The Basic Principles of Onboarding

by Laura Belyea, COO at Talivest

We all know the importance of hiring well, but the journey doesn’t end when the candidate signs on the dotted line. Over the past few years, great emphasis has been placed on the onboarding process, to ensure a memorable and effective induction.

What onboarding means today is not just about day one, or two in a job – but the first three months, and the overall employee experience as a new joiner.

But before we take a look at the onboarding process steps, let’s look at why it’s important

Why We Need Employee Onboarding

Today’s competitive market is largely candidate-driven. This means that businesses need to work harder than ever to attract and retain talent.

It is no longer enough to simply hire a candidate and expect them to ‘find their feet’. Thought and consideration must be put into their induction and first few months in the role. Research suggests that candidates that have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for other jobs in the future. While a positive experience can increase new hire retention by 82 per cent.

The HR Gain

A slick onboarding process is not just beneficial to the candidate, it can also provide value insight for the business and HR teams. The basic principles, which we look at below, will help to highlight your strengths as a business, as well as your weaknesses, particularly at feedback stage. Approaching the onboarding checklist with the basic principles, will set everyone up for success.

5 Basic Principles of Onboarding

1.Start Ahead of Time

Whether you have a physical or virtual onboarding process, you should be building a relationship with the candidate. This might involve regular calls, conversations, or emails to keep them up to date, while planning for their arrival. This builds excitement and helps alleviate day-one anxiety.

2. Get off to a Good Start

Make the first day memorable for all the right reasons, by having hardware set up and equipment ready to use. There’s nothing more inviting than a glossy new phone and box-fresh Macbook to welcome your starter! It has also become a social media trend, just check out #onboarding. In the first week, also be sure all the introductions are made, if not face-to-face then by email.

3. Team Talk

The employee onboarding experience only happens once, and requires planning and support across the business. Since onboarding can be a three-month process, think about the stakeholders that need to be engaged to deliver a warm welcome. Can you pair the candidate up with an internal mentor or buddy. What more can you do as a business to ensure they feel valued from the start? The line manager particularly plays a prominent role in the onboarding process steps, and should be prepared to put adequate time aside to support and welcome their team member.

4. Company Culture

All good onboarding checklists include the basics: where to park, where to eat and general code of conduct, to give the candidate a head-start. Getting to grips with the company culture is also important for newcomers. This  extends to understanding the business values and objectives, achieved by taking the time to share the company vision and mission.

5. Constant Dialogue

As with onboarding best practice, it’s important to have a constant dialogue with your newest team member. This means frequent meetings and conversations to ensure their expectations are being met, and they’re easing into the workplace in a successful way. As you near the end of their three-month milestone, be sure to ask the employee for feedback, to help ensure you are on track and continuing to learn and improve the onboarding process for everyone.

About the author

Laura’s role is to successfully support the growth and strategy for Talivest, as well as provide product support with her expertise within the HR industry. Previously posts were director of HR & operations in Telefonica, Elizabeth Arden and ICON