ainstakingly sifting through practitioner CVs
or résumés and carefully vetting candidates is
a waste of time for organizations if new hires
are scanning for the exit as soon as they arrive.
“With the right people on board, the battle
shifts to development and retention,” says Daniela Tessler, talent acquisition, development and
retention senior manager at electronics retailer Fast
Shop, São Paulo, Brazil.
Many organizations seem to have missed the memo.
More than 40 percent of U.S. employee turnover happens in the
first six months of employment, according to Equifax. Yet that churn
rate is far from inevitable: At organizations with a well-structured onboarding
program, 69 percent of employees stick around for at least three years, Talent-Wise research shows.
“Many organizations apply the same onboarding process to every new
employee, but that means a specific onboarding for project managers is often
missing,” says Marcus Glowasz, PMI-ACP, PMP, PgMP, program manager,
Credit Suisse, Zurich, Switzerland. That omission means the new project practitioner takes the helm of a project with only the most perfunctory knowledge
transfer under his or her belt. “The project managers are expected to be fully
inducted afterwards, but what results instead are inconsistencies and inefficiencies that can impact the progress and success of a project,” he says.
An onboarding process tailored to project talent can boost retention and
performance. For instance, when Wipro, an Indian global IT support firm, created an onboarding process that played to each new hire’s strengths and area of
focus, participants were as much as 32 percent less likely to quit, compared with
new hires who had traditional, organization-focused onboarding.
At healthcare benefits software provider Benefitfocus, new project managers
move through two weeks of carefully customized training. “It includes product
classes and system training and then spans into project management-specific
topics,” says Tobias Kederer, PMP, project management office director of pro-
fessional services, Benefitfocus, Charleston, South Carolina, USA. “The project
manager onboarding process is consistent, but as we learn what works and what
doesn’t, we’re regularly updating it as well.”
Organizations serious about driving up retention rates should start by
rethinking how project talent is brought onboard.
“With the right people
on board, the battle
shifts to development
—Daniela Tessler, Fast Shop,
São Paulo, Brazil