Many companies and leaders think the most important part of the hiring process is getting a candidate to sign a job offer. They assume that once the candidate signs, you no longer have to work to make your organization attractive because they have accepted an offer. However, this is actually where much of the selling begins and it comes in the form of onboarding an employee. The onboarding experience, meaning a new employee’s first few weeks and months on the job, will determine whether or not they will want to work for you long-term. According to Digitate, employees that are left with a negative onboarding experience are 2x more likely to search for new opportunities.
We all know the importance of a first impression and onboarding is truly an employee’s first impression of your company. If they think it’s bad, they are less likely to want to grow their career with you. Here’s what you can do to ensure you are doing onboarding right.
- Create a department specific onboarding guide. Do not expect HR to cover everything they will need to know in the company-wide orientation. Create a guide that is specific to your department that includes everything from important information, FAQ’s, team norms and rules, to company acronyms. This resource guide can then be used by the employee in periods of downtime (i.e. when you cannot always be with them) to get acclimated to the team and organization.
- Match them with a current employee. Assign a current employee to act as their onboarding guide. Have the onboarding guide give an office tour, show them where everything is located from the bathrooms to the boardroom, and be a resource to answer their questions. Assigning an onboarding guide will make the new employee feel more comfortable as they feel they have someone they can immediately go to with help or questions.
- Go beyond processes and paperwork. Talk about company norms, such as executive presence and what it takes to be successful. Give them the big picture view of the organization, from the organizational values to the organization chart. The more they know and understand, the faster they will acclimate to your culture.
- Set up a new hire meet and greet. Arrange a casual meeting or “new hire party” where individuals from across the company are encouraged to introduce themselves to the new hire. This is a quick way to help the new employee establish relationships and feel a part of the organization.
- Treat them like they are a current employee. A new employee should have everything they need to do their job on their first day just like what a current employee would have. Think technology, equipment, desk, name badge, email, office supplies, application access, etc. This is the bare minimum that must be done to make a good first impression. It indicates that you are ready and excited to have them as part of the team.