by Floyd Rumohr
After a rigorous hiring process, you and your team have settled on the candidate with the skills, capabilities, working style, and organizational compatibility to succeed at your organization. Now what?
This is just the moment where many nonprofit leaders and managers make one of their biggest hiring mistakes: the new hire arrives on his or her first day to a full in-box and no plan for the person to get acquainted with the organization’s people and practices. Onboarding, which is a process of inward transition for new team members, sets-up the new hire for success and is an essential part of the process particularly when we consider that:
- HALF of senior hires fail within 18 months
- HALF of all hourly workers leave within 120 days
The above findings from SHRM are compelling in the nonprofit sector even though they derive from for-profit companies. In addition, SHRM reports that departing senior hires cost up to 150% of annual salary and hourly workers up to 75% of annual wages.
Let’s think about it from the perspective of one nonprofit staff member. The annual salary of the director of development in our case study at a New York City youth services nonprofit was $80,000. Potential costs to fill the position could be as high as $120,000 using the SHRM findings as a mathematical basis.
In addition to reducing turnover costs, effective onboarding results in:
- Higher job satisfaction
- Organizational commitment
- Higher performance levels
- Lowered stress
How high are turnover rates at your nonprofit? A revolving door could be the symptom of a dysfunctional modus operandi. If so, then perhaps it’s time to take a look at human resource practices that include onboarding, professional development and training, and even organizational culture – especially true of small nonprofits that may have a small staff with vital roles and functions.
References and recommended reading:
- Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success by Talya N. Bauer, Ph.D., SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series, 2004.
- Why is Onboarding So Important? by House of Change Coaching & HRM Consulting compiled from Implementing and Managing Onboarding Programs, Recruitment Round Table 2006, Corporate Executive Board. Source corroborated by Daphne Dreissen, August 4, 2011.
- All Aboard! Does Your Onboarding Process Lead to Employee Engagement or Buyer’s Remorse by David Lee. Reprinted from Insights, Fall 2006.