Businesses too often waste all the time, money and effort they spend on getting the perfect recruit in the door because they fail to help them settle in properly.
A study by jobs’ website reed.co.uk has estimated that one in 25 workers walk out of a new job after a matter of weeks, or even days, simply because their employer has failed to manage the induction process properly.
Workers in the media and public sector were most likely to leave after a poor induction.
The 5,700 people polled recounted a litany of horror stories, including one worker who was simply left alone in a room for four hours with a pile of videos and another who was told: "Here are the keys, here is my mobile number, good luck."
Another was "told to hop on one leg and sing ‘we all live in a yellow submarine’ on my own in front of 20 other new starters".
Others said that managers were not even aware that they had been recruited.
Reed suggested that it took an average of more than seven weeks for an employee to feel at ease in a new job where they had been subjected to a bad induction – assuming they had not left first. The recruiter is not the only one to have identified what is by any reckoning a gross waste of new talent.
A recent study by consultancy Chiumento found two thirds of HR professionals polled at a conference admitted they were unable to deliver on the promises made to new employees.
And a survey of high-flyers by consultancy Common Purpose in June reported that more than 36 per cent felt their employers had broken their promises to them.
Martin Warnes, head of reed.co.uk, said: "The war for talent is heating up, so it seems a shame to lose everything after a battle has been won.
"Many employers have realised just how important it is to attract the right people, and invest much time and money in recruiting them. Yet all that effort can be wasted if there is no structure in place to help a new starter feel part of the team."