Tuesday 15 October 2019

The onboarding mistakes you can’t afford to make

Alice Murray - Independent Jobs

Onboarding basically refers to the process of integrating a new employee into your company or organisation.

In fast-paced environments where people are hired quickly and thrown in at the deep end, many managers forget how important the process is.

However, if you want to make a good first impression and retain staff in the long term then you need to go the extra mile.

Here are just five onboarding mistakes that you really can’t afford to make.

Neglecting your employer brand

First things first, if you want to attract top talent then you need to work on your employer brand. Your employer brand is your company’s personality, culture and values. Research conducted by inbound hiring platform Jobbio has found that 78% of candidates will look at a company’s reputation before applying for a role.

You can use things like content and video in order to grow your employer brand. It’s also beneficial to use your current employees. Get them involved through testimonials and referral schemes. This will give potential candidates a glimpse of what your organisation is really like.

Starting too late

Your onboarding process should begin from the moment the candidate accepts the job offer. If the employee is not starting their role for a number of weeks (or sometimes months) it is important that you stay in contact with them during this time so they already feel like part of the team.

This is also a good time to get a lot of the boring paperwork out of the way. Their first day should be all about introductions and training, not filling out mountains of forms.


Not having a workspace prepared

First impressions count. An employee will always remember their first day at your company so make sure that you make it special. Have a desk ready for them with a welcome pack, laptop and any other equipment that they may need.

Having personal space that they can call their own is very comforting for a new employee. If they find themselves at a loose end between meetings they have somewhere to return to. It also gives them an opportunity to customise their workspace in a way that suits them.

Ignoring introductions

Yes, introducing a new hire to every single person in your department can be tedious but it’s also very beneficial. When someone new joins your company schedule welcome meetings for them with the heads of various different teams. You should also make an effort to introduce them to other new starters so that they can swap notes and build a rapport. Some companies hire in waves in order to make this process easier.

Not setting clear and tangible goals

An important part of the onboarding process is outlining the company’s mission. This should then align with the colleague’s individual goals and targets for the next six months. Be clear about what they should aim to achieve during their first quarter on the job. This will give them clear objectives that they can work towards.

During the onboarding process, you should also outline what career progression will look like going forward. Schedule regular monthly meetings as well as more in-depth annual reviews etc. Many employees will appreciate the structure and security that this kind of process supplies.

Failing to provide resources

No two people are the same, which means that we all take in information in different ways. What works for one employee may completely baffle another. Do not promote a ‘’one size fits all’’ training strategy.

Provide new hires with training materials in various different forms such as videos, powerpoints and word docs. Some people also find it beneficial to shadow a current employee during their onboarding. Create an open and understanding culture where employees can express what works best for them.

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