An effective onboarding experience should captivate new workers, immerse them in an organization’s culture, mission and core values and live up to the expectations established by the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) during the hiring process.
As remote work and work-from-anywhere models become more common, providing a first-class onboarding experience has become more challenging, and these considerations have substantially changed the way new workers are onboarded.
The impact of onboarding on costs
A positive onboarding process can establish the foundation for a long, healthy, professional relationship. A negative onboarding experience, however, can end that relationship before it truly starts.
More than 80% of knowledge workers said they would either not start or would consider leaving a job if the onboarding experience was negative, according to Procom’s 2021 Voice of Talent report. Only 18% of those surveyed indicated they would likely remain following an unfavorable onboarding.
By the time new workers reach the onboarding phase, they have not only gone through the time and resource-consuming recruiting and hiring processes but have also likely been set up on payroll, begun work, and possibly even been paid. A poor onboarding experience can be a costly mistake if a talent decides to leave or begin seeking a new job immediately.
Preparing for onboarding: A checklist
After an offer has been accepted and screening and background checks are complete, it’s time to formally prepare to onboard the new hire.
The pre-onboarding process will vary depending on several factors. For example, the documentation and tax information needs are different for permanent full-time employees versus contingent workers and whether the employer is based in Canada or the United States.
Still, some basic formalities apply to most new hires, including but not limited to:
- Create a new employee profile in your company’s project management tool (e.g., Monday.com, Asana, etc.).
- Confirm all required identification and tax documents are uploaded and request any outstanding documentation.
- Contact the new hire with relevant work details, including their start date (and end date if applicable to a contingent worker), pay rate, contact information for key team members and an organizational handbook or policy guide.
- Schedule an in-person or virtual meeting to introduce the onboarding team and confirm the onboarding schedule.
- Request any necessary hardware and set up the new hire’s email as well as the appropriate network connections and permissions.
- Ensure the new hire has access to requisite software, internal tools, and necessary usernames and passwords.
- Send an internal announcement to the organization about the new hire.
- Connect with the hiring manager or hiring team to confirm any outstanding needs.
- Reach out to the new hire with any onboarding questions.
- Deliver any necessary hardware to the candidate along with a welcome gift or onboarding care package.
After the required identification and tax documentation are processed, and the new hire has everything they need to join the team, the official onboarding process can commence.
5 tactics to enhance the onboarding experience
Today’s talent-centric job market demands an individualized approach to onboarding. The following five actions can create an onboarding experience that resonates with new workers:
1. Get to know candidates on a personal level
In today’s virtual-first workplace, new hires often interact with their management and teams only through video meetings.
Create opportunities to learn more about candidates personally. Devote some meeting time to talk about their interests or arrange for candidates to meet their fellow team members socially to build a rapport that may not otherwise translate through calls or video.
2. Tailor the onboarding experience to the candidate and the role
Ensure new workers receive their preferred hardware and any other previously discussed items necessary to perform their jobs.
Provide a personalized welcome care package. Schedule any training in a way that complements the talent’s preferred learning style.
3. Connect with new hires within the first week
With so much hiring and onboarding taking place virtually, candidates often miss out on informal opportunities to ask questions or request information from the onboarding team.
Ensure that the onboarding team connects with new hires during their first week on the job. Arrange for any additional onboarding meetings or training to follow soon thereafter.
4. Resolve any onboarding issues with haste
It’s essential to candidates’ comfort levels and organizations’ ongoing workflows that new hires feel welcome and capable of hitting the ground running.
That said, it’s natural for new hires to be anxious and have questions about their roles and the workplace in general. Answer questions and resolve challenges quickly so candidates feel they’re beginning new positions as informed and valued team members.
5. Request feedback about the onboarding experience
The onboarding process presents an opportunity for employers to follow through on their EVPs and deliver on the compelling reasons talented candidates should join their organizations.
Requesting and acting on feedback is an optimal way to demonstrate an organization takes those values seriously. Requesting feedback personally engages new hires, and their responses can inform future onboarding to improve the process.
The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook
Over the past two years, we have captured hard won lessons learned across thousands of worker hiring engagements by our team of professional recruiters and distilled them into practical ideas that you can start using immediately. The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook is a step-by-step guide to help source, screen, select, onboard and retain talent in the New World of Work