Onboarding: What You Need to Know (and Do)

A vital process for the health of your company

So- you’ve found the perfect candidate to fill a position at your company. They’ll be able to start in two weeks and they’ll be able to get going on what they need to, right? If you don’t have proper onboarding practices, there’s actually a pretty good chance they will quit within six months. How long did it take to find this person? How much did it cost in lost time in interviewing, posting to job sites or even hiring a head hunter to do some recruiting for you? Furthermore, how much are their salary, benefits, and supplies going to cost if they end up quitting soon after hiring? You can help prevent this by having a clearly defined onboarding process, as outlined below:

  • Get them up to speed fast
    This is pretty standard, with Human Resources getting the employee up to date on the company’s policies. This can feel like the first day of school, reviewing a lot of small details but it’s the little things that can cause confusion or cause them to feel alienated. Assigning a partner who they can ask questions of, or a “big” as the Greek system might put it, can help them get to know the team a bit better as well.
  • Introduce them to everyone
    You should announce your new hire and define what their new role is. You should also take them around to each department so they can at least be familiar with what each does and is responsible for.
  • Clearly define their job description before onboarding
    This one seems pretty obvious but it can save you a lot a headache down the road. Obviously, you should be honest about the responsibilities that the job will entail. I have heard many a horror story where employees show up on their first day only to hear “actually this position is mostly secretarial” in a job that was not described as such. Knowing what their responsibilities beforehand will help everybody be on the same page from the start.

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