When a candidate attends an interview, both the employer and the candidate hope to see it succeed. At the end of the interview process, the offer is made if the employer finds the candidate to be a suitable fit for the role. The decision to accept or reject the offer rests in the hands of the candidate. If the candidate declines the offer, the organization will have to go ahead with another round of an expensive hiring process. When the offer is accepted, the company begins the onboarding process.
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Onboarding is a process of familiarizing a new employee with the organization’s policies, its role in the organization, and the organization’s culture. It involves getting the new employee equipped with the tools they need to fulfil their position and getting them to complete the necessary labour law compliance paperwork.
While most people believe that onboarding involves a lot of paperwork, it doesn’t end there. During onboarding, the environment created is made to ensure that the new employee is comfortable to interact with others and establish social relationships in the workplace. The employee also learns what is expected of them in terms of skills, attitude, and communication.
Can a structured employee onboarding process prevent employee attrition? The HR team faces numerous challenges in their day-to-day role being a part of the team. But none is as challenging as the onboarding program as the quest to find the right pool of talent is exhausting. If the onboarding fails, they will have to dive into a shrinking pool of talent and find the next’ most suitable’ fit for the role. Many candidates are eager to work for an organization, but talent crunch makes hiring difficult. So, the key to retaining a new hire starts with a good onboarding program.
Can a sense of loyalty be invoked with a well-defined employee engagement program? The quicker the employee is empowered to do their job, the faster they become valuable and a contributing member of the organization. Onboarding defines whether the organization will succeed in keeping the employee or fail in employee retention as employees tend to quit if they do not find the organization to be what was painted during the interview process. Candidates always look for a greener landscape and quit their job if they find something more rewarding. If the organization fails in its onboarding program, they will have to go through another hiring process and bear the expenses of the hiring cycle. With talenx.io by your side, say goodbye to endless interviews and repeated hiring process as each talent identified by them is always the right fit.
The onboarding process differs from one company to another though they tend to be similar. The task involved and the period of the process vary widely from one organization to another. When some members of the HR team consider the onboarding process as simply going ahead with the important paperwork, some savvy members have a different perspective of the process.
The onboarding process is not just about a few paperwork and providing the new hire with the required tools to do the job. The entire period that starts from the moment the offer is released, right until the time the employee becomes a contributing member of the organization is a part of the onboarding process. It includes the training plan, orientation program, setting up performance metrics, feedback, and more.
The employee onboarding process differs from one company to another as well as from one vertical to another. While an employee fresh out of college may need more help, an experienced professional would be well versed with what to expect. But keep in mind that a professional has experienced one or more onboarding process and hence would need more dedication. An ideal onboarding process includes the following steps.
The first step to the onboarding process is to provide information on company policies and employee benefits. The employees have to sign all compliance forms provided and formally validate themselves as a part of the organization. It is the employee’s first day in the organization and comprehensive information material that includes every important detail such as insurance, tax, compliance, company liabilities, employee benefits, leave policy, and more should be provided. The HR manager can either offer training or provide materials or both. Some organizations accept digital signature on state/federal compliance forms. Depending on the country/state where the organization is located, the HR can also use onboarding software for the documentation process on the first day. The onboarding software ensures that all compliance formalities are fulfilled beforehand, giving opportunity for the employee to be a contributing member of the organization from day one.
On fulfilling the compliance formalities that are an extremely vital part of the onboarding process, the next step is to provide the new employee with role clarity. What are the roles and responsibilities of the employee? What is expected of them as a part of their job and as a part of the team? Usually, this step is extended for thirty days, depending on the position offered to the employee and the number of years of experience they have. Providing role clarity is usually done by the manager as they are in the best position to offer clarity on what the role will involve. The employees are also introduced to their team, as well as members of other teams, informed about whom they must collaborate with to get a particular job done, and the reporting matrix. There are automated solutions available that introduce the employee to the members of the team as well as the supporting team even before they join the organization with an online profile. The benefit of using the software is that it offers familiarity between the new hire and the existing employees of the organization.
Training is a process that does not end in a day and is part of the long-term onboarding process. Most times, training is done on the job and usually facilitated by the immediate manager. From a fresher to an experienced professional, everyone needs training as one company does not function as another. Besides, there is something new to learn with each role, which can even be a different way of doing what is already in practice as a part of the role. Training can be provided even before day 1 of the new employee using the onboarding software. Basic training materials can be sent with a breakdown of the tasks which the employee can accomplish. The onboarding software also gives a sense of what’s in store for the employees when they join the company and lets them prepare themselves for their responsibilities.
The next step is to induct new hires into the organizational culture. The process is fulfilled by the team managers of the HR manager who give a broad overview of the company to the employee when they join the company. One way to do this is to define the culture in the mission and vision statement of the company. Define what the company culture is! Are the managers open enough to entertain non-work conversation? Are the managers flexible enough to be approached to discuss a problem they are experiencing? Does the company concentrate on output or outcome? Several things combined become the culture, which must be communicated to the employee. The onboarding software can be used to provide insights to the employee about the organization’s culture.
