The What is employee onboarding? Employee onboarding is, in the simplest terms, the process of getting your newly hired employees familiar with the work, as well as skills, knowledge and attitudes… process isn’t what it used to be.
Even before the hiring process went (mostly) remote, it had already begun to take a new shape.
Candidates are exploring different avenues to higher education, personal priorities have shifted, and hyper-specialization is at an all-time high.
In addition to your candidates having a more diverse educational background than ever before, your candidate pool has expanded in another key area—geography.
As businesses are able to begin the migration process back to the office, many are weary to commit a full-scale return. Even if all remote eligible employees in American worked from home just half the time, we would see close to $700 billion in savings nationally.
When you combine shifting entry points into the workforce, drastic savings from working remotely, and access to talent from around the globe, it’s safe to say that hiring is not the same game it used to be. It’s time for your hiring process to evolve. Let’s explore how you can stay competitive when it comes to searching for, finding, and onboarding new employees.
Starting Your Hiring Search
The journey of setting out to find the newest member of your team is always an exciting one.
All of us that have gone through the hiring process know that we’re always looking for “the one” to stand out and blow us away.
Sometimes, it actually works out that way. You cast your proverbial net, applications pour in, and after a round or two of interviews you finally find “that” person. Instead of reveling in the success of finding the right candidate, you should be asking yourself, ”How did I manage to find the perfect person?”
Was their application a well-timed stroke of mutually beneficial good luck? Or was there something about your hiring process (or business as a whole) that drew them in?
Before you post that “help wanted” ad, consider the following:
- Does my business offer competitive pay, insurance and benefits packages?
- Has my business integrated the latest technology to improve day-to-day operations?
- Is there an established, attractive company culture that will draw in young talent?
- Are you willing to heavily invest in training, teaching, and cultivating your new hires?
All in all, this boils down to a fundamental question: why should applicants want to work for you instead of your competitors? Before you begin your hiring process, make sure you take the time to answer these questions first.
Hiring The Right Candidates
If you are spending time searching for candidates, odds are that means your business is enjoying a period of success.
Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily always the case.
Oftentimes, you’re searching for someone’s replacement. Whether your previous employee was a rockstar or someone you’re not too upset about having to replace, it can be tricky to avoid falling victim to your own biases during this process.
So what does this mean, exactly?
If you cherished the contributions, personality, and everything about your former employee, don’t limit yourself to hiring a carbon-copy candidate. The same goes for the opposite—don’t hire someone who you like because they aren’t like the old employee you are happy to see go.
Hire people because they’re talented, and because they fit your company’s culture—not because they check off a box in your head about who they should or shouldn’t emulate.
Having a perfect resume is only the first step for a candidate to show they belong in your company. If their technical skills fit the bill, sit down with them and have a chat about life. Talk about what their goals are, their values, and anything else under the sun. Being able to connect with the human side of your candidates will go a long way not just for you, but for them, too.
Getting Your Employee Onboarding Checklist Right
Now that your hiring search process is complete, the fun part begins with new employee onboarding.
Given that almost 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment, this is not a step where you can afford to repeatedly falter.
Employee onboarding is different in every industry. Some companies are able to provide new hires with extensive training and preparation, others have adopted a strategy more akin to “trial by fire.”
Considering that every employee learns and grows in their own unique fashion, you may not want to immediately apply a blanket set of rules and checklists for every single candidate. An important part of the onboarding process—and really the hiring process as a whole—is to determine the best individual path for your new hire going forward. Some will need training wheels, some will be ready to hit the Autobahn.
No matter the employee, here are some general guidelines to add to your onboarding checklist:
- Determine what role technology will play in your onboarding process. Will your new hire—either remotely or in-person—be technologically equipped from day 1?
- Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of your new hire. Have you been upfront with them about all aspects of their employment and the level of autonomy they will or won’t have?
- Establish a team of vetern employees that will be working alongside your new hire as they become acclimated. Have you trained them on how to properly train a new hire?
- Encourage questions to be asked throughout the entirety of the onboarding process.
- Talk to your new hire about the non-work elements of their job (company perks, co-worker introductions, ask about their family, etc.)
Make your new employee feel welcomed. If they can sense that your company is filled with caring, compassionate, and responsible individuals who are working to achieve a shared goal, you’ll have done your job well in regards to the onboarding process.
Hiring Built To Last
When bringing on a new employee, the goal isn’t just to have them be competent in their role.
The long term goal is to find someone who will be able to grow within your company, crossing thresholds and achieving milestones that were foreign to you upon their arrival.
Point being, bring in someone who will make a difference, year in and year out.
In a study of about 20,000 new hires, Dr. Talya Bauer of the Society for Human Resource Management concluded that “new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.”
The new hires you bring on will be increasingly diversified in their specializations, backgrounds, education, and almost every other category imaginable.
With this growing change—across all industries—organizations are preparing for what’s to come.
The best way to do that?
Make sure that your hiring and onboarding processes are up to the task.