Is there a clear onboarding process in place to familiarize new employees with their new working environment?
After weeks, or perhaps even months, the time has come, you found your ideal candidate! After ploughing through hundreds of resumes and engaging in many interviews, you are very certain that you have found the perfect candidate. Now that the contract is signed, your work is done, and your new employee can get started right away. Or not?
A strong onboarding process contributes to a better engagement of new employees and enhances the joy they experience when starting out in a new job. It is also an easy step towards a win-win situation for both your new employees as well as your organization. After all, an enthusiastic employee, translates into loyalty.
The Recruitment Process is the Foundation of a Strong Onboarding Process
Before we dive into the actual onboarding, it is important to take a couple of steps back.The recruitment process is a key element of onboarding a new staff member. It is after all the first impression a candidate will have from your organization. Because we are currently in a time where highly talented candidates are a scarcity, companies are fighting to attract and hire the ones that are out there. In order to be successful in attracting qualified and strong candidates, organizations try to do whatever it takes to be an attractive choice.
One of the most successful strategies is to show that your recruitment process revolves around the candidate. A fairly easy and simple way to show this, is to let a candidate decide when the interview can take place, rather than just providing them with a day and time. There are tons of online scheduling tools available, where you can share your availability and they can just pick a day and time that works for their schedule.
After an interview, there is only one thing that matters most to a candidate; Feedback. We see that there are companies these days, that provide instant feedback, right after they round up the interview. This helps manage a candidate's expectations and saves you time by not having to do a separate follow-up. Of course it is not always a viable option to provide instant feedback, but keeping your response time as short as possible, will win the appreciation of a candidate.
Last but not least, it is important to use the recruitment process to highlight what’s in it for the candidate when they start working for your organization. What makes a career with your company worth their while? How is working for you different from working for your competitor?
The importance of being transparent
Everybody likes clarity. Especially when you are contemplating leaving a familiar work environment for a new job. Like we mentioned earlier on, it is nice to know what you can expect from your new workplace. Transparency starts with managing expectations in your interview but stays relevant to all of your employees over the time they work with you.
We see lower retention rates at organizations that don’t have an established career development plan for their employees. Especially people from younger generations feel they have to move forward in order to stay satisfied in their careers. If they feel they are standing still, without knowing what’s in store for them, they will likely move on to a company that does offer a more structured approach to career development.
Another thing to manage the expectations of a new working environment is to let somebody join for a trial day. This allows future employees to get a feel for the atmosphere and meet potential colleagues.
Lastly, it is good to be transparent about the working culture in your organization. Are you offering flexibility in terms of working remotely, or do you expect all employees to do all of their work in the office between nine and five? Does your company allow flexibility in working hours? Or is everybody subject to the same hours? This helps a candidate decide if your organization matches their way of working and vice versa.
In addition to transparency, we can say with confidence that personal attention is a strong motivator for any employee. This can be shaped as a carefully designed introduction plan for a new employee, or coworkers that spend some time getting to know their new team mate. This creates a bond and shows that you care how somebody starts off their time in your organization.
Attention can also take a very practical shape by making sure basic things are taken care of for a new employee. Like clearing out a desk or having a computer and phone available right away. It sounds logical of course, but it happens quite frequently that things aren’t prepared. The company Mollie in example makes starting out your new job fun by sending new employees branded t-shirts and a selfie from their new teammates to provide a warm welcome. This gives an instant feeling of involvement.
It is nice to know that you have a buddy at work, who can help introduce you to new employees and who can be there to answer any questions a new employee might have. Your new colleague knows that he/she isn’t alone to sort things out.
The advantages of a strong onboarding process
It goes without saying that a solid onboarding process is equally as important as the recruitment process. When you have found the perfect candidate you of course want to facilitate him or her being able to get the best start possible.
As mentioned before, creating this win-win situation, will leave you with enthusiastic and loyal employees that go the extra mile to book success for your organization. The foundation is how they start of their career and how you enable them to be successful from day 1.
Because we frequently help candidates find a new job, we find it important that their start is pleasant and warm. If you’d like more tips on how to use your onboarding process for better retention, we are happy to discuss your ideas or needs.