Let me give you a few facts about onboarding:
These statistics from UrbanBound state loud and clear that getting candidates to the alter, the recruiting process, is just the beginning of solving the people puzzle. Every organization should spend at least as much time and effort on things like building a positive culture and developing a welcoming and effective onboarding program.
It’s all of these pieces working together that help sustain your investment in the candidates you’ve so carefully chosen. Or as Barb Van Hare, President and Founder of Kinetic Clarity, so aptly states: “It boils down to strong recruiting deserves strong onboarding. It’s just good business.”
If standard onboarding processes bring the kinds of benefits we’ve listed above, imagine what an onboarding program based on best practices can do for your bottom line. I’d like to offer a few suggestions about what that might look like.
Best practices in onboarding
Onboarding starts immediately after your offer has been accepted by the candidate—before day one on the job. You’ve made a good first impression; don’t waste it with silence between the offer and start dates followed by, “here’s your desk and your computer, get to work.” A lack of communication means that you’ve missed an opportunity to develop strong bonds with your employees that last throughout their tenure with you. If you remember to “always communicate,” you’ll avoid a lot of pitfalls and be on your way to attracting and retaining the best talent.
Because details can be lost or forgotten, write out a comprehensive onboarding process that includes everything from the time the offer is accepted to the end of the training period and follow up. Make sure that the plan includes an owner for the entire process and a list of who is responsible for doing what along the way for each new employee. And be certain to include both job and cultural aspects of working at your company. Create a similar, appropriate onboarding plan for remote workers.
Here are some of my guiding principles for onboarding:
Before the start date:
First day on the job:
Yes, it takes extra effort and resources to develop a well-documented, standardized onboarding process. As with anything worthwhile, you get out what you put in. In this case, the benefits are clearly evident in the statistics. Start now to make effective onboarding an important factor in solving your people puzzle.