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“Every hire is a chance to make your business better” – service launched to improve retention of new employees

09 May 2021

Story by
Sarah Rice, The HR World

Hannah Waddington

Across almost every sector staff retention continues to be a significant problem – and this can be particularly disruptive in the first few months of someone starting a new job.

Statistics show that nearly a fifth (17.5%) of new hires leave their job in the first month and this increases again in the first three months of someone taking on a role.

As UK business continues to grapple with the impact of the global pandemic, technology has become an increased part of the workforce interaction – but at what cost? And how is this effecting retention in the first important months?

This is a question that experienced resource specialist Hannah Waddington set about answering shortly after she formed her recruitment business Maru Search & Consultancy.

Originally focused purely on HR professionals and now expanded to business change and transformation, Hannah’s original market research showed that a gap in the market existed for a more human approach to onboarding.

Improved human contact

Hannah, who previously worked at independent recruitment firm Sanderson, said: “Throughout my recruitment career people have talked about AI as being a one-stop shop solution for all kinds of things.

“Where we really saw this take off was on the more functional and process parts of talent attraction and retention.

“However, as we have seen during lockdown and enforced remote working, the world of work is changing significantly and as such some of these needs – such as improved human contact and building stronger working cultures – have escalated to C-Suite level in a way that we could not have previously foreseen.”

Speaking to senior HR people across the UK meant that Hannah was able to identify pinch points that were causing teams stress and traditional onboarding programmes came out as one of the most common ‘headache’ areas.

She said: “We are living in a world where candidates want to be really bought into a company culture and the lived experience of being somewhere that is driven by purpose and human values.

“So this tends to be ‘the sell’ from businesses which builds up an ideal based on a vision and mission that then attracts the right talent. However, too often what seemed to be happening is once they were in place, there was very little support for the employee to integrate personally into this ideal – there was a mismatch and no technology seems to be able to bridge the gap.”

Inplacement was born

During one conversation with an HRD, the idea of Inplacement sprung into view and Hannah says she realised that, while it was a risk to go against the grain by putting humans where tech has ruled, from that point on everyone she spoke to about her idea ‘strongly agreed’ something along those lines was needed.

Maru is backed by recruitment entrepreneurs Mike Beesley and Keith Dawe through their TIMESTWO Investment programme and has a partnership with The HR World.

Hannah took the idea to the board and Inplacement was born. Now, she says, she is hoping to see the idea take off as the programme has been built to scale easily – whether it is for small companies of up to 25 or for larger corporate firms.

She said: “One of the fears of the human aspect of retention practices is simply time management. While managers have the best of intention, too often the world of work takes over and essential team building and culture forming activities are put on the back burner.

“This ultimately leads to disenfranchised employees who do not feel looked after or understood in those important weeks of entering a new job. This is probably most significant for younger, less experienced hires and so we have shaped the programme to really focus on this market during the first stages of launch.”

Business philosophy

Hannah has grown her team and skilled up to ensure that the programme has all the necessary requirements needed to accommodate HR and says that Inplacement is the first in a series of solutions that her professional community has told her is needed.

She said: “Long gone are the days that recruitment businesses can just plaster CVS across someone’s desk and expect to get the right person for the job.

“I have always believed that every hire is a change to make your business better and that means from the very beginning of any recruitment process hard questions need to be asked and systems that find the right people for the business are put in place.

“This is from job design, to talent attraction and then on to onboarding. I’ve developed my whole business philosophy on these concepts and am looking forward to seeing how we can improve the lives of both business leaders and their teams in the important years ahead.”

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