Breaking: Job Openings at 6.4 Million

By Robert Half February 11, 2020 at 11:00am

December job openings fell to 6.4 million. Here is a summary of key data from the December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS):

  • Job openings: 6.4 million
  • People hired: 5.9 million
  • People who left their jobs (total): 5.7 million
  • People who left their jobs (voluntarily quit): 3.5 million
  • People who left their jobs (layoff or involuntary reason): 1.9 million

Although job openings fell in December, it remains a candidate-driven market. (The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older is 2.0%.) As such, there’s lots of discussion within companies about how to recruit the best workers. 

But what you do after you hire them is equally important. 

Making sure new employees feel welcomed and equipped to hit the ground running is essential to your overall retention strategy. If the onboarding experience is a negative one, new employees might begin questioning the decision to join your team and you could lose them to another firm. And that can prove quite costly given the time and money it takes to recruit qualified candidates. 

In a recent survey by Robert Half, 59% of workers said they have experienced a mishap when starting a position. The most common challenges include technology issues (39%), lack of necessary supplies (24%) and not being introduced to colleagues (21%). 

Here are some tips on how to onboard new employees effectively:

  • Sweat the small stuff. Before your new hire starts, set up the employee’s email account, phone and computer equipment, and gather all login information, company info and security key cards they’ll need. On the employee’s first day, have someone ready to greet them (if you’re not able to). Share a clear overview of what’s going to happen the first few days. Introduce them to other team members and plan a group lunch. In short, make new hires immediately feel valued and welcome. 
  • Provide a thorough orientation. Give detailed information about the company mission, goals and strategic vision, and review how all of this translates to the new employee’s role. What does success in the job look like? (Keep in mind that it’s critical to onboard temporary workers, too.)
  • Pair new hires with existing employees. Even if you don’t have a formal mentoring program, consider pairing the new employee with someone to go to with questions, in addition to you.
  • Remember that onboarding doesn’t end in the first week. Continue to regularly check in with the new employee during their first few weeks and months on the job. What lingering questions can you answer? What can you do to support them? What additional information or training opportunities do they feel might help them?

Your new hire isn’t the only one who has to make a great early impression. Do everything you can to ensure that their first weeks on the job are smooth, enjoyable and productive. 

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