Organisations slow to integrate new hires

Dec 15 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

You might have thought that having gone to all the time and expense of recruiting a new executive, an organisation would been keen to ensure that they settle in and come up to speed as quickly as possible. But while this ought to be common sense, it frequently doesn't happen.

In fact according to a new survey from U.S. executive search firm Salveson Stetson Group, almost two-thirds of companies admit that they don't do a good job of integrating newly recruited managers and executives into their new roles.

The survey of some 100 companies found that only one in 10 felt they did an excellent job of integrating new senior hires and a further quarter felt that their efforts were "good".

Of the remainder, almost half (46 pert cent) said that their efforts were average and 17 per cent admitted that they were poor.

"Once the hiring process is complete, many companies fail to provide sufficient assistance to integrate newly recruited executives into their organizations, which can lead to poor performance and an early voluntary or involuntary exit," said John Salveson, Salveson Stetson Group co-founder.

In particular, many companies fail to adequately assimilate new hires into their organisational culture, something that co-founder Sally Stetson said is one of the major reasons why newly-recruited employees fail.

"A comprehensive onboarding process that identifies cultural values, introduces key internal stakeholders and takes the pulse of the business units and departments new executives are inheriting will significantly decrease ramp up time, and can turn potential hiring mistakes into key contributors to the leadership team," she said.

Problems can also arise when organisations fail to make it clear to new hires what is expected from them and the time frame for achieving this.

"Both the employer and the new hire need to know what success looks like. Outlining a clear plan for the first year, which includes defined and measurable goals, facilitates a more successful integration," John Salveson said.

"Without it, many new executives flounder a bit early on in their tenures while they attempt to identify key objectives.

"Having an agreed-upon plan serves as a framework to measure the new hire's performance and aligns expectations between the executive and his/her boss. The newly recruited executive's performance within the first 12 months will be judged primarily by how well he or she has attained these primary objectives."

It is critical, too, that new hires are helped to build relationships with subordinates and peers.

"New management hires need to establish good working relationships not only with their bosses but with their direct reports and peers, who will be crucial in assisting them to achieve their goals," Sally Stetson said.

"New management hires frequently overlook the importance of establishing a rapport with peers within their functional areas and departments and in other areas of their organisations."