Poor onboarding causing Singaporean workers to quit during probation: Survey

Singapore’s CFOs are losing new employees during their probation period because of poor onboarding processes. Read more here.

  • 49% of Singapore’s financial employers have had an employee resign during their probation period due to poor onboarding processes, with 27% losing the employee during their first month because of it.
  • 91% believe their organisation’s onboarding program is sufficient or more than sufficient.

As companies compete in an increasingly skills-short employment market in Singapore, business leaders understand the importance of hiring the best talent. Yet new research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals almost half (49%) of Singapore’s financial employers have had a new employee resign during their probation period due to poor onboarding processes, with more than one in four (27%) citing they have even lost an employee during the first month because of it. 

Despite many CFOs’ statement that they have lost staff because of a poor onboarding process, many of the same finance leaders assess their onboarding program to meet expectations. According to the survey of 150 Singaporean CFOs within finance, accounting and financial services, almost half (45%) believe their current onboarding process is “good”, while 9% believe their onboarding process is “excellent”, and 37% say it is “sufficient”. This suggests a possible disconnect between employers who think they have an efficient onboarding process and employees leaving the organisation due to a poor onboarding process. 

Additionally, Singapore’s financial leaders state it takes an average of 4.5 months for new employees to gain a level of proficiency where they can independently and successfully manage their responsibilities. While several factors contribute toward helping employees reach their full potential, having a well-developed onboarding program is essential.  Organisations that lack proper onboarding programs are exposed to greater productivity risks, as it generally then takes longer before their new employees reach the same level of proficiency as their tenured colleagues.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: “In today’s candidate-short market, too many business leaders sometimes forget it’s not only about attracting and securing talent, but also retaining them, thereby highlighting the importance of helping the employee kick-start their career in the best possible way thanks to an efficient onboarding process.”

“Companies who lose new recruits during their probation period not only have to start the recruitment process from scratch, but they also have to deal with the associated costs of lost productivity and low team morale among employees who most likely have to manage the additional workload. Additionally, losing employees that early on does not increase the standing of the company as an employer of choice to potential new applicants, potentially impacting the wider attractiveness of the business.”

“Companies who want their new employee to stay for the long term need to ensure their onboarding process is a positive and welcoming experience from day one. New team members should be equipped with a fully prepared workspace with all the necessary technical essentials. Not only this, but managers should also provide regular guidance on job requirements and goals for their new employee, and frequently check in to see if they have any questions or concerns about their new job. Having an efficient onboarding program in place will ensure companies avoid high staff turnover and help the new employee start producing results early on,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard.  


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 150 CFOs within the finance, accounting and financial services sectors in Singapore. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.  


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]