Today, managers understand and agree that it is time and money well spent to invest in recruiting the right employee the first time. The value of partnering with an executive recruitment firm has been demonstrated to be successful time and time again. However, in my practice, I have noticed one area that continues to be ignored: ONBOARDING.
Most supervisors equate onboarding to the special welcome displayed the first day the new recruit walks in the door as an employee, but it is more than that. Unfortunately, managers often learn the hard way that a poorly structured onboarding can cause new hires to permanently walk out that same front door within their first six months on the job.
A well-designed onboarding period is more than the first day spent filling out forms, shaking hands with everyone on the floor and discovering the work area and lunchroom. The time spent in the first day dealing with all the administrative requirements and meeting the team is called “orientation”. Onboarding goes beyond that.
The onboarding process should last SEVERAL MONTHS AND EVEN INTO YEAR ONE! New recruits have a steep learning curve necessary to understand the organizational culture, structure and how they fit and bring value.
Onboarding must have the tools necessary to perform well and continue to grow within the organization right from the beginning. A solid onboarding system relies on regular and timely communication and feedback to ensure new recruits understand their expectations of the position and of the organizations. These two-way communication opportunities allow both parties to address misunderstandings early on, to establish good rapport and align goals and needs. Some organizations also include buddy systems and mentors for constant communication and support.
Onboarding helps establish the sense of belonging and is a reason why new recruits choose to stay. So, next time you set out to recruit someone new to your organization, don’t forget to discuss your onboarding plan with your executive recruiter. (we can help with that too!)