Employee Retention Starts on Day One  

Retaining employees is one of the top priorities companies allot resources for. High turnover rates disrupt workflow and productivity and incur costs in recruiting, training, and onboarding new employees. It’s important to note that employee experience plays a part in retention. 

Uncommon to most, employee experience actually begins from the very first interaction with an employer. Each interaction contributes to an employee’s overall sentiment and shapes their long-term commitment to the organization.  

Importance of a Well-Structured Onboarding Program 

This sets the foundation for long-term employee engagement and retention. It introduces new hires to the company’s values, mission, and goals, providing a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. 

Integrating new employees smoothly into the existing team allows companies to foster a sense of belonging and create a positive employee experience from the onset. 

A candidate’s initial impression of a company dramatically influences their decision to pursue an opportunity. Employers can strive to make a positive first impression by showcasing their organization’s values, mission, and work environment. 

Clear and engaging job descriptions, user-friendly application processes, and responsive communication demonstrate respect and professionalism. This leaves candidates with a favorable view of the company. 

Strategies to Enhance Employee Retention From the Hiring Stage 

Let your employees feel like they belong even during the hiring stage. Having an inclusive culture sets them up for a pleasant stay within the organization, creating a better employee experience. Here are some employee retention strategies to improve your retention rate. 

1. Provide a realistic preview of the job. 

Be transparent about the job requirements, challenges, and expectations during the hiring process. This helps candidates make informed decisions, sets realistic expectations, and ensures that candidates fully understand the role they are applying for. 

This not only helps set realistic expectations but also minimizes the likelihood of early dissatisfaction or turnover. It ensures candidates have a comprehensive understanding of the position and can confidently determine if it aligns with their skills, abilities, and career goals. 

2. Focus on hiring for culture fit and culture add. 

Look for candidates who align with your company’s values, mission, and culture, including candidates with disabilities. Assess their potential to contribute and enhance the existing culture. Consider their ability to bring diverse perspectives and skills that can promote a supportive environment for all employees. 

3. Conduct thorough interviews and assessments. 

Going beyond evaluating a candidate’s skills and qualifications lets organizations delve into their motivation, attitude, and long-term commitment. Behavioral questions and assessments provide valuable insights. 

This includes a candidate’s work style, problem-solving abilities, and potential for growth and adaptability within the company. Look for their willingness to embrace challenges, learn from experiences, and contribute positively to the organization’s goals and values. 

4. Showcase growth and development opportunities. 

During recruitment, highlight the potential for professional advancement, learning, and skill-building. Candidates are often drawn to companies that prioritize their employees’ career development and offer avenues for continuous growth. 

Emphasize mentoring programs, training initiatives, and career progression paths to attract candidates who value personal and professional development. In doing so, organizations can attract motivated individuals to stay and thrive within the company. 

5. Offer competitive employee benefits and compensation. 

Ensure your pay aligns with industry standards and reflects the candidate’s experience and skills. Aside from their pay, provide a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks that promote work-life balance, support their well-being, and prevent employee burnout. 

Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote or hybrid work setups, can also be attractive to candidates seeking better work-life integration or individuals with disabilities. 

6. Foster a positive candidate experience. 

Treat candidates with respect and professionalism at every step of the hiring process, from initial contact to final decision-making. Be responsive to their inquiries, provide timely updates on their application status, and offer constructive feedback, regardless of the outcome. 

It adds to the creation of a positive candidate experience that increases the likelihood of them accepting job offers and remaining engaged if they join your organization. This is how you can set the foundation for a long-term relationship between the candidate-turned-employee and the company. 

Onboarding Is a Crucial Part of Employee Retention 

After the hiring process comes onboarding—the actual first day. Onboarding greatly contributes to an employee’s overall job experience, ultimately influencing retention. Here are the reasons why a proper onboarding process keeps employees happy in the long run. 

1. Offers a personalized and inclusive experience. 

Every candidate is unique, and tailoring the onboarding experience to their needs can significantly impact their perception of the company. Employers should strive to create an inclusive environment that values diversity and respects different backgrounds. 

For example, when engaging with individuals with disabilities, ensure accessibility throughout the entire process, whether it is proactively inquiring about any accommodations they may require, such as providing materials in alternative formats or making the workplace infrastructure more accessible. 

2. Sets clear expectations and goals. 

When employees clearly understand what’s expected of them, they can perform their roles with confidence and purpose. During onboarding, employers should communicate performance expectations, provide necessary training and resources, and establish a framework for continuous feedback and development. 

This ensures employees are fully aware of their performance expectations, job responsibilities, and the organization’s vision and values. It also empowers them to perform effectively and contributes to their long-term satisfaction. 

3. Increases engagement. 

Onboarding programs that focus on engaging new hires foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. Engaged employees are more committed to their work, which positively impacts their performance and productivity. 

In fact, Gallup reports that only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding its employees. Onboarding forms an emotional bond between a new employee and the organization. Failure to create this bond can make or break employee retention.¹

4. Allows a smooth transition and integration into the company culture. 

When hiring for culture fit, organizations look for candidates who share similar values, exhibit behaviors that align with the company’s culture, and can easily integrate into the existing team dynamics. This approach aims to ensure new hires can adapt well, collaborate effectively, and thrive within the organization’s unique work environment. 

Selecting candidates who are an excellent cultural fit allows companies to enhance teamwork, boost employee satisfaction, and foster a cohesive and harmonious workplace culture. This makes it easier for new hires to participate in team-building activities, work with mentors, and join social interactions. 

5. Promotes diversity and innovation. 

In addition to culture fit, organizations should consider culture add when hiring. Culture add refers to candidates who bring unique perspectives, experiences, and skills that enhance the existing culture and drive innovation.  

Hiring individuals with disabilities brings valuable perspectives and experiences that contribute to a more inclusive and innovative workplace. Often, people with disabilities look for alternative ways and use assistive technologies to perform tasks in their everyday lives, and they are more creative and resourceful problem solvers.   

In turn, it significantly impacts providing insights into how individuals can think outside the box and apply these strategies in their work, fostering organizational growth and development. 

6. Reduces turnover costs. 

High employee turnover can be financially and operationally burdensome for organizations. The costs associated with recruiting, training, and onboarding new employees can quickly add up. The Society of Human Resource Management estimates it costs organizations $30,000 to replace an employee. ²

Organizations can reduce expenses by prioritizing a comprehensive onboarding experience that focuses on employee retention. When employees are cared for from the beginning, it creates a more satisfying work experience, ensuring that more people stay longer within the company. 


At Galt Foundation, we understand the importance of employee retention and the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce. If you are looking to enhance your hiring process, promote diversity, and create a supportive workplace culture, we are here to help. 

Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions and how we can assist you in making your workplace more diverse and inclusive, allowing your organization to retain its employees. 


1. “Why the Onboarding Experience Is Key for Retention.” Gallup, www.gallup.com/why-onboarding-experience-key-retention. 26 Jun. 2023. 

2. Agovino, Theresa, “To Have and to Hold.” Society of Human Resource Management, 13 Feb. 2019, www.shrm.org/to-have-and-to-hold. 

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