Articles 3 min read

What is the Valley of Uncertainty?

By Julie Kuepers (Senior Digital Content Strategist at Click Boarding)

Ever hear of the Valley of Uncertainty?

No? Well, Click Boarding coined the term and concept of the Valley of Uncertainty. It’s our analogy of the gap that exists between Talent Acquisition and Talent Management. Sounds like a scary place to be, right? The Valley of Uncertainty is where your newly hired candidates fall off the bandwagon… when they’re most at risk.

But why are they at risk in this talent gap? We’ll get to the details in a moment, but it all comes back to the lack of investment to successfully move new hires from candidates to engaged employees. It’s the period of time where new employees are handed off from the recruiting department into the business. And it’s not only fundamental to the long-term success of the employee; it’s also vital for the health and longevity of the business.

So where do we go from here? How can companies effectively win the war on talent while retaining their employees?

Let’s start at the beginning

The volatility in today’s hyper-competitive talent market is more rampant than ever in the expensive scramble to find and retain employees. Throughout the pandemic, employee expectations have escalated to new heights. Add the appeal of remote and hybrid jobs, and employee’s options feel infinite as they search for work that propels their purpose and passion. On the flip side, organizations struggle to provide engaging employee experiences and meaningful work.

For more than 15 years, David Corrigan orchestrated growth initiatives across workforce solutions, enterprise technology and advisory services landscapes. As Click Boarding’s Chief Revenue Officer, Corrigan leads the Commercial Revenue Organization. We asked him to break down the Valley of Uncertainty and explain Click’s approach to this very real problem.

“Consider all the people involved in recruiting, hiring and onboarding a new employee. It takes a village! But the lack of defined ownership and clear goals make new hires feel the process is just a sad afterthought.” Corrigan says the absence of thinking and structure around onboarding is especially detrimental to a new hire’s success. “How engaged would you feel if you were put in a corner for hours to complete paperwork on your first day? If this process reflects the company’s sentiment, your first impression is probably quite underwhelming.”

Valley of Uncertainty: vulnerability at its core

In today’s crazy labor market, employees have the upper hand. That’s why employers must realize their hard work isn’t over once a candidate’s accepted offer is received. It’s when the real investment begins!

From the employee’s perspective, the last thing they want to do on Day 1 is complete a looming pile of forms and documentation, especially after the period of radio silence. “We’re seeing companies make huge investments in recruiting marketing and the candidate journey,” Corrigan said. “But after they become employees, the challenge is ensuring the employer’s intention of delivering a well-orchestrated, standardized and measured employee journey.”

Within Talent Acquisition, businesses invest an average of nearly $4,700 per employee to receive an accepted offer. This cost includes a combination of tech, people and recruitment marketing. Once hired, companies spend about $2,420 per employee on efforts to enhance their experience.

But what about the time in between? Corrigan offered context. “With recruiting competition at an all-time high, candidates are wined and dined during the talent acquisition stage. But with negative onboarding as today’s norm, new hires feel like a bait-and-switch victim. This is the Valley of Uncertainty.” Corrigan says it’s when the investment begins to drop off and says it’s followed by dwindling employee excitement, confidence, satisfaction and ultimately, attrition.

“The Valley of Uncertainty creates buyer’s remorse for employees who second guess their decision to join your organization in the first place,” Corrigan said emphatically. “It’s why you must capitalize on this period during onboarding, when your new hires are most vulnerable.” With only one in 10 employees strongly agreeing their organization does an excellent job of onboarding, the challenge is a daunting one. But not impossible.

Aside from missing the mark on engagement, many organizations lack the technology and automation to support new hires with setup as they learn their new role. Rather than spending time connecting with the team and taking on meaningful work, they get bogged down in administration of the setup and don’t know where to turn for help or direction.

Don’t risk losing talent in the Valley of Uncertainty

How can you prevent losing new hires and the costly investment you’ve made in them in today’s talent gap? Discover the answer on August 11th! Attend our webinar for access to exclusive, new data and an in-depth discussion on preventing the loss of talent within the Valley of Uncertainty.

ClickBoarding Overview

In today’s competitive environment, engagement is the key to long-term, people ROI.

Amidst elevated employee expectations and the detrimental impact of turnover, onboarding is critical. It’s where employee retention begins and it sets the stage for elevated experiences across the employee lifecycle. Click’s end-to-end experience platform enables countless opportunities for true human moments that keep team members delighted, engaged and – ultimately – onboard.

It’s time to transform new hires from candidates to advocates with Click’s fully compliant and ever-engaging employee journey platform. Because onboarding is just the beginning.

For more information, follow us at @ClickBoardingHR, or at

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