When your company begins the recruitment process, you’ll no doubt be thinking about the short term - the process of finding the right person, and the long term - having the person installed in the position and how much value they can add to your organisation.
However, the time bridging those two periods also needs to be considered. The onboarding process can set the tone for the entire length of time the new hire will be at your business. If done well, it can inspire confidence in your company’s abilities and go a long way towards boosting loyalty.
An effective onboarding plan will involve more than just ordering new business cards.
Much of your onboarding process will be dictated by how senior the person you’re bringing in is. It will help you establish whether you need to put together a more introductory plan detailing all aspects of the job - as you would in the case of a junior hire - or keep things more focused on the specific way that the company operates - what you’d do for someone who knows the job already.
The new employee should also be informed of what your company stands for. The more senior a recruit, the more important it is that they embody your company’s values, since they’ll be managing their own teams and reflecting this culture in their interactions with them.
Educating them about your company culture should begin prior to the interview process. In providing all the information they could need on your website and social media networks, you will allow potential candidates to establish whether they would be a good fit with your company culture. This reduces time wasting when it gets to the interview stage. You’ll also ensure that you’re employing someone who has a solid understanding of your business and its aims.
The seniority of the new hire will also influence how long your onboarding plan should be.
Many companies conclude their onboarding plan at one week, leaving their new employee to fend for themselves. This could work for certain organisations but is insufficient for others.
Research from the American Express OPEN Forum revealed that it takes an average of eight months for a new worker to become fully productive. This means that they will need support for this period to help bring them up to speed and let them show what they can really contribute to your firm.
The new hire’s managers and directors should therefore be kept up-to-date with their progress and how they’re working towards achieving that level of maximum productivity. Weekly or fortnightly meetings will help you set out time-specific goals for the new recruit and discuss how they are progressing in realising them.
When onboarding a new hire, you should always make use of your company’s best resource: your existing workforce. This means appointing a mentor figure, who can take the time to answer any questions your new employee may have.
They can show them how the company works and what success in their role looks like. Any queries about minor details can be directed to them so board meetings are not derailed by questions about photocopiers.
Don’t forget that your company’s brand and culture likely played a big part in attracting your new employee to your firm, so you should ensure that this is reflected in the way you bring your new employees on board.
For instance, if you’re an environmentally-friendly firm, avoid too much physical paperwork in favour of emailed handbooks and protocol documents. Sending this sort of information to the employee before they start will also help to keep them feeling overwhelmed on their first day.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 17th March 2017
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