Does Your Onboarding System Suck? Here’s How You Can Fix It


One of the most common mistakes a company can make when onboarding a new employee is to focus more on the company than on the new employees. An analysis conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that a company’s onboarding process has the second highest impact on business after recruiting. Happy employees are more passionate, hard-working, and stay with a company much longer. Mark Newman, founder, and CEO of HireVue believes “if you could make the first 45 days better, you could cut new hire attrition by around 20%…When you lose an employee after the first year, it ends up costing you three times the employee’s annual salary to recruit, hire, and train someone else.” Here are a few simple steps to create a candidate-centric onboarding process that leads to happy and productive employees that don’t cost you time and money to replace.

Before They Start Working

From SDR to AE The difference between openers and closersForm Management: At this stage, your new employee is completing all necessary paperwork. Provide this paperwork to your new employee and give them adequate time to complete it before they even start their position. This allows them to get this step out of the way before their first day. Matt Straz, founder, and CEO of Namely suggests that companies create a standardized system that allows new employees to store their information such as benefits sign-up, skills, and professional goals all in one place. This will also help your HR department by giving them a place where they can retrieve employee information quickly and easily.

An online and modern form management system will help your new employee complete this step quickly and create an organized system where all employee information is stored. Heather Huhman, founder and president of Come Recommended believes that as the millennial tech-loving generation comes into the workforce, “moving beyond the traditional onboarding process will keep content fresh and give employees perks that in-person onboarding cannot.” ConvertHR is an option that allows for the onboarding process to go completely paperless. Everything you and your new hire needs is organized and filed in one place.

Introduction to Company Values and Culture: Provide your new employee with a welcome letter or email that is personalized, and provide them with the name and contact information of a mentor that will walk them through their first day. This letter should welcome them to the team they are part of and outline your company’s values and policies. The tone and structure of this introduction of your company should also serve as an introduction to the company culture and discuss things like work attire, social events, and the expected professional conduct. Warby Parker is a company that does a great job of this and provides new employees with a welcome packet that outlines the company’s ground rules, values, FAQs, etc. The sooner new employees understand a company’s values and relax into the company culture, the sooner they will be able to be productive in their new role.

Have your new employee fill out a questionnaire about themselves and send it out to the whole team. This will give them an opportunity to express themselves while also giving your current employees some information about the “new guy/girl” in the office to strike up a conversation and make that first connection.

On Their First Day

Mentor Pairing: Have your new employee’s mentor call or email them the night before their first day to let them know where and when to meet them on their first day. Google uses a structured system to pair “nooglers” (new google employees) with mentors to help them become oriented with their new role. Nooglers are divided into classes and put on a schedule of tours and orientations for their first few days to get them acclimated to the campus and overall company culture. They also attend seminars that explain every aspect of the company from security to marketing before they begin to work in their own specialized role.

Interview/Task Management: In order to get working, your new employee needs to understand their daily workflow and what is expected of them in their new position. Have one of your current employees walk them through their tasks and answer any questions they have. Encourage this employee to introduce them to their team and welcome them with open arms. Your new hire should feel like you have been waiting for them to arrive on their first day. Celebrate the skills you learned about during the interview process and connect them to their daily tasks. Wipro is an example of a company who did this with great success. They found that focusing on individual employees and their unique skills during the onboarding process resulted in new hires being 32% less likely to quit than those who went through their traditional company-focused process.

Their First Week

Collect Feedback: The beginning of the onboarding process is the perfect time to collect feedback from your new employees and find out what they liked and disliked about your company’s hiring process. Ask them simple questions like, what would you have changed about our hiring process? Did you feel like we stayed in touch with you properly? Were you updated with what was going on throughout the hiring process? Joie De Vivre Hotels asks new hires for feedback on both their hiring system and their experience as a customer to get an outsider’s perspective in two categories before new employees become integrated into their new roles. Asking for feedback will help you strengthen your hiring process and let your new employee know that their experiences and feedback are already making valuable differences to your company.

Socialization: The office is not often thought of as a social place but the socialization of your new employee is a vital part of this onboarding process. Humans are social beings so in order to thrive in a workplace your new employee needs to be social. Encourage your current employees to be social with their coworkers through company happy hours and other events throughout the year. This will encourage your employees to socialize with new employees on their own and welcome them into the company culture with open arms. You cannot control this process so it is important to create a company culture your employees love so they will be willing to express their motivation and positivity to new hires.

Does Your Onboarding System Suck_ Here’s How You Can Fix ItA study conducted at Wipro BPO, an India-based telephone and chat support center that was experiencing annual employee turnover rates of 50-70% found that spending as little as one hour on the first day focusing on each new hire and their authenticity as an individual led to increased job satisfaction. This small change in their onboarding process resulted in a 33% greater retention rate for new employees.

As you can see, candidate-centric onboarding is a process that can benefit your company just as much as your new employees. Comment below to share with us unique ways your company handles the onboarding process to make new employee’s transition smooth and welcoming!

To find out more ways creating a candidate-centric experience hiring system can benefit your company please download our Ebook, “Creating a Candidate Centric Hiring Process.”

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