5 Tips for Onboarding

Onboarding Pic

After a really slick and impressive recruitment process, you’ve made the offer and your new HR team member has accepted. Isn’t it a fantastic feeling knowing you have appointed someone you are confident can do the job, is a great cultural fit and of course you’re certain will add loads of value? 

Not only have you ticked a big item off your to-do list, but you’re filled with optimism about the new starter and feeling really happy knowing that you’ve secured some great talent; which from what we hear is one of the biggest pain points right now for any HR leader.  

What comes next?  

The hard truth is that recruiting doesn’t end with an offer acceptance. The onboarding process comes next. This is a crucial part of hiring and ensures the success of your newest recruit.  We hear lots of stories at HRLife that the notice period is key – engaging your new recruit during this process is fundamental and can really make the difference.  Having a brilliant recruitment process needs to be followed by an equally great onboarding experience.   

So, how do you get onboarding right? We’ve got 5 tips to ensure you’re setting yourself and your new colleague up for success. 

1. Have an onboarding process 

It might sound simple, but many companies, particularly SMEs, don’t have a clear, documented onboarding process. Outlining the steps you take with onboarding new team members ensures that nothing gets missed. It means you’re not just ticking the boxes from a contractual point of view but also going the extra mile to ensure new team members are welcome. Plus, a documented onboarding plan enables other colleagues to share the responsibility, or they can pick up the process if you are unavailable. 

2. Start the onboarding process before Day 1 

Onboarding doesn’t begin with your new team member’s first day. You can start onboarding and welcoming your colleagues when they accept the role. In fact, it’s often this stage that makes the biggest impression. And remember, your new recruit could still be subject to counteroffers. So, keep them in the loop about what they can expect from their first day, who they’ll meet, where they need to go etc.  Maybe take them for lunch, invite them to a team meeting, send them some company merchandising… It’s often the little things that make a big difference.   

3. Share your strategy and the bigger picture

Increasingly, we’re all looking for meaning in our work. Having context and purpose for our actions gives us more of an understanding and motivation to deliver. Your new colleagues are no different. So, share your ‘why’ with them. Don’t just focus on the numbers, for example, what the company’s revenue goals are, but share what your aims are, what problems you try to solve for your customers, and, particularly for HR colleagues, what your ambitions for your team are.  People often love some pre-reading – whether that’s a policy, a newsletter, an org chart or previous team meeting notes so they’ve got something to talk about on day one.  

4. Engage them!  

In the same way that onboarding starts before day one, it doesn’t end there either.  HR Professionals will want to meet lots of key stakeholders and decision makers to get a feel for the business so set them up with lots of meetings, shadowing and give them the opportunity to ‘walk the floor’!  It’s not unusual for them to be in high vis jackets, steel toe cap boots on a production line seeing how it all works in their first week! You want to hear how they’re settling in, their observations, what they’re working on, any extra training they might need and so on.  Embedding them into the business is essential and it increases engagement!  

5. Adjust your onboarding for hybrid or remote working

Our last tip for onboarding staff is to make sure you adjust the process accordingly for remote employees and hybrid workers. With more of us adopting this flexible working model, it can be easy to assume that those working from home are happy. They’ve got that all-important work-life balance. However, remote workers can feel isolated or out of the loop, so onboarding is just as important for this cohort of new colleagues, if not more so.  This is where video’s, online tools and automation has really come into its own over the last few years!  

I guess the message we’re giving here is help them to feel loved – be part of something they’re proud of and don’t let them feel the need to look elsewhere!  

We hope you’ve found these quick tips helpful for onboarding new team members. Remember, if HRLife can help recruit permanent or temporary members of your HR team, you can contact our team today

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