It is universally recognised that finding great talent is one of the biggest challenges facing employers. This is not anything new, it has always been the case. What makes it more challenging now is the fact that the number of jobs currently being recruited for outstrips the availability of people to fill them.
We are in a candidate-driven market, which is why it is so important to get your onboarding processes right when you are fortunate enough to secure the talent you need.
The onboarding process begins the second an offer of employment is made and accepted. Its purpose is a simple one: to ensure that your new employee feels engaged and supported from day one. This is because the experience they have during this period sets the tone for that which they will have once they step inside the door of your business for the first time as a member of the team.
Here we share with you some of the best practices deployed by the most successful hiring managers we have worked with over the years:
Make it personal
Candidate retention is always a priority for employers, but those companies with low staff attrition rates tend to have line managers who communicate with their new hires before day one of their contract starting.
They make themselves personally available for any questions or concerns the individual might have. And they ensure their new report has all the information they need to get their first day off to the best start, such as where to park and sign in when they arrive, who will be there to greet them, and what they can expect in their first week.
Moreover, line managers who engage the team in the days before welcoming their new colleague report higher satisfaction levels among new employees. By setting an expectation of what the new hire has been brought onboard to do and where they have come from creates a sense of familiarity that naturally warms current employees to a new hire.
Have their workstation readied before they arrive
We find it incredible when we hear of employees starting a new job and their employer has yet to set up their workstation for when they arrive. Imagine how that must make them feel – unimportant, an after thought maybe? Your job is to make your new member of the team feel welcome and supported.
Ensure they have their new workstation up and running, make sure all equipment is fully operational, passwords are readily available, and training sessions for specific processes and systems are scheduled into their first weeks’ agenda. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a new hire sitting idle because they cannot do their work (and you want to get a return on your recruitment investment, right?).
Partner with people in multiple functions
No matter how experienced an individual might be, every company has its own way of doing things and most people need a ‘bedding in’ period to help them acclimatise to their new working environment. Partnering your new hire with someone – a ‘buddy’ - who can guide them through their first few weeks and show them the proverbial ropes is an essential part of the onboarding and wider training process.
Your new hire will need support and by buddying them up with a peer in a similar role or level of responsibility, your new hire will likely be more comfortable asking them the questions they need answering rather than approaching their line manager whenever they want clarity on anything.
Ask your new hire for feedback
Recruiting is a two-way process. It involves a buyer (employer) and seller (candidate) – each of whom is charged with the responsibility of impressing and managing the expectations of the other. Your job is to ‘sell’ your company as an employer of choice, but does your recruitment marketing live up to expectations? There is only one way to find out – ask your new hire.
Throughout the onboarding process, best practice dictates that you continue to engage with your new hire on a regular basis – at the end of their first day, week, and month. They will be inundated with information, under pressure to remember everyone in their team and who does what, and they may not have all they need. But by asking questions and frequently checking in with them you will be able to ensure that their experience of working with you to date is matching their expectations and they feel fully supported.
More than that, their feedback could also help you to better understand if your onboarding processes are doing the job they are meant to be, or if some tweaking and refining is needed.
What onboarding techniques have worked for your business? if you need any help and support with any aspect of your recruitment, please do not hesitate to contact the team today.