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

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Sloppy recruitment and onboarding processes leave 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, the research conducted by the UK-based recruitment firm Harvey Nash found.

The research, which involved consulting with over 280 UK senior executives who had joined their organisation within the past year, also found that:


  • 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.

These findings indicated that a key concern for HR is to effectively communicate best practice for onboarding to other key players in the organisation right up to the CEO, Lucy McGee from Harvey Nash said.

“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,” she said. “While the HR function sees how useful this key information can be, the rest of the business was often failing to benefit from its full potential.”

According to McGee, the key issues raised by the research are:


  • 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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