By Mike Cieri
You’ve found that candidate who has the qualifications and experience and they start work next week. How you welcome and train that individual can have a profound effect on whether they stay and how productive they are.
Why is onboarding so important?
The cost of replacing an entry-level employee is 30-50% of the person’s annual salary and for mid and senior level employees it can reach 150-400%.
Not only are the costs of turnover astronomical, research has also found that 86% of new hires decide whether to stay with a company long term in the first six months of employment. (Aberdeen Group, April 2015)
Strategic onboarding is a process that integrates hiring, socialization, mentoring, training, and networking which creates an experience for the individual that is in line with the company objectives.
A couple of questions to ask yourself before you start developing your on-boarding program.
A. How long will our process last? Research shows 6 month – 1 year is optimum.
B. What impression do you want new hires to walk away with at the end of the first day? First impressions are important.
C. Who will be responsible for the on-boarding process? A best practice is to have the hiring manager and line of business stakeholders responsible for the majority of onboarding process.
D. How will the on-boarding program help meet the company’s long-term objectives?
Now that you have the answers to the above questions, here are the six key elements of an effective onboarding program;
1. Preparation – this stage happens before the new hire’s first day at work. Send a letter welcoming the new hire with information what to expect, who they will meet, what information they might need to bring, etc. Make sure the appropriate people know someone new is coming (if you have a reception, make sure they are informed as well), have the work station, sign-ons, etc. are all set up and ready.
2. Compliance – This is the basic legal and policy related rules and regulation information. Payroll, Employee handbook, security, phone system, vehicle policy, etc.
3. Expectations – You want to make sure the employee understands their new job and all the related requirements/goals/processes/performance expectations, etc.
4. Socialization – is a broad category that includes providing employees with a sense of organizational norms – both formal and informal. This is the culture of the company.
5. Networking – refers to the vital interpersonal relationships and information networks that new employees must establish.
6. Measuring – develop metrics that are critical to your company to determine the success/adjustments that you will need to make. For example, retention, time to productivity, etc.
Onboarding is the perfect opportunity to make a positive, lasting impression on a new hire but you must deliver. Taking the time up front to develop and implement the six key elements into your onboarding process will deliver to the bottom line with increase retention, and productivity.
About the Author
Mike Cieri, MSIR, is Vice President of Mardac Consultants and been in the Human Resource Management field for over 20 years. During this time he has held a variety of management positions, including several years on the executive management team of a large corporation as Vice President of Human Resources and Safety, as well as Vice President of Operations.