hire with a mentor. This person can facilitate in the hands-on training as well as be accessible to answer questions and provide feedback. A weekly (or even daily) check-in in the early days may be helpful to ensure they’re growing in confidence in their new role. This mentor doesn’t need to be a manager; in fact, a peer may be better suited to ensure she’s comfortable turning to that person for help.
5. Foster a Welcoming Environment
This might seem an odd way to save time or money after hiring someone, but if the workplace is friendly and her colleagues helpful, there’s less of a chance that this employee will leave in less than a year.
According to Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory, certain factors are associated with job satisfaction, including achievement, recognition, the work itself and growth. Make sure that you and other managers are doing your part to foster these factors and keeping the machine well oiled.
A happy work environment reduces turnover. Encourage managers to interact with their staff daily, checking in to mitigate any personnel issues that might cause tension. Give employees positive feedback and reinforcement so that they continue to want to work hard for the company.
There’s no getting around the fact that the search for a new hire and subsequent onboard is expensive. But with a few tactics designed to streamline the onboarding process, as well as creating a work environment that your staff thrives in, you can reduce the time and money spent moving forward.
Jay Egger is a digital marketing strategist for Fit Small Business, who has helped build up the review section with his experience in writing, public relations and SEO.