"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." - Will Rogers
We all know how important a first impression is. Your first opinion about a person or organization can drastically impact your overall experience and opinions about them.
Employee recruitment is no exception, and neither is the onboarding experience. You want to put your best foot forward right from the start.
Creating an effective onboarding process is essential. A proper onboarding experience will help you set up employee performance for the long run and align your employees with the company goals.
Your new hire orientation is an employee’s first official contact with their new employer and should be a proper welcome to the workplace. You want them to complete the process feeling acclimated, welcomed, and fully informed.
We all know how it feels to be the new person in a workplace and how nerve-wracking it can be. As an employer or HR manager, it is your job to try and lessen that anxiety and turn the experience into a positive one.
This article will explain what an onboarding process is, the steps you should take during each stage of the process, and how you can digitally onboard an employee.
An employee onboarding process is the strategic introduction of an employee to their new company.
Onboarding introduces workers to the team, their job role, career path, and future responsibilities. As such, it should strongly incorporate the company handbook, detail your organizational values, and explain your company mission.
There is so much a new employee needs to learn about the company goals and products, so you might as well start right away.
This process is as much for the company as it is for the new employee. This is your opportunity to create a strong base from which you can build these employees' knowledge of the organization and their role within it.
There is no concrete definition that says exactly which activities fall into the realm of an onboarding process, but it typically includes hiring paperwork, training, education, and team welcoming.
This process lasts between a few months and a year, although most organizations make the mistake of only focusing on the first week that the employee is at the company.
Effective onboarding programs focus on helping the employee settle in much longer than just the first week. The bulk of the structured onboarding program should occur at this time, but there should be ample follow-up and support continued after this first week.
You can’t just set up an employee at their desk, sign some papers, introduce them to their team, and go on your way. You need to have a process that ensures they are checked on long after their first day or week.
Of course, this is easier said than done in a dynamic organization with many new employees. The task of following up and ensuring that everyone is acknowledged isn’t always an easy one.
However, we have tons of tools and tricks that we’ll be discussing and linking in this article, so don’t stress out quite yet. This should be a fun process!
Besides introducing an employee to the technical side of their new work, it should also make them feel comfortable, accepted, and welcome. This should be something that you stress to your team and the new employee's coworkers as well.
It can be as simple as inviting them to drinks after their first day, or just sending them a personal Slack message to say you’re happy they joined the team.
Many employers and HR professionals tend to overlook the importance of creating relationships and bonding during an employee onboarding process, don’t make that mistake.
An employee that feels welcomed and valued on their team is more likely to stick around and acclimate to the work environment quicker.
An effective onboarding process leaves little to no questions about the new employees duties, ensures employee preparedness for their daily operations, and establishes a line of communication with co-workers within the work environment.
Ultimately, it should also ensure that a hire feels a sense of belonging to their new workspace. Set up meet and greets, lunches, and other forms of welcome that will make the employee feel comfortable.
Unfortunately, 88 percent of organizations don’t onboard well, according to Gallup. That can lead to new hires being twice as likely to look for other opportunities.
If your company establishes a strong onboarding process, you’ll be in the minority and you are more likely to set your team and your employees up for long term success.
An effective employee onboarding process is undoubtedly critical for preventing employee turnover and ensuring long and happy employee engagement.
That is why it’s essential to pay attention to every step of the process from the employee's first day of employment until their last.
Every employee onboarding process requires well-thought-out and intentional steps. It can seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry we are here to help.
These are the steps you can follow to establish a stable and consistent onboarding workflow.
Combine them with additional steps tailored to your company culture, values, and objectives. Each company is different and requires a different approach to onboarding. We can only give you the basics, the rest is up to you.
The onboarding workflow and hiring process should start with a clear job description, strategic candidate attraction, careful recruitment, detailed administrative tasks during hiring, and an impressive workplace presentation.
The goal is to be transparent and convey the right message throughout the hiring process and onboarding program while also impressing the employee with your workplace, culture, and compensation plan.
Our Prior To Onboarding Checklist has some tips on how you can start out your onboarding process on the right foot.
The effort shouldn’t fade after the ideal candidate confirms their interest in working at your company. Sending a new job offer letter isn’t enough to convince the future employee you appreciate that they’re joining the team.
Be sure to offer a competitive wage and make all benefits, relocation fees, and starting bonuses clear. Also, include a sincere note of excitement and appreciation for them selecting your company.
After the candidate signs their employment contract, the onboarding process officially starts. This is a crucial time for an employee's tenure with your company.
The time between accepting the offer and starting to work is critical for cementing their positive impression. Show your enthusiasm for the new employee by creating a solid line of communication.
You don’t want to overwhelm the new hire with messages after they accept their offer letter and before they start full-time employment, but it is good to keep an open line of communication between yourself and them.
In the case of remote onboarding, it would be beneficial to have reliable onboarding software and to pay extra attention to ensuring the employee is ready to start work.
The big day is here! Lights, camera, action.
At this stage of onboarding workflow, it’s essential to deliver a stellar onboarding experience and ensure the employee feels welcome and at ease.
Check out our Onboarding Day Checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything important. The first day is a big one. Some companies also decide to split the suggested onboarding requirements between several days or a week to avoid overwhelming the employee.
How you decide to split up this process depends on how advanced the position is, how much time your HR team has, and how many coworkers and managers can and will support the employee.
Now that the first day is over, your work isn’t done.
Ensure your new hire understands what the company expects from them in the first few weeks (or months) and get them excited about the future opportunities.
This first week is all about slowly introducing them to their role without overwhelming them with too much information or responsibilities.
Feedback is key to helping employees and managers grow. No matter how well set up your onboarding program is, there is always room for improvement.
It is crucial to track and measure the onboarding process. One great way to do that is to get feedback from employees who have gone through the process.
Giving and receiving feedback is an art. Check out our guide to 360 Degree Feedback for some tips.
The first thing to keep in mind is that employees must feel comfortable in order to share their feedback and opinions with you. If they fear that honest critique will not be taken well, they won’t share anything truly useful.
Ask them questions that will encourage them to share their experiences and feel comfortable giving honest feedback. Getting their honest feedback will help you rectify potential issues timely and ensure a flawless employee experience.
After remote work became the norm after the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital onboarding took over recruitment.
E-Recruitment is a process we know well and actually encourage for all companies. Read our guide to e-recruitment for more information.
Even though introducing new employees to the workplace virtually may feel detached, it is possible to compensate for the missing human element. You can do this by scheduling more check-ins, sending a welcome gift, or ordering lunch for the employee on their first day.
Many companies have created effective onboarding processes for digital employee onboarding. Here are our tips.
All of those practices can be automated with flair's recruiting feature, for a more pleasant employee and HR experience!
No matter if it’s digital or in-person, the onboarding journey should be cohesive and strategic for all employees. The onboarding process will set the tone for the rest of the employee's tenure.
By following our onboarding steps, you can rest assured that your new employee will receive an all-encompassing experience to prepare them for their daily activities.
Remember, strategic employee onboarding doesn't end as soon as Friday afternoon of their first week is over. It is an ongoing process.
Check out our After Onboarding Process Checklist for help figuring out what the next steps are.
You should be sure to monitor their career progression and continue to offer onboarding tools and learning resources until your employee is fully acclimated.
It's also a good idea to have a meeting six months and one year after a new employee joins your team to ensure job satisfaction and to see how they are adjusting to your corporate culture.
Combine the list with additional procedures tailored to your company to get the best results and enjoy welcoming the new team member.