Effective onboarding of a new employee, to decrease the chances of them leaving within their first few months, is far more involved than showing them where the toilets are, handing them a folder full of company policies and inviting them to join the office lottery syndicate.
It should begin with your first communication!
Every phase of the recruitment process – even before a candidate is offered a position – should be regarded as part of onboarding.
Let’s face it, candidates are judging you from the outset, just as much as you are them (as we pointed out in this previous post), and your management of and conduct throughout the recruitment process can have a massive influence on whether you not only capture, but retain your chosen recruits.
So, if you want to be the keepers, and not just the finders of a great employee, we suggest you heed our top three tips to ensure smooth employee onboarding.
Be a Rembrandt not a Picasso
Making sure a potential employee has a well-defined picture before they start is always a good thing. Don’t give them a jigsaw and expect them to put the pieces together themselves! In basic terms, you don’t want there to be any surprises when they start.
Candidates require an in-depth understanding of your business. Don’t restrict yourself to the obvious here, the business offering, company size, working hours etc. Give them an appreciation of the company ethos and culture, your business goals and your aims as an employer. Add to the job description by outlining your expectations of them as part of your team, and also highlight what they can hope to achieve or strive for once on board. You want to sell the position to them as a long-term option rather than a stopgap or a stepping stone.
Recruiters know that the perfectly packaged, ready-made candidate can often be a myth! Finding someone with the aptitude and attitude to fulfil the role can be more important than having all the qualification credentials and certificates you, as an employer, would consider ideal. You simply need to plan ahead to mould them into your model employee – but make sure your candidate is aware that this is your plan.
Use the recruitment campaign to identify skills gaps or training requirements and talk directly about putting a training schedule in place early on in their employment as part of the onboarding process.
You may want to consider candidate testing at the recruitment stage to help pinpoint what training might add value.
But most importantly, make it clear that you’re willing to invest in them. Offering a new recruit training will often produce a more enthusiastic, appreciative and ultimately loyal employee.
As Anna Leonowens in The King and I sang, you want to know that they are precisely your cup of tea – that you’ll like them and they’ll like you.
Onboarding is a two way process. The employee needs to learn about you and what makes the business tick, but you need to invest the same courtesy in finding out about them. This will always start at the recruitment stage, it’s part of what interviews are all about, but there are ways to dig a little deeper and find out if they really will fit well into your team. This is where psychometric profiling comes into its own (we shared some of the benefits here).
Of course, if all else fails, you can hire a recruitment company that offers a guarantee period for your newbie. Our expert support packages come with a 6 – 8 week guarantee period, because we’re confident that our recruitment campaigns cover all these bases.
If, for any reason, your new employee leaves the role within 8 weeks of starting, we will provide the same level of support to run a new campaign and find a replacement completely free of charge.
So, if you want your next recruitment campaign to be plain sailing, why not get us on board to help you onboard?