The Danger of Skipping the New Hire Onboarding Process

Congratulations! You’ve found a candidate and they’ve accepted your formal offer for employment. But what are the next steps? If your answer is “wait for them to show up on your doorstep and get them moving right away,” you’re in for a rocky ride.

There are actually plenty of tasks that will need to be completed in the on boarding process—some even before the new hire’s first day. For a detailed look, check out this month’s article, “How to Set Up Your New Hire for Success.”

Skipping through this process could cost you in productivity and revenue for years to come. Here are some real-life examples of on boarding, or lack thereof, gone terribly wrong.

The data points (aka. process) by which these firms were evaluated are:

Adopting a mindset that team members are investments, not instruments

Preparing and completing a pre-hiring checklist

Defining roles

Outlining short and long-term career path options

Collaborating on trajectory

Assigning a mentor

Periodically meeting, monitoring, and checking in

True Story: $525 million AUM planning and investment firm, of 14 employees, sacrifices full year of productivity and profitability and loses 1 senior advisor due to lack of on boarding.

This firm brought on a novice advisor from a well-known and respected CFP undergraduate program and provided a $65K compensation package. As expected, the advisor had very little experience in the field.

On the surface, this is not an exorbitant salary or a terrible move if you have the time, resources, or processes already in place to train and prepare the advisor to take on client management and servicing tasks, without constant oversight, within 90 days of hiring. This, however, was not the case at this firm.

With no guides, resources, or training program to follow, the new hire was left defenseless. Naturally, someone else in the firm had to neglect their own position in marketing and client management to spend time training the advisor. The time commitment was overwhelming for this individual who virtually went from generating business leads and client management to being a highly overqualified hand-holder. So, not only was the firm taking on the $65k compensation expense, but was sacrificing potential revenue and quality client service.

Enter the domino effect.

Meanwhile, a senior advisor in the firm who was accustomed to leaning on the marketing department to generate leads, saw the firm stagnate and their numbers plateau. This advisor, unsupported and wary of its longevity, jumped ship and took clients with them. They opted for a firm with a more robust new hire and training process and stellar marketing department that would support their advancement.

Profitability remained in the single digits a year longer than expected, marketing virtually ceased, and every member of the team felt these burdens ripple into and suffocate the company culture.

After it was all said and done, it was a full year before the new advisor was able to sit with a client and do what needed to be done—and to no fault of their own. Since this firm’s transformation, the advisor has become a valuable asset for the firm.

The most haunting part of this case study is that it is certainly not an anomaly. These same missteps are made by countless advisory firms, large and small or rural and metropolitan. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this same fate.

Don’t Skip This Step!

The best business processes, on boarding included, are systematized and streamlined so as to save time and resources and improve productivity and culture.

But beyond the tactical benefits, they are investments in your human capital. They show your team that you value their time, are prepared to sacrifice some of your own to invest in their growth, and view them as an integral part of the firm.

Don’t let this true story be you. Start systematizing and making time for your on boarding process today.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or share with a friend if you think this information could add value. Good luck transforming your business!

Related: Can Advisors Rise out of the Dangerous Middle?