Finding the right candidate is just the first step in a long process. After you’ve made a selection, it’s your responsibility to introduce that new hire to your company, help them feel comfortable, and show them everything they need to know to start making an impact faster. This ongoing process is called onboarding, and it represents a more organic form of training, better suited to the needs of both employer and employee. Here are a few strategies to help you get more out of the onboarding process:
Commit to the Right Time Frame
Onboarding is not an overnight process. In fact, the more you try to rush it, the less effective it proves to be. In order for onboarding to be successful, it should be an ongoing process that lasts at least six months and can go as long as a year. That might sound prohibitive, but that time frame and pace are necessary if you want your new hires to truly internalize the information you’re providing. Remember, too, that new hires are able to work and contribute throughout the onboarding process.
Incorporate a One-to-One Approach
If you make a number of new hires at once, you may be tempted to onboard them as a group. In practice, however, this always proves to be the less-effective strategy. Experience has shown that assigning each new hire to an experienced onboarding guide and working though the process as a teacher/student pair helps to reinforce concepts, mitigate confusion, teach insider tips, and customize the onboarding process to the new hire’s needs and goals.
Follow a Structure
An extended, personalized onboarding strategy can only work if it is backed up by a structure. That doesn’t mean it has to be a formal process though. Providing tasks, milestones, assignments, learning opportunities, and a clear end point makes this process meaningful and ensures that all the concepts are covered. Within this structure, your new hire and her onboarding partner still have a lot of flexibility in how they proceed.
Track Your Program
Onboarding programs are essential, and they can always get better. For both of those reasons, it’s important to track the results of your program and make changes based on the insights you glean. You can track levels of turnover, employee performance after program completion, the level of input required by the program itself, and a number of other metrics. As you revise and refine your onboarding program over time, you can turn it into a systematic process that works in all departments, and for all new hires.
Successfully onboarding your new hires is a lot easier when they have the exact hard and soft skills that you’re looking for. Find a higher caliber of candidate by working with Morris Bixby.