Using Onboarding to Set the Stage for a Positive New Hire Experience

Posted by Judy Fort on March 22, 2017

Hire Talent Fast

Why does the new hire experience matter? If you are asking yourself this, think back to the last time you started at a company and how it set your expectations for what working there would be like. Were you made aware of your expectations? Did you understand what you needed to do, both from a paperwork and also to get up to speed in the new position? And how did your interactions with your team affect your success in the early days of the new job?

And, even if you had a good experience, there is a good chance you’ve also had a bad one, so don’t forget to think about that, too, and how it may have set the stage quite early for your decision to move on.

Some of the common frustrations of new hires when they come into the workspace stem around a few areas: too much paperwork, nothing is ready, and everyone is too busy to help them.  There are solutions you can put in place in both cases to alleviate these concerns and make the experience positive for everyone.

Too much paperwork

There are so many forms a new hire has to complete, it is not uncommon to spend a significant amount of time with HR or alone at their desk on their first day filling them out – and this isn’t fun for anyone. Where ever possible, you should make these forms available for the new hire to complete before their first day on the job – an online onboarding portal is the perfect place to capture this information. Definitely make sure to include government forms, employee manual, and code of conduct, but also make sure that this new hire portal is welcoming to new employees by sharing a written message or welcome video.

Nothing is ready

Part of making the new hire feel welcome is having things ready for them when they get there.  Having a desk is great (especially if that desk is already assembled for them), but there are many other things – such as laptop, phone, email, and office supplies – that should be ready for them day one.  This can be done quite easily by letting others know ahead of time that the new hire is joining. Once you’ve had that offer accepted and are ready to move forward it is time to let others know that your new hire is coming so there is no delay and no sitting twiddling thumbs on their first day.

Everyone is too busy to help

While it can be hard to have everyone stop what they are doing and help the new hire get adjusted, you should have at least a few people in their corner to help them succeed.  At a minimum, HR and their manager need to make an effort to meet with them their first few days – HR to wrap up any outstanding paperwork and answer questions, and their manager to introduce them to their new team and make sure they know and have what they need to perform their job duties.  But you should consider adding a third person to this mix – a buddy or mentor is a great way to build a relationship between employees and make sure they have a good example to follow.  This buddy can be involved earlier than the first day, too, by including them in interviews and welcome aboard messaging. They will also be a great resource for the new hire (especially if the manager is busy as is often the case) as a helper, keeper of knowledge, and coach in special skills needed for the job.

New hires and their experience matter, so make sure you take the above into account to plan for success.  Engage the team and mentors in a new hire’s success and work together to win for both the new hire and the team. To get more insights watch our webinar: Enhancing Onboarding for Shorter Time to Productivity