A third of execs think of quitting in their first 3 months

by Astrid Wilson09 Oct 2012

A third of execs think of quitting in their first 3 monthsSloppy recruitment and onboarding processes leaves more than a third of new executives wanting to walk away from the organisation within the first three months, new research has found.

What’s more, one in five executives felt they were provided with incomplete and inaccurate information about their new role and organisation at the recruitment stage, according to research by the UK-arm of recruitment and executive search firm Harvey Nash.

The findings were arrived at after consulting more than 280 senior executives from companies in the UK, all of whom had joined their organisation within the past year. Notably, over a third (37%) plan to stay less than a year or are already seeking a new position elsewhere. Just one quarter said their onboarding experience was useful, and just half believed they were in a position to raise sensitive issues with their manager.

According to the findings, a key concern for HR is to effectively communicate best practice for onboarding to other key players in the organisation such as line managers right up to the CEO. “HR's role as custodian of an organisation's mission, vision and values is to work with its colleagues on the senior team to create an employee value proposition that everyone from the CEO downward feels comfortable with and can communicate effectively and consistently,” Lucy McGee from Harvey Nash said. While the HR function sees how useful this key information can be, the rest of the business is failing to benefit from its full potential, she added.

Key issues raised by the research:
 

  • executives frequently lack a means of measuring their own performance and contribution well into their tenure
     
  • 46% of new executives reported that their KPIs were still not set and agreed to by the end of their first month
     
  • 32% completed their first 90 days with goals and KPIs still not agreed, despite most having a great deal of contact with their direct line manager.

 

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COMMENTS

  • by Iain Crossing 9/10/2012 3:03:32 PM

    This article highlights some of the key rationale for executive assessment followed by feedback, development planning, and induction coaching.

    Done well, a program like this includes the hiring manager, creates a platform of shared information and understanding, and facilitates an excellent relationship during that critical first 100 days.

    Taking on a new role in a new organisation involves a range of psychological processes - the new exec needs to mentally 'construct' the role and determine priorities and behaviours given the context. If a highly-paid executive is even only 5 - 10% less effective than they could be because of inconsistent or confusing induction, then this can costs thousands of dollars in the first few months alone.

  • by Harry Wolfe 12/10/2012 3:17:07 PM

    An example of the recruitment and executive search "pot" not living up to its responsibilities, and calling the HR Executive onboarding process "black".

    We are told: "Just half the executives believed they were not in a position to raise sensitive issues with their manager" and that “HR's role as custodian of an organisation's mission, vision and values is to work with its colleagues on the senior team to create an employee value proposition that everyone from the CEO downward feels comfortable with and can communicate effectively and consistently,” followed by "46% of new executives reported that their KPIs were still not set and agreed to by the end of their first month" plus " 32% completed their first 90 days with goals and KPIs still not agreed, despite most having a great deal of contact with their direct line manager".

    Every one of these symptoms cries out aloud as poor communication between the new executive and his/her manager.

    Poor communication is entirely caused by the misalignment between the culture of attitudes of the executive to his/her position, and the culture of attitudes of their manager to the executive's position. Attitude, of beliefs and values, feelings and emotions, determine what information is allowed to enter the mind and influence behaviour.

    Perfect communication is when the new executive's beliefs and values about the position exactly match his/her manager's, beliefs and values about the position. Only then can the manager of the position's words, and their implications, have exactly the same meaning for the new executive as they have for the manager, and vice versa.

    Sloppy recruitment processes, the failure to psychometrically measure and ensure a short listed executive candidate's culture of attitudes, beliefs and values to the position, match those of their future manager to their new position, in their new organisation, is the sole reason more than a third of new executives want to walk away from their new organisation within the first three months.

    Sloppy recruitment processes are inexcusable in this 21st century when the organisation culture for high performance in a specific position is so readily, easily, identified, psychometrically measured, and validated.

    The comment that HR's role is the "custodian of an organisation's mission, vision and values" is an illusion. In fact it is telling HR to perform an impossible task, , or create a bureaucratic mirage.

    Firstly attitude, a culture of attitudes, determines the culture of behaviours actually "walked", by a person, not the behaviours "talked" to which a company may, or may not, give lip service. Secondly an organisation's culture of attitudes for high performance changes at each change in organisation level. Thirdly, the organisation culture for high performance, in each different executive position, is determined by that position manager's culture of attitudes for high performance in the executive's position.

    Identifying, psychometrically measuring, and validating the attitudes for high performance in a position, predicts an executive's performance on appointment to the position, future potential in that position, Culture fit, and Intangible $Return On Investment to the organisation .

    First measure, then manage the intangibles of selection.

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