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Why you only have five days to impress a new recruit

However, recruiting a new member of staff doesnt end as soon as your new employee walks through the door. New research we recently carried out has revealed how new recruits feel within the first week of their newly found career and employers might be staggered at the results.

For example, we discovered that 41 per cent of those surveyed said they decided whether or not the role was right for them within the first five days of starting a new job. This means employers only have a limited amount of time to make their new recruit feel welcome. After all, first impressions dont end as soon as the interview and selection process is over.

We asked a cross-section of more than 4,000 UK employees which factors influenced them to make this decision and discovered just some of the reasons why the role might not be what they first thought.

Unfriendly working environment

There were a number of explanations as to why a new recruit might change their mind after saying yes to that formal job offer. 

For some, the whole idea of walking into an office full of people theyve never met before can be daunting in itself. Now imagine how that person would feel if they were also faced with a group of unfriendly colleagues who didnt make them feel welcome. A shocking 51 per cent of employees stated this would be the main reason theyd look for the exit and never come back.

Lack of opportunity for progression

Theres nothing worse than being stuck in a rut and, it seems, 42 per cent of employees would agree. By offering career and training opportunities to your staff, you will increase the chances of keeping them motivated and aiming to be the best they can be within their role. Also try offering them incentives and you should soon find new targets being met.

Being or feeling underpaid

More money doesnt necessarily mean happier staff, however, 18 per cent still indicate that being underpaid would cause them to look for another job. 

If you have a member of staff you dont want to lose and you’re aware the quality of their work and commitment to the business isnt reflected in their salary, identify this sooner rather than later to see if there is room for an increase.

Negativity from unhappy staff

Another huge impact that can have an effect on new recruits is the negative stories they hear from unhappy staff. Eleven per cent of those we spoke to said this would be a reason to leave. 

Try meeting with your existing team before your new starter arrives and give them all a confidence boost, ensuring they positively welcome the new member of staff. There is nothing worse for a new recruit to join your company feeling confident about their new job, only to have their hopes dashed with how unhappy other people are working there.

Feeling unappreciated

A small 7 per cent felt unappreciated in the workplace but gave this as a good reason to move onto something new. 

It can be challenging within a busy environment to recognise good work or who it should be attributed to, but even a quick thank you can go a long way to ensuring employees feel valued. 

If you’re the owner or director of a large business who simply doesnt have involvement in the day-to-day running of the office, ensure departmental managers are given the responsibility of recognising when a member of their team has done a good job and either reward or acknowledge this accordingly.

A final note

These days, it’s the norm for businesses to offer someone a new role with a three-month probationary period, providing employers a fair amount of time to develop and monitor the progress of a new recruit. 

However, Its worth bearing in mind that almost half of new employees still actively look for work for up to one month after starting a new job, so be conscious that if an employee isnt impressed within the first five days, they may still be planning to leave up to four or five weeks later.

Lee Biggins is founder and managing director of CV-Library.


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