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It's the time of year when new grads are streaming into the market, and employers are snapping up the most talented young applicants to fill positions that were held by retiring baby boomers. Competition is fierce when it comes to hiring the best-- but finding and hiring new employees is not the biggest challenge. Advances in technology have made it incredibly easy to find a new job while holding another.

Many companies and HR departments are wondering how to keep employees from leaving, especially those who started within the last six to twelve months. A strong new hire orientation program is key to showing new hires you care about their success in your company. That care, after all, may be the difference between keeping a talented, innovative employee on board or losing them to one of your competitors.

New hire orientation usually includes a welcome package outlining health benefits, dress code, employee conduct, and computer software and telephone line information. The new hires are sometimes introduced to their superiors or other coworkers, then deposited at their desks and expected to get on with it. Though this used to be an effective strategy, the job switching process now moves at a speed that many companies cannot keep up with-- so, for example, if a new hire doesn't feel comfortable or secure in his or her position within a few weeks, it's likely he or she will begin looking for different work.

According to, ensuring a high retention rate means you'll need to work with hiring managers and others to create a new hire orientation program that will signal to new hires they are worthy of their position, they are welcome, and they will be given the resources available to help them succeed.

In order to be competitive, you have to ensure that the new hire feels comfortable and accepted into the team. Introducing the new hire, especially during their first few days of work; likewise, setting goals for the first month, six months, year, and so on helps the hire understand his or her trajectory, and appointing a mentor is a great way to help him or her feel valued.

Additionally, let your new employees know what is expected of them when they begin their new job. Coach him or her on the company culture, such as office etiquette, approaching and communicating with others in the company, goal-setting, and more. Finally, follow up with each new hire after their three-month evaluation period has passed. Treat your people like people, not faceless drones. Sending a follow-up questionnaire, meeting with a new hire, and taking a genuine interest in their success are all ways you can help increase employee retention while building a reputation for being a great company to work for.

High employee turnaround is not cost effective, which is why making sure new hires stay with your company is an investment that needs to be made. In many ways, it’s the little things that cause an employee to stay with a company-- not the overall job responsibility or the job title. Keep this in mind when designing a new hire orientation program.

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