5 Essential Tips For Onboarding New Employees Successfully

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A robust onboarding process is critical to getting new employees off on the right foot. For the success of both the employee and your company as a whole, you want to do everything you can to make sure that it runs as effectively as possible.

Keep in mind, most newly-hired employees will want to learn as much as possible about their new employer, as well as the people they’ll be working with. Thankfully, technology now allows the onboarding process to start before the new employee ever sets foot on company property, and you want to take advantage of that by getting onboarding off and running as soon as possible.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most important tips to keep in mind when designing your onboarding process, the right moves you want to make, and the mistakes you want to avoid.

1. Get going right away.

Whether you begin before they start or decide to wait until the employee’s first official day on the job, begin onboarding as soon as possible, and get them oriented before they dive into their regular duties. This is partly so they’ll be better prepared for what’s waiting for them, and partly because it’ll be tougher to pull them back out for onboarding since you’ll be disrupting them once they’ve already begun to work.

2. Cover all the “little” things.

Even though you obviously need to cover things like scheduling, benefits, expectations, and other big-ticket matters, you’ll also want to take some time to address other essential housekeeping items. Take them on a tour to show them around so they can see where everything is, meet their co-workers, show them where the bathrooms are, and so on.

3. Make the process as interactive as possible.

Treating onboarding like a one-way college lecture is a great way to get your new employees to tune out and let everything you say go in one ear and out the other.   Treated like any other conversation with give and take, get them interacting with other employees, and find ways to give opportunities for them to lead the direction the discussion takes.

4. Get senior management involved.

There’s a fair chance that most employees will need to deal with department heads and other senior leaders outside their immediate group at some point during their employment. You want to break through the imaginary wall between new employees and senior management they may not otherwise feel comfortable approaching, and onboarding is a perfect opportunity to do so.  Having those senior employees stop in for some face time with new hires can be a great way to break the ice and make the new employees feel more comfortable than they otherwise might.

5. Solicit their input about the onboarding process.

Finish off an onboarding session by asking your new hire for feedback on their experience, and suggestions for ways the process can be improved in the future.  Not only is it helpful to you to grow your own process, but you also show them right out of the gate that they have a voice in your organization and their opinion matters.

The onboarding process is critical to the success of new employees and your business alike. You may be a premium IT recruiter, but there’s still work left to be done once a hire has been made.  By following the tips in this article, you can ensure both the success of your new hire, as well as the effectiveness of your overall hiring and onboarding process.

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Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.