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How to Successfully Onboard Your New Hire

You have spent a significant amount of time recruiting and interviewing candidates to find the right fit for your open position. Now that is done, it is time to plan how you will onboard your new hire to acclimate them quickly to your culture and foster that sense of belonging.

The Society for Human Resources Management describes onboarding as:

“the process by which new hires get adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their job quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.”

The onboarding process should begin even before the new hire’s first day by making them feel welcome and helping to alleviate some stress by sharing a schedule and essential information in advance of the start date. Provide a realistic job description during the recruiting process and set clear management expectations during the onboarding process so that there are no surprises when performance review time comes. Consider having another employee be a “buddy” to the new hire to help them navigate the organization’s culture and be an added “safe” workplace resource for general questions (no question is a stupid question).

It is recommended that you be very intentional with your onboarding program so as not to overwhelm the new hire with too much training initially.

  • Spread the training out gradually over 90 days and prioritize what they need to learn first to be able to do their job and feel included.
  • Welcome them to the company and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to do their job. Make them aware of company values, team goals, and their job responsibilities.
  • Include everyone in the onboarding process – stakeholders, HR, managers, other team members, key clients, etc. This helps keep the lines of communication open from the start and the new hire can begin to build relationships with the people s/he will be working with regularly.

Many employers have shifted to remote onboarding due to the pandemic. It is even more important if your new hire is working remotely for them to feel included and part of the team.

  • Ensure you have a team meeting to introduce your new hire to their colleagues.
  • Make sure you check in with them daily to see if there are any questions or how you can help. Keep the lines of communication open using various technologies that you have available to you – Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, phone, email, etc.
  • Ensure you are engaging the new hire in discussions and getting to know them.
  • Follow up on your onboarding program with a survey to new hires. What did you like about our program? How can we improve? Use that feedback to tweak the onboarding experience.
  • Consider using a remote onboarding checklist to create a welcome atmosphere and long-term employment relationship.

By having a structured onboarding process and making your new hire feel welcomed, you will improve employee retention and engagement. An onboarding process that reinforces the company’s culture and brand helps to solidify what and why the organization does what it does and builds a strong relationship with the new hire from the start.

OneDigital's team of HR professionals can help transform your HR practices, enabling your organization to thrive post-pandemic and continue to drive your business forward. Learn more by visiting our HR Consulting page.