Companies are wasting talent and damaging their productivity because they are too slow at bringing new executives on board and assimilating them into their business.
A study by recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International has found that just three out of 10 executives were upbeat about their firm's assimilation processes.
A further four out of 10 (38 per cent) described their processes as average, almost a quarter (22 per cent) rated it as below average and one in 10 felt they it was poor.
The poll of executives from more than 80 countries also found that more than half believed new recruits did not reach maximum productivity until they had been with a company for between three and five years. Another third believed executives were most productive at one-to-two years.
"A thorough onboarding process can dramatically reduce the amount of time a new executive needs to reach full capacity and ultimately increase their chances of success within an organisation," said Bob Damon, Korn/Ferry's North American president.
"Our findings suggest that too many employers miss out on the unique opportunities for building relationships, clarifying expectations and establishing priorities that formalised onboarding efforts afford," he added.
The survey also examined several common issues around job interviews. Six out of 10 executives said that the most important thing they did before a job interview was conduct research on the potential employer.
This was followed by reaching out to contacts who had knowledge of the employer (20 per cent), formulating responses to possible interview questions (19 per cent) and personal grooming (one per cent).
Nearly three-quarters reported either always or very often sending "thank you" notes to potential employers following interviews, with 63 per cent of those notes being e-mailed as opposed to mailed.
Finally, when asked what was the best excuse to use when one was out of the office at a job interview, the largest per centage (34 per cent) said they give no excuse and just snuck out.
Other popular responses included child- or family-related commitments (27 per cent), doctor or dentist appointment (23 per cent) and taking a long lunch (15 per cent).