Lot of inputs have already given by the members here on how to make employees stay. I would like to talk about securing the training costs and the kits issued. You have to take stern actions so, that there is SOME amount of fear created. But beware .. the fear should NOT STOP from someone joining you, else you will have a more serious problem.
First of all include these points in the appointment letters, saying that if the person leave the organisaton within say 6 months, the training cost of Rs. XX,XXX-XX will have to reimbursed to the company. AND .. The Kits issued are the property of the company and have to be returned back while the person leaves the organisation.
You may also want to have amendments done to the standing orders and the HR policy on ABSCONDING employees, mentioning that suitable action as deemed fit by the company may be taken including legal action.
You can ask for the original certificates for verification and keep it with you (SAFELY) for some time .. may be 1-2 months. And then return them, once you are sure the person is on the job.
I work in Ad. industry where i was facing similar situations. I had done the following for one of the absconding employee. Believe me, employees absconding scenes just stopped from then on. It was a paining experience but ....
1. Collect one extra copy of the individual photograph during the joining process. (they will happily give it at this stage)
2. Always collect both a) Present address b) Permanent address from the employee with proper necessary proofs.
3. When the employee absconds from duty without any information, try to talk to them on the numbers as per records. This is to check if there is any genuine reason behind being absent (like accident etc...). Send some one as a messenger to the last known address to check the whereabouts.
IF NOTHING WORKS THEN PROCEED .....
4. Send letters through all of these ....
a) Ordinary post
b) Courier (ask for POD)
c) registered post
d) post with certificate of posting.
This letter should be mentioning the terms and conditions of his appointment letter. About the costs involved , losses incurred and the KIT (in your case). Give him a chance to rejoin OR appear and surrender the KIT and reimburse the cost. Mention that in case he does not appear before the superior before say ..1 week / 10 days (as applicable), you may be forced to take necessary action including legal action against the employee to recover the losses.
Here employee usually receives the ordinary post and knows that there is some trouble, so may decide to appear before the superior and handover the things. It confirm that the situation is serious when lot of letters keep coming through courier , regd. post etc.. so usually the situation will end here.
WAIT FOR SOME TIME HERE. May be 10-12 days. IF THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT APPEAR. THEN ...
5. FILE a FIR against the employee with the photograph and the addresses known, contact number as per records, details of losses, requesting the police to trace the person, so that your can recover the losses.
6. Personally go with the police to the known address and search for the employee. If you get him ... talk to him and inform him that you may even print a Newspaper ad. for the missing employee, if he doesn't fulfill his exit formalities. If you don't get him .. you may want to paste the notice on his door .. and inform the neighbors to inform him.
AS A EXTREME STEP ...... YOU MAY THINK OF GOING FOR A NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT IN THE PROMINENT DAILIES.
Hope this helps you.
1st November 2007 From India, Bangalore