HUMAN RESOURCES

Offer Your New Hires Training, Not Free Doughnuts

A recent survey finds that new employees aren't impressed by perks like free food and gym memberships, but care a lot about orientation programs, useful feedback, and opportunities to contribute quickly.
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You might be taking the wrong tack when you're trying to sell your company to potential employees and retain those already on board. 

Employees care little about free perks at a new job and put more weight on other onboarding elements like mentoring opportunities and job training, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. workers by Lindon, Utah-based human resources software company BambooHR.

The survey found that often-overlooked onboarding processes are actually very important to people when they start new jobs. Three-quarters of those surveyed, for example, said that new-hire orientations are time well spent.

But possibly the most important takeaway from the survey for business owners is that 76 percent of those surveyed agreed on-the-job training is the most important thing a company can provide to get new employees up to speed and starting to contribute. The assignment of an employee "buddy" or "mentor" was cited second-most often in this category. 

Once companies bring new hires into the company, it is important that the companies keep them in the loop. Survey respondents who left jobs after less than six months indicated that "review and feedback of early contributions" was very important to their happiness and success. Less than one percent said that "free food and perks" would have been a factor in getting them to stay at a job they left after six months. 

So when you bring on new hires, don't worry so much about the perks you can offer them. Instead, focus on the orientation and training processes you have in place. 

 

IMAGE: Corbis
Last updated: Mar 19, 2014

ABIGAIL TRACY

Abigail Tracy is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.




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