How To Lose Your New Hire in 10 Easy Steps

How to Lose Your New Hires in 10 Easy Steps

By Sunita Navile

It has taken simply forever to fill that open position on your team, and now you want to get through the next few weeks with as little effort as possible. Just follow this handy guide to make the new hire experience easy for you, the “hands-off” manager.

1. Don’t prepare for their first day

You’re a busy boss. You have an entire team to run and deadlines to meet. There’ll be time to sort out details after the new person starts; time to figure out the paperwork, the resources, the logins, orientation…and where is she going to sit? Never mind. You can figure that out after she gets here.

  • When a new hire is frustrated by problems with internal processes and equipment, 56% think about leaving.
2. Pawn the new hire off on an unsuspecting employee

You certainly don’t have the time to babysit new hires. Besides, it also gives you an opportunity to test your other team members, especially that one you’re still not sure will make it. This might be the last chance for that employee to prove herself to you, while taking the new hire off your hands.

  • 67% of new employees plan to leave when they feel unsupported, like they aren’t even a team member.
3. Assume they’ll know how to be productive

In fact, go on vacation on the new hire’s first days at work. There’s no better way to evaluate whether the new hire is as resourceful as he sounded during the interview. Let him show you what he is capable of and impress you with his ability to hit the ground running.

  • 59% of new employees decide to leave when their manager doesn’t make a personal investment in their training and development.
4. Throw the new hire a curve ball

You can’t be responsible for any promises made during the interview. A lot has changed since then, and the job expectations are now completely different. Now is the best time to completely revamp the new hire’s job description and change her role with the company. This way you won’t have to retrain her later.

  • Unmet expectations are one of the top causes for new hire turnover. 56% of new employees plan to leave when they don’t know what their job is because they have unclear performance goals.
5. Meetings are a waste of time

You have more pressing priorities and too much time is lost in meetings anyway. Let the new hire show you his ingenuity and ability to learn on his own.

  • 61% of new employees consider leaving when their manager does not take the time to listen to them. 
6. Throw them in at the deep end

Your speech to the new hire encouraging her to be a self-starter should be enough for her to figure out how to occupy herself during the first few weeks with the company. New hires are either cut out for success or they’re not.  You’ll find out sooner this way. Besides, you did the most important part by providing a training manual.

  • No less than 64% of new employees are planning to leave when they feel unprepared to do their jobs for lack of training.
7. Don’t involve the new hire in important projects – Too Risky!

The new hire doesn’t have a track record in your company, so he should get the most basic work. It’s definitely not worth involving a new hire in the big project; he’s not even trained. The real work starts a year or two into the job, and the newbies that stick around will get it.

  • 78% of new employees plan to leave when they are relegated to unexciting and boring tasks. 
8. Don’t consult the new hire in decisions involving her

You’re the boss. You know best.  Whether it’s about the new hire’s role with the company, the best way for her to be trained for the job or performance feedback, inform the new hire of your decision.

  • 63% of new employees are planning to leave when they aren’t encouraged to participate in decisions that involve them.
9. Newbie ideas don’t count

The new hire is the most untenured employee and is too inexperienced to add any value. Previous experience doesn’t really count either. You’ve always done it this way in the past, and the new hire might be trying to challenge your authority by suggesting new ideas.

  • 66% of new employees think of leaving when they feel their ideas and suggestion don’t count.
10. Don’t expect much from a newbie

You don’t expect newbies to accomplish much in their first year, and you might as well let him know. Let the new hire pay his dues and prove his worth to you before you invest time in him.

  • 73% of new employees plan to leave when they feel underutilized because their job does not make good use of their skills and abilities.

Poof!  The new hire disappears and you have to fill that vacancy again.

Kidding aside, we’ve all heard or actually experienced situations like these. It’s counterintuitive, but employees with less than a year on the job are among those most likely to consider leaving. When the hands-off boss doesn’t invest time in a new employee, he or she will likely end up replacing that employee.

The positive impact of managers being personally invested in their new hires’ development is equally dramatic. According to a Kenexa High Performance Institute study, employees who perceive their managers to be personally invested in their development have higher Employee Engagement Index scores (78%) than those who do not perceive their managers this way (31%) The least engaged employees are much more likely to leave (73%) than the most engaged (9%).

Hands-off managers increase turnover, which in turn increases costs while damaging productivity as well as your company brand. On average, 34% of new employees are planning to leave their current organization. A strategic onboarding process can prevent your talented new employees from falling through the cracks. Of course, Kenexa-designed Onboarding experiences avoid all those pitfalls and transforms new hires into dedicated and productive employees.

Data in this blog post are from the 2012 WorkTrends Survey, an annual employee opinion survey that samples 33,000 employees across 28 countries. The survey includes questions about work attitudes and engagement, manager and senior leader behaviors, organizational practices, and various demographic variables. New employees are those employed less than one year at their current organization.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your best and worst new hire nightmares and hands-off boss horror stories.


Sunita Navile

Sunita Navile

HR Marketer on a mission. Suzuki mom, singer, artist, traveler, chef and frequent restaurant visitor. Sunita Navile (nee Iyengar) is a Director at Kenexa®, where she is responsible for product market ...(Read More)

Posted in: Employee Engagement, HR Tips, Onboarding

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