|We all know that recruiting can be a time-consuming and expensive process, so it makes sense that once you have an offer accepted and a new employee ready to start, you do all you can to make sure it works well.
It can be helpful to think of the onboarding process in four stages:
- Pre-onboarding – this starts when the recruitment process ends. It is all too easy to get the job offer accepted and then sit back with relief! But this can be a great time to build on your relationship with your new employee and demonstrate your company culture. Make sure they know who to contact if they have any questions, provide them with information such as the company handbook, and ensure they are all set up for their first day – do they know how to get to you, where to park, who will greet them? Remember first impressions can be lasting!
- Welcome and orientation – for their first few days the focus is on settling the employee in and making them feel at home. Again this is a mix of hard and soft information – clear guidance on their relevant processes, ensuring IT access and email set up, plus the practical information they need to find their way around – including where everyone goes at lunchtime!
- Role Specific – this might include a handover with the previous job-holder, and is likely to include meetings with the rest of the team and key contacts in other departments. By the end of this period the person should have everything they need to be able to do their new role to an acceptable standard.
- Transition and Establishing – the final phase is when the individual stops being a “new starter” and becomes an established and fully integrated employee. This might be a combination of completing training, hitting specific targets, passing their probationary period, and a general sense that they now see themselves as part of the company – “us” rather than “you”.
In some sectors at the moment there is fierce competition for good employees – so if you find one it is worth putting in the extra time and effort to make sure you are going to keep them as an established and successful part of your team.