As many organizations in the industry are grappling for external resources, Onto Innovation has expertly chosen to look inward. We recognize the unmatched talent that exists at our company already and have implemented a course of action that directly taps into that. Our employees continuously push the boundaries of innovation, so their long-standing commitment to Onto is nothing but an asset.

Onto talent has grown 40% since 2022, but despite the infusion of new talent, our average employee tenure is almost eight years. This centralized focus on employee retention has thus become the core of our strategy moving into 2024.

We have found that encouraging, educating, and advancing our workforce are key in this initiative to keep our employees satisfied in their professional ​​careers. To achieve this, our human resources team has aimed to increase current employee ascension throughout the organization. Providing vertical and lateral movement opportunities ensures that our current talent is being used to their fullest potential and that their history with Onto is rewarded.

In 2022, this growth initiative provided approximately 20% of our team with promotional opportunities, well exceeding the 7% average documented by the Society for Human Resource Management Human Capital Benchmarking Report.1 Thus, our engineers and other employees are exposed to a broader set of opportunities. They get to expand their skills by learning alongside other groups, ultimately leading to improved industry problem-solving and technological innovation. Concurrently, our employees’ drive for excellence is reignited as they tackle these new job tasks, generating higher employee satisfaction.

This retention plan works hand in hand with our strategy to invite newcomers to Onto. Our employees join and stay because of our attentiveness to their needs. We have established structured engagement programs to ensure that our employees feel supported. Our Buddy Program helps new hires integrate into life at Onto through the guidance of a current employee. We host learning opportunities covering topics on emotional intelligence, active listening, leadership competencies, and more. We prioritize the benefits of in-person interaction in a meeting room, in the lunchroom, or on the clean room floor. And Onto understands the needed balance of disconnecting outside of work hours.

Now more than ever, it is imperative that our human resources team is intentionally aligned with our business model to make effective talent-based decisions. We make it a priority for the team to understand the deep programmatic needs of the company and the technicality of our industry. They leverage analytics around lead time and critical high-volume needs to ensure proper timing and pipeline health for critical path resources.

We also partner with organizations like The Society of Women Engineers and Hack Diversity to broaden our reach and advance diversity of team thought. Our core contingent global staffing partners are also available to support the ebbs and flows of the business as we navigate the current climate.

As the future of hiring continues to change and the talent pool for the semiconductor industry remains strained, Onto Innovation remains focused on our current talent to ensure they feel supported in their growing career at Onto, leaving us with high employee satisfaction and an environment where newcomers want to join.

This post originally appeared as part of the Community Reflections article in the 2024 Yearbook

Tom Bauer

Tom Bauer serves as vice president of global human resources for Onto Innovation. Tom began…

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