So you’ve hired the right person for the job – congratulations!
Your work doesn’t end there, however. Now that you’ve hired the right candidate, it’s time to onboard them into your organisation.
Unfortunately, many organisations and businesses focus heavily on the hiring process itself, and essentially treat the onboarding process as an afterthought.
Whether it’s a permanent gig or temp work in Melbourne, it’s crucial that you put just as much effort into the onboarding process as you do the hiring itself!
First thing’s first: why is proper onboarding important?
The importance of the new hire onboarding experience
While you might think of the onboarding process as a relatively minor thing relative to how long your employee is going to stay with you, the fact of the matter is that this process actually has a pretty large impact on the rest of your relationship.
For starters, it can affect:
- What they think of your business
- How welcome they feel
- Their ability to dive right into their new responsibilities
- Employee productivity in the short and medium-term
On top of these immediate effects, your onboarding process can also have a number of long-term effects. A bad process can affect employee engagement, which can lead to a whole host of different issues.
While you won’t be able to see these effects immediately, a bad process can easily lead to a new hire not performing like you expect them to.
And if you use the same ineffective process for all of your new hires… well, at that point you’re more-or-less asking for trouble!
This isn’t to say that this will cause all of your new staff to underperform – most of these issues can be overcome with enough time. But do you really want to land in these situations to begin with?
What is the onboarding process for new hires?
The 4 phases of onboarding
If you’re going to build a better onboarding process, you need to start by understanding what onboarding requires. And that means understanding the onboarding process.
While a lot of business owners think of onboarding as just the initial training, the fact of the matter is that onboarding is actually a long and ongoing process that stretches beyond an employee’s initial few weeks.
And as a long process, it’s important that you understand what goes into it.
1) Rolling out the welcome mat
This is the part that everybody understands – when you bring a new hire into your organisation, it’s important that they feel welcomed.
That means things like:
- Introducing them to the team
- Giving them the tour
- Introducing them to department heads and management
- Finding opportunities to socialise and get to know each other
- Scheduling a group lunch
Not only does this make a good first-impression, but it can also help your new hire understand how your organisation works, who they can talk to, as well as how they fit into it all.
2) Mentoring and training
While both you and your employment agency in Melbourne have no doubt done your best to ensure that your new hire can hit the ground running, that doesn’t change the fact that there’s still going to be a bit of an adjustment period.
You can’t just throw them in the deep end and hope that things will just work out!
A successful training program involves more than just giving them a booklet with all of your policies or sitting down with them on their first day to go through your unique system.
If you ask us, it’s a good idea to assign a mentor or buddy to help oversee the transition into their new role.
Ideally, mentors shouldn’t just be there to answer general and specific questions, but should also be proactive, helping new hires understand the finer details as well as the bigger picture.
And importantly, they should have the time to actually mentor. We understand how frustrating can be when a current employee feels overwhelmed with an additional task added to their workload – so ensure that your team understands what is expected of them, who is to assist, and how.
3) Ongoing feedback
How is your new hire supposed to know if they’re doing well if you don’t talk to them about it?
Ongoing feedback ensures that you know how your new hire is performing, while they can also understand if they’re meeting your expectations.
Many times, it can be more effective to arrange casual meetings instead of entrusting this to HR recruitment agencies and departments.
More formal ones can intimidate and put new hires on the defensive instead of being more open about where they’re struggling.
We suggest making these meetings less formal, and more like a friendly chat than a potentially intimidating or overwhelming meeting.
Another good idea is to look at scheduling. You might like to schedule short chats once a week for the first month or so, with more in-depth and longer chats slotted in at the 30, 60 and 90 day marks.
And finally, make sure you continue these meetings for as long as you need to – you can even make these a regular thing to make sure your team is keeping up with all of its work!
4) Career conversations
Whether it’s taking on new responsibilities or adapting to a future change in business direction, it’s important that you also talk with your staff about:
- Where they want to take their careers long-term
- Their willingness to upskill and take on additional responsibilities
- Pathways for career growth within a position
- Expectations surrounding upward mobility and pay rises
Not only can this help you prepare and plan for the future, but it can also help you avoid dissatisfaction.
In many cases, employees may be disappointed by what they perceive as a lack of opportunities just a handful of months into their tenure.
Talking about the subject of career progression early on can help set expectations and reassure them that yes, there will be growth opportunities to come.
Not only that, but it can also help you both prepare for the big moment!
How can I onboard someone remotely?
Onboarding a new employee virtually
While things are mostly back to the way they were, it’s not true to say that things are 100% back to “normal” – for instance, you still need to sign in at venues and COVID is still dominating the news (though it’s thankfully mostly in the context of vaccines).
Of course, these aren’t the only things that have changed – another thing that has changed (and likely for good) is the way that businesses and organisations look after their hiring and onboarding.
When it comes to onboarding remote and work-from-home employees, your onboarding process will look broadly similar – with a couple of changes to accommodate.
Think about presentation
Obviously, the fact that the role is remote is going to change the way your onboarding is conducted. Unfortunately however, many organisations don’t really think about what this might involve, and change their onboarding to almost entirely lengthy written documents.
Your induction and onboarding needs to be engaging and well-presented. Not only does it make things easier to follow, but it also makes it easier to retain knowledge.
Instead of a long document, consider putting some of it – especially the more technical stuff like how to use a computer program – into an easy-to-follow video.
When it comes to onboarding a remote worker, it might be necessary to provide more resources to compensate for the remote nature of the work.
That means things that you might not think about otherwise such as checklists for new hires to track how they’re going, as well as additional documents and FAQs to account for the fact that they won’t always be able to ask you for clarification whenever they have questions.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject…
Establish lines of communication
Really, this is good advice when it comes to remote working in general!
When onboarding a new employee, it’s important to ensure that they have a way of getting in touch with you when they run into issues or want to discuss something.
Email is too slow to rely on. And while phones are faster, they won’t always be available.
Instant messaging helps strike a good middle ground for communicating throughout the day whenever a new hire runs into an issue.
Another good idea is to schedule video chats to check in on your new hire and discuss their progress, as well as how they’re settling in and concerns they might have.
Who is responsible for employee onboarding?
This is an important question to ask during onboarding – however, it’s especially important when it comes to onboarding a remote employee.
The best answer will depend on your individual organisation, as well as the role that your new hire is expected to play.
A lot of organisations like to spread onboarding duties out. They’ll have a main person responsible for onboarding – for example, the department head they work under – with things like technical onboarding handed to their IT specialist.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work when working remotely.
Remember that it can be a lot harder to manage different points of contact for onboarding when the employee is working remotely. In these cases, a better idea is to run all onboarding tasks (or at least, as many as you can) through one or two people.
It’s a little more work for whoever you’ve nominated, but it makes things so much more seamless for your new hire!
Before you think about induction and onboarding, it’s important you hire the right staff to begin with
A good induction process is key – of course, it’s just as important that you make the right hiring decision to begin with!
And that starts by choosing the right help to assist with your recruitment.
Our permanent recruitment consultants specialise in finding the perfect person to fill a vacancy. That means going beyond skills and experiences, instead looking towards things like:
- Personality traits
- Problem-solving skills
- Emotional intelligence
- People skills
The right combination of these traits doesn’t just mean that they’ll be able to perform better in the role – it also means that they’ll be able to adjust to the role and your organisation better, making induction and onboarding smoother!