Best Practices for On-Boarding New Hires

Finding the best candidates for positions in your organization is a vital part of building an effective team. Acquiring top talent and skilled workers can propel a company forward exponentially; however, this feat often proves fruitless if a company is having trouble retaining their newly recruited employees. One aspect of the recruiting/hiring process that is often overlooked is the onboarding process.

Often confused with orientation, onboarding is a comprehensive process of integrating a new employee into an organization and the culture and teamspace they’ll be working in. In order to position a new hire for success and ensure retention, it is important that an organization implements a successful onboarding process. While onboarding is a part of the initial hiring, an effective onboarding process continues to support a new hire throughout the first several months, sometimes even longer.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.4 million hires in August 2017. During the same time period, 5.2 million employments were separated (quit, laid off, discharged, etc.). Organizations that don’t focus on acclimating and retaining new employees run a risk of negatively impacting company culture and losing out on employee productivity. In addition, studies found that effective onboarding programs can improve employee performance by 11.5%.

Understanding how to motivate new hires is critical for individual performance and the onboarding process provides an opportunity that can benefit your entire organization. Employees who know what to expect from their company’s culture and work environment make better decisions that are more aligned with the accepted practices of the company. Take time to refine your onboarding process and make sure it is full inclusive.

Forming a small team with members from each department helps ensure that your onboarding process is complient and reflective of all aspects of the company. Even a simple email thread can allow team members to collaborate, lay out individualized onboarding plans and leave room for feedback if a course correction is needed.

Onboarding can also play a critical role in improving your recruiting processes. Start by surveying your new hires about the recruiting process that they just completed. Ask them which factors caused them to say yes to your offer, and which parts of the recruiting process worked, and which ones need to be improved. In today’s highly competitive recruiting and retention environment, feedback is crucial to staying on top of the competition.

One of the best ways to continually improve your onboard program with data is to survey your new hires that went through your onboarding after 1, 6 and 12 months have gone by. Use that survey data to identify the program components that worked, those that need improvement and those that need to be added. External benchmarking of your competitor’s onboarding programs is also needed in order to maintain a continuous competitive advantage over them.

The process of onboarding new employees can be one of the most critical factors in ensuring recently hired talent will be productive, contented workers. If you’re having difficulty recruiting top talent, experiencing increased new hire turnover, or if your new hires are struggling to become productive, considering refining your onboarding process. Make sure it aligns with company culture, educate new hires on their role and importance in the organization, and allow room for feedback and improvement. Proper onboarding and new hire integration takes time but investing the right resources can ensure you retain top talent and increase employee productivity in your organization.