After the Hire: Onboarding

By Paige D. Gullotti, Director of Operations & Client Solutions

You’ve finally found the right candidate for the job! You ran a successful search, found dozens of qualified candidates, narrowed it down to a select few, put them through multiple interviews, completed assessments, checked references, and now you’ve found your superstar! What now?

A thorough search process to select the “right” candidate is clearly important to ensure success and positive outcomes for an organization. But to effectively build rapport, keep new hires engaged, manage expectations, and increase retention, a successful onboarding process is key. First impressions are significant, but keeping the promises you made during the interview process will establish the respect and trust necessary to build long lasting relationships that will produce results.

When creating or evaluating your onboarding process, be sure your approach keeps these 4 elements in mind:

1.Determine WHAT they need to know.

When a new hire begins, it is absolutely essential to lay the groundwork to set them up for success. Understanding the ins and outs of their work environment is key. Provide them with the tools, training, and insight necessary to accomplish their day-to-day work. Office norms such as dress, flexibility, and basic rules are all simple things to provide immediately that can help new hires feel more comfortable in their role.

2.Identify WHO they need to know.

Introductions and meaningful conversations are crucial to building effective teams and making new hires feel welcome. Connecting them with team members will help to ensure relationships begin to develop and open the door for establishing trust and building rapport right from the start. Groups to consider making introductions to:

Support staff – They will provide the assistance necessary to set new hires up for success. They can set the tone for communication standards and help them adjust to their new work environment.

Seasoned team members – They can offer insight on the history of the organization and why they’ve committed to it’s success for all these years.

Recent hires – They can offer a fresh perspective on their start and why they recently decided to join the organization.

3.Provide OPEN COMMUNICATION.

Be transparent. Ensure new hires have the contact information they need to navigate their way through the organization. Schedule follow-up and establish accountability standards to set them up with a consistent feedback loop, with daily, weekly or monthly check-ins. Help them feel and know their voice will be heard.

4.Realize that onboarding is an ONGOING PROCESS.

Of course, the first day and week makes a huge impact on a person’s experience and perspective of an organization, but development is an ongoing process. New hires should be recognized as such for at least the first 6-12 months. As stated above, feedback is crucial and it takes time to understand the inner workings of any organization, therefore, follow-up on training and development, and create onboarding stages that will help the new hires become fully integrated into the organization.

Overall, transparency is essential. Whether you are a start-up or celebrating your 100th year anniversary, there is no denying onboarding new hires should be a priority. Don’t be afraid to ask new hires for feedback, constantly evaluate your process, and make changes when necessary. No one process is right. It should be unique to your company’s culture and should set the tone for your new hires to understand what success means in your organization.

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