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Onboarding New Hires Successfully

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Once you’ve finally landed that top recruit you’ve been after, it’s easy to celebrate and rest on our laurels. Most companies—and especially hiring teams—know the feeling we’re talking about. While we don’t want to take away from the earned sense of accomplishment, we do want to caution against thinking that your candidate crossing this threshold is the end. In the sense of pulling them on board, it is. But in the sense of keeping them—which should be the real goal here—you’re just getting started.

For new hires, starting a new job is always a stressful time. Aside from adjusting to new teammates, new managers, and new job requirements, they have to assimilate into an entirely different company culture. This can be overwhelming, and a proper support system eases this burden—and allows for the new hire to be as productive as possible.

This is why having a clear-cut onboarding process is so important. From pre-hire communications to mentoring programs, anything your company can do to ensure a smooth transition only benefits everyone involved. Here’s a quick list of onboarding items to consider:

Make an Announcement: When you make a new hire you want to ensure that his or her new teammates are aware they’re coming on board. You can even have a small office party or happy hour in their honor.

Don’t Wait Till Day One: Keeping in touch with the new hire will let you build a sense of camaraderie. You can also knock out any paperwork that would bog down their first day on the job.

Explain the Org Chart: Be sure to show them the formal organizational hierarchy—but also make sure they know how work really gets done in their department, too.

Translate the Language: Whether you call it company jargon or slang, it’s easy for a new hire to lose a lot in translation. Do you have an effective way of helping them learn the acronyms and terms they need to know?

Set the Etiquette Expectation: Setting a new hire free without explaining company etiquette is never the best idea. While this is probably covered in the employee handbook, reinforcement won’t hurt.

The Devil’s in the Details: While you know where the bathroom is, and how to dial an outside line, don’t forget your new hire doesn’t. Sure, they can follow the herd, but knowing upfront makes for a smoother transition.

These are just a few ideas to consider for an onboarding process. Since each company is unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but many companies have processes in place for these new hire timeframes:

  • Prior to Day One
  • Day One
  • Week One
  • First 30-90 Days
  • First Year

Taking the time to review your onboarding process will ensure you don’t have any gaps. Ultimately, this process and employee retention go hand-in-hand. More than ever, employees are shuffling between jobs, and many aren’t afraid to look elsewhere—before even a year has passed at their new company. With a thoughtful and effective onboarding process, you can ensure they join your company under the best circumstances possible, and that they’ll be contributors for years to come.

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