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Planning an effective on-boarding

Most recruitment efforts are put into getting candidates ‘over the line’, accepting the role and starting with the company.

But what if that perfect candidate who initially accepted your job offer changes their mind before you even get them through the (virtual) door on day one? Or, they turn up for a few weeks, and then hand in their notice. Starting recruitment and onboarding all over again is frustrating and expensive. It can be avoided by implementing an engaging and effective onboarding plan.

According to Gallup only 12% of people say their company does a good job of onboarding. Although companies today recognize that onboarding is a critical element of the new hire experience, it is often unstructured, limited to the minimum compliance requirements, or left fully to the discretion of the line managers.

The new hires are in reality doing two jobs: the day job and getting to learn the new company culture, people and ways of working. Many companies we spoke with acknowledge that “onboarding is broken” and give their HR teams clear goals to fix it. But a goal without a plan is just a wish.

We’ve asked three experts from blue chip companies to unpack the different onboarding phases. They shared their tips on what makes onboarding a memorable experience that leads to productive and engaged new hires within 90 days:

Establish ownership:
Whether it’s HR who owns the process or the line manager, someone has to be appointed as a single point of contact to communicate with your new hire and get the ball rolling within the company in preparation for Day 1.

Work backwards from Day 1:
What documentation, mandatory training or IT tools could you send/share in advance? Think no later than Day - 7, that is 7 days before the start date, in order to avoid last minute delays.

The day before:
If the office was open, you would have prepared the desk and asked someone to do the tour of the office. With Day 1 being virtual, you will need to make sure the line manager and the team have booked enough time to spend with the new employee.

Day 1:
Make it memorable, not monotonous. My best memory of a Day 1 is when I walked into the open plan office and saw balloons and a welcome cake on my desk. What might the online version of balloons and cake be?

Days 2-10:
Put in place training, shadowing, goal setting, and frequent check ins. Your new hire is probably overwhelmed, and may end up spending a lot of time reading emails without having the context or understanding half of the jargon.

Days 11-30:
More training, check-ins, and the beginning of normality.

Days 31-60:
Collaboration, recognition, and career planning. Are you able to set meaningful objectives, aligned with the company goals?

Days 61-90:
Independence, performance reviews, and final two-way feedback. Time to ask how the onboarding experience made your new hire think and feel about the company.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Recruitment and Onboarding: Providing Continuity for Business and Candidates

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