IRS can improve new hire onboarding, says TIGTA
The Internal Revenue Service has done well in implementing new employee onboarding best practices, but could do better, says the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
TIGTA says the IRS has reason to pay attention to the processes of integrating new employees since to fill projected personnel shortages, agency officials have said they must recruit one manager a day for the next decade. In a report (.pdf) dated Aug. 6, auditors also cite research that effective onboarding programs can improve employee retention by 25 percent.
And the tax agency's human capital office has in fact developed an onboarding toolkit for IRS managers, and the processes within the toolkit are consistent with best practices, auditors say. But based on an online survey of 302 recently hired employees, auditors say there's room for improvement, and in some components more than others.
Only 49 percent of surveyed new employees in the Modernization and Information Technology Services organization, for example, could report that they had a computer, telephone and email account ready for them on their first day--that in contrast to the 92 percent of recent hires at the Large Business and International Division who could say so.
In the free-text portion of the survey, recently hired employees also "often expressed frustration" that they did not have a cubicle or access to IT systems for up to months after starting work at the IRS, the report says.
Among the best practices that the IRS human capital office has identified is contacting recently hired employees prior to their first day to communicate the logistics of the first day and send in advance paperwork, but 46 percent of surveyed recent hires reported they were not contacted prior to their first day to answer any question they might have had.
Auditors recommend the IRS develop an agencywide onboarding strategy that includes a checklist with step-by-step guidance for each item to be completed as well as a process to collect feedback from managers on how the process could be improved.
In the tax agency's official response to the audit, David Krieg, IRS human capital officer, concurred and said efforts are already underway to do so.
- download the report, 2012-10-091 (.pdf)