Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

 16 Sep 2021

Why you need to have a great onboarding process
Hiring a new colleague might start with an advert and interview process, but it doesn’t finish with the offer and acceptance. 
 
An effective and engaging onboarding process has always been important, but now that many companies are offering a hybrid work model, it is crucial for success.
Regardless of your company size or global location, new employees want to feel part of something. They need to feel welcomed, part of a team and have a purpose within that team. Belonging and purpose are basic human needs, and in a professional setting, it’s no different.
 
Get onboarding right, and your colleague is engaged, motivated and productive. Get it wrong, and the time, money, and resource you invested in hiring new colleagues are essentially down the drain, and you’re back to square one.
 
Five Reasons You Need a Great Onboarding Process
  1. To create purpose and set expectations – if you are unclear or don’t set these guidelines, your new colleague will likely flounder as they try to find their own path. You could get lucky with a colleague who has fantastic initiative and hits the ground running but, if you’re not open and clear about the purpose of the job, there could be a misalignment.
  2. Boost your employer brand – in a world where we are all reviewers, and we’re quick to share our experiences both publicly and privately; your employer brand is always in the spotlight. Don’t be the company that is getting negative reviews. Candidates will do their research before joining you. If that research says the recruitment and onboarding process is poor, those candidates will move on to the next opportunity.
  3. Ensure engagement – when your new colleagues are motivated and engaged, they are more productive. It really is as basic as that, with engaged colleagues, your team, department, and the business as a whole move forward. This type of environment allows creativity and innovation to flourish; that’s when things get exciting!
  4. Give colleagues every chance of success – failing to onboard colleagues properly means they are already on the back foot. If you haven’t outlined expectations, set goals, and communicated effectively, how can you expect them to succeed?
  5. Avoid rehiring costs – all of the above can contribute to your new recruit leaving in the first few months of employment—a situation everyone wants to avoid. The REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) estimates the cost of a bad hire at more than 3 x salary. For a mid-level manager on around £42,000 could be as much as £132,000. This includes the hidden costs of training, lost productivity and knock-on effects with existing staff. So it’s in everybody’s interests to hire the right people and onboard them effectively.
 
How to create an effective onboarding process
  • Pre-Day 1 – make sure that your new colleague or colleagues have heard from you before their first day. They need to have clarity on where they are going (if working on-site or in an office), who to ask for, what time they are expected to be available, etc.
  • Get the tech in place – ensure you have the required technology in place. Both hardware - like their computer and software - including access to relevant programmes, logins to emails, etc.
  • Mentor – if your team size allows, as well as a line manager, think about having another port of call for new colleagues. Someone they can go to with simple questions like how the photocopier works, as well as bigger concerns.
  • Be available – yes, we’re all busy, but make time and be available for new recruits. Don’t be the blocker that stops them from progressing or feeling like they’ve achieved something. 
  • Hold team meetings, even virtual ones – team building can be cheesy, but it’s worth investing time in team meetings and even virtual activities to help build connections. 
  • Stay in touch – communication should be regular throughout the onboarding process and, of course, beyond it. The early days are essential, though and even an end of the day check-in goes a long way. Whether it’s an in-person meeting, a video or phone call, a voice note or a quick text – they are all useful for staying in touch, although don’t rely on the latter too often. Rich, open communication allows for meaningful discussions.
  • Company culture – defining your company culture can be difficult. All too often, companies rely on their website wording to talk about the culture but think about genuine culture or company habits you can share. Even if it’s a basic ‘on Fridays, we have informal meetings to celebrate (or commiserate!) about the week.’ Most of all, let your recruit immerse themselves in the company culture 
  • Plan milestones and assignments (and don’t move the goalposts!) – working with your new colleagues, detail milestones on their career journey. What projects will they be working on, what should be completed by when, what assignments will be coming their way? These don’t have to be too prescriptive but outlining early projects and goals give you both a framework to be guided by.  
These are some stepping stones to allow you to effectively onboard your latest recruits. Hopefully, you can see how crucial it is and how passionate we are about giving new colleagues the best chance of success.
 
If you need more advice about recruiting and onboarding in your team, contact us at Red.

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