Establishing social relationships is as important as any other onboarding process as the employee will be spending most of the day with their colleagues. It would be ideal for the employee to establish a social connection in the organization, which can benefit them in many ways as well. It is yet another responsibility taken up by the manager or the HR to facilitate communication between the employees, even if some employees are not very comfortable and open to integrating. But an environment where colleagues develop friendship is encouraged. Most organizations have adopted the buddy system, where one employee is dedicated to being a buddy to the new hire, who helps them navigate the workplace. Not everyone feels comfortable going up to their buddy for simple things. In such cases, chatbots and AI act as a great buddy instead.
The HR team has several responsibilities that need to be fulfilled during the onboarding process. Their responsibilities include preparation for the starting day, the introduction of the tools to be used by the employee, orientation of the office, introduction to the team, and evaluation of the overall experience. Most people believe that the onboarding process happens in a day. The duration of employee onboarding differs from one organization to another.
The duration of the onboarding process depends on the onboarding definition of the organization. Every company has a different employee onboarding strategy, and each strategy has a different time frame that it takes to be fulfilled. Usually, new employees take about two to five hours to be onboarded into the new role. But this is the time that they take to address the compliance documents, sign them, and get a general introduction to the team. While most people believe that it is the end of the onboarding process, it is just the beginning. The signing of the documents and getting introduced to the team is nothing but the orientation process, a part of the onboarding program.
If all the tasks that were mentioned in the previous section were to be completed, a formal employee onboarding process would range from thirty days to a year. It is broken down into four phases as follows.
Phase 1: It takes from a day to a week for the employees to familiarize with their role and ensure compliance.
Phase 2: It takes from a week to three months to train the employee to perform their job, as well as to familiarize with colleagues, and get a sense of organizational culture.
Phase 3: It takes from three months to six months to evaluate performance to ensure they have everything needed to perform their job ideally, and to receive feedback.
Phase 4: It takes from six months to a year for the employee to develop sufficient knowledge about the company, the market, and the industry, and be assimilated with the company culture.
A meaningful employee onboarding process starts from the moment the potential candidate accepts the offer. The duration of the process differs from person to person as well, depending on their capacity as well as on the HR team.
To ensure that the new employee experience is meaningful, you must deliver a superior onboarding experience that starts right from the recruitment process. You can ensure this by maintaining an onboarding checklist. The checklist ensures that the employee has received every necessary information that will help them to start effectively in their jobs.
If you have an onboarding checklist, it will help you plan for all tasks and activities that are common to a new hire. It will ensure that important milestones are not left out or forgotten entirely. Each role has its unique requirements, but it is the HR’s responsibility to ensure that all new hires are up to speed in the core areas mentioned below.
The key people involved in the onboarding program to ensure the smooth processing right from the beginning include the HR, line manager, IT and administration, and senior management.
|Prior to |
|• Call to confirm start date and time|
• Discuss relocation, dress code
• Provide a link to company onboarding website
• Confirm receipt of all necessary documents and background check
• Confirm the receipt of Offer/Acceptance letter
• Prepare a workstation
• Build a welcome packet
• Order email, phone set-up, passkey, ID, or any hardware, software, peripherals, etc.
Enroll them in HR briefing, orientation
• Schedule training session if necessary
|• Welcome and guide to the workstation|
• Deliver and review welcome packet
• Introduce designated co-workers
• Confirm receipt and functionality of passkey
• Review portal, software, hardware, printer and so on
• Confirm email and phone set up
• Review technology acceptable use policies
• Conduct or schedule office tour
|• Ask how the week went|
• Assist with questions and queries
• Review the training schedule
• Review technology functionality
• Discuss company culture and work style
• Discuss current projects and processes
• Review company vision, mission statement, and policies
|• Assess the need for future meetings|
• Answer any queries
• Set short-term and long-term goals
|First Three |
to a year
|• Performance review|
• Review the short-term and long-term goals
• Answer any questions
Table 1: Onboarding process template
While the onboarding process can differ for each employee, it mainly includes the checklist, as listed above in Table 1. The templet can be customized and predefined to suit the needs of different companies.
Employees rejecting an offer is a common occurrence. But, many a time, employees drop out of a job even after accepting an offer, and it is something that no one can control. What you can control is what the employee experiences once they enter the organization. Several trends are coming up that supports employee retention with some of the best practices of 2020 for employee onboarding, including the following.
The onboarding process is an experience that defines how an employee will start to look at the company. Many candidates join an organization with anticipation that their experience will be as they have perceived, and that they will find success in the organization. The onboarding process will define the effectiveness of the HR team, as well as how the potential candidates will perceive the company to be.