Onboarding New Employees: A Guide

Onboarding New Employees: A Guide
ByMilja
August 19,2021

Finding new employees to join your business is a process that takes a lot of preparation. You need to search for the right candidate who will easily adapt to the company’s culture and work ethics. 

Nobody knows this better than people from the HR sector. It takes months of thorough searching and setting up the ground to create a mutually productive and relaxed interview environment. This is all part of the process of onboarding new employees, which aligns new hires’ skills to your company’s needs. 

According to research by Gallup, 21% of millennials changed jobs in 2020, while more than half expressed their desire to find a new job. That’s why millennials are often labeled as the job-hopping generation. But attaching that kind of label is an oversimplification, no matter what the stats say. 

One of the reasons for this is that many job hunters are naturally nervous during job interviews, so it’s the HR manager’s responsibility to create a stress-free environment that brings out the best in them. A well-prepared onboarding process for new employees can help new hires achieve positive job satisfaction and encourage them to remain loyal to your company.

Why Onboarding Is Crucial

Besides finding the best person for the job, onboarding, as its definition implies, is essential for leaving a good, lasting impression on new employees. It’s the first contact a new candidate will have with your company before the formal interview and evaluation process starts. A positive image will help with the interview’s tone and will establish what’s expected from them in their new job. It will introduce them to how your company operates and build a forward-looking relationship with your employees from the get-go.

An onboarding plan for new employees that leaves a negative first impression will generate animosity toward your company. Even when they start working, they’ll already be looking for new job opportunities.

Proper onboarding efforts create long-lasting and satisfying working relationships with your company and can turn a promising candidate into the company’s most valuable asset. In contrast, poor onboarding leads to higher employee turnover. When focused onboarding is done right - which can take up to 12 months of preparation - it will reduce the work your HR team needs to do in the future. 

But this is easier said than done. To establish a satisfactory new hires onboarding process, you’ll need to ask yourself some crucial questions: how will you begin the onboarding process, and how long will it last? What kind of first impression do you want to leave on new candidates, and how will you explain your company’s goals and ethics? What goals should new candidates have, and how can they improve their performance and grow within your company?

Steps in the Onboarding Process

As you prepare to onboard a new employee, make sure everything is ready from your side. Having a well-designed and straightforward onboarding process will significantly reduce the paperwork your HR team will have to go through. 

The next step is to select what type of onboarding process for new hires you’ll conduct: formal or informal. Most companies opt for formal onboarding. This means implementing an unambiguous and straightforward onboarding program that will get the new employee up to speed with their role. This program includes their job assignments, the company’s expectations, on whom they can rely, and the proper channels of communication.

Informal onboarding leaves new employees to familiarize themselves with the business without anyone’s assistance, thus potentially creating confusion and disorder. In general, formal onboarding is widely used since it’s simple to follow and leaves new hires more satisfied about their position in the company.

The Recruitment Stage

Before you start with your onboarding new employees checklist, you should first set up the recruitment flow and adequately convey your company’s goals, ethics, principles, and the importance of your employees. Keeping your message clear and succinct should be your primary concern.

Go through your company’s website design, job offer description, and all the interview questions in a way that represents the company’s core values. Try advertising on the best job posting sites to speed up this process. Present new employees with an assignment that will let them know what to expect on the job and give you a sense of what to expect from your new hires.

One of the best practices for onboarding questions for new employees is to let them know how their day at work will look, which will set up positive and clear expectations. Notify them of any policies that concern them, including dress code, remote work, vacations, working hours, and any legal issues. 

New employees should be aware of who they report to and which person is in charge of what. Make sure you give them a basic overview of the company’s culture, such as work ethics and social etiquette for employees. And, of course, let them know that they’re not alone; they’re part of the company’s network.

Job Offer

If everything goes well and you’ve successfully prepared your onboarding activities for new employees, let the candidates know that you appreciate the time and effort they’ve invested in this job application. This is also your last chance to remind them or clarify what the job will entail to avoid any confusion down the line. Consider using the best background check sites to confirm that the person you want to hire is who they say they are. 

Now it’s time to extend a job offer to your preferred candidate. If they accept, let them know how delighted you are that they’ve decided to work with you and your company. This is the moment when the onboarding truly begins.

As soon as the candidate accepts your job offer, give them access to your company’s onboarding systems for new employees. Forward them job-related documents and the plan for their first week at work. Let them know it’s not expected that they study everything; you’re just giving them the info for clarity’s sake.

Provide your new employee with access to email, phone, and other communication tools. Simultaneously, inform your team about the new addition and send welcome emails to the new employee. These onboarding documents are meant to engage new employees with the company and the team they’ll work with.

Office Space

Eventually, you’ll introduce your new hires to the office space during the onboarding of new employees, which will show them what an average day at work looks like. You can do this before giving new hires their job offer, or when they start working.

It’s important for new employees to have a sense of belonging in the workspace and among colleagues, as it will ultimately affect their performance. It will also give them some first-hand experience of the company’s work ethics and culture.

Show new hires where they’ll work and what they’ll use. Go through other offices and introduce them to other colleagues. If new employees have any questions, be there to answer them. Show them the kitchen and other non-working spaces that they’ll use daily. 

First Day at Work

New employees will likely be ecstatic and confused, terrified and hopeful on their first day, so make them feel like they’re accepted by their peers. One of the best practices for onboarding new employees is scheduling their first day with colleagues. Schedule short meetings at the start and the end of the working day, especially if the team works remotely.

You should also give them some breaks during their first day. Set up a team lunch and talk about topics that aren’t related to work. Prepare a swag bag with company gifts and supplies as a welcome gesture.

Use the first day to let new employees know what they’ll work on and what they’ll need to focus on in the next one to three months. Make sure they get all the equipment they need for work and focus on familiarizing them with their new colleagues.

The First Few Weeks

Our successful tips for onboarding new employees don’t just cover the first day; you need to think several weeks in advance to help them truly fit in. Set up meetings with other teams and team leaders, your best employees, and senior people within the company. That way, they’ll get an idea of what they have to do to earn a promotion in the future. If the team is working from home, using the best conference call services might greatly enhance this process.

Use this time to organize weekly and annual goals and define key performance indicators. Provide feedback on new employees’ input, as this part of the ongoing onboarding process might be the most important. To continue successfully onboarding new employees, ask for their input and any problems they’re experiencing. During the first few weeks, they should have a mentor who will be of great assistance in introducing them to all the intricacies of the workplace.

To strengthen team connections, set up fun team-building events. And, of course, give new hires recognition when you feel they’ve earned it. 

One-Year Plan

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 phases of onboarding?

The four phases of onboarding are new employee orientation, role training, transition, and ongoing development. These phases clarify and simplify the entire onboarding process, leaving you with highly satisfied productive employees who want to remain part of your team. The best way to define orientation is as a process that includes hiring new employees and welcoming them to the company’s practices, leadership, and culture. It allows you to enhance your company’s reputation. Role training is part of the onboarding template for new employees. It prepares them for their job duties and establishes clear performance goals. Transition happens three to six months after the employment. It represents a collaborative effort between leaders and new employees to improve employees’ talent growth and understanding. Ongoing development is the fourth phase, which focuses on employees’ long-term plans and career.

What is the best employee onboarding process?

To fully understand this, please read our article on providing the best onboarding process for your new employees. Prepare your HR team and leadership so they can plan how to introduce all aspects of the company’s business and culture and involve themselves in new employees’ long-term goals and development. Companies often use free employee scheduling software to set important goals for their hires.

Who should be involved in onboarding of new employees?

An HR manager should be involved in onboarding new employees, as should the leaders of the company.

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