You've Hired! Now What?
Making Onboarding Matter
The search is over. After assessing endless applicants (the good, the less good… the shall we say ‘interesting’), you’ve hired the ideal candidate for the role. Now, the real task of induction and building productivity begins.
This short article looks at some of the common trappings of onboarding and why it matters. How can onboarding be transformed from a one-dimensional transactional process to an interactive and personalised experience?
You're Hired - Welcome to the team
What does this usually look like? For most new starters, its panicking about remembering everyone’s names during the office tour, trying to stay awake at a production line of PowerPoint presentations and finally perfecting your signature as you complete all the mandatory paperwork. Whilst some of this is essential, it’s a problem if this is where the onboarding process starts and ends.
Good Onboarding - What is the impact?
The business case for getting it right is strong. Onboarding matters. If executed well it accelerates time to productivity, impacts positively on the ROI of new hires and improves engagement, performance and retention. It’s time to disrupt the transactional and traditional with a more tailored, shared, and mutually beneficial onboarding experience.
Use Selection Data
Throughout the assessment process a wealth of data has been gathered about the candidate indicating how effective they will be in the role; how can this be used to make them effective as quickly as possible? Indicators on their work style, culture fit as well as potential strengths and limitations can all help shape how their initial induction should be pitched. Who would make an appropriate buddy or mentor, where are they likely to hit the ground running and what extra effort will need to be applied?
Tailor to the Candidate
Too often the onboarding process is ‘one-size-fits-all’ and driven solely by compliance, rather than being tailored to the individual. Looking at how hires can capitalise on their strengths in role, where they are likely to add the most value and how they can work with their manager and the organisation most effectively will help accelerate productivity.
Aligning an individual’s workplace potential with organisational requirements creates a purposeful onboarding experience, where they feel valued and part of something from day one. The most common reason for employees leaving an organisation within the first three months is ‘the role not being what they thought it would be’. An onboarding experience which marries the uniqueness of the individual with the requirements of the role and organisational objectives can help manage these expectations for both the employee and hiring manager. Onboarding candidates as the unique individuals they have entered the organisation as, rather than through a generic process, alleviates potential misrepresentation or miscommunication as to what the employee expects from the organisation and vice-versa.
Create a Two-way Process
New hires list their managers as the people who they most want to show them the ropes when they join an organisation. Treating onboarding as a two-way learning process owned by the employee and hiring manager can be empowering for both. Working together they can develop a shared plan with relevant objectives and development activities
A fresh approach to onboarding is required for organisations to achieve the metrics they desire; faster time to productivity, improved performance, better engagement and increased retention. Building the process around the individual, rather than building them into it, can transform how you onboard talent and the acquisition metrics achieved.
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