10 Onboarding Ideas Introduction

The most important thing for HR and managers/supervisors to understand about newly acquired talent is that they’re still deciding whether they want to work for you. In today’s job market, candidates have many choices, especially as an extremely low rate of unemployment continues. And while onboarding platforms with great technology automate some of the most common HR tasks and help create a more social experience, it will surprise you how some basic guidelines will help you protect and grow your investment.

These Top 10 tips are based on my 15 years of experience in Human Resources, onboarding hundreds of new employees, as well as groundbreaking research by Engage2Excel from a December 2016 Trendicators survey of nearly 1,500 job seekers.

— Jeff Gelinas, VP of People, Engage2Excel

1. Reach Out Before Day One

Reach out to your candidate between offer acceptance and the first day on the job.

58% of job seekers say they would consider other job opportunities if they do not hear from someone at the hiring company between the time of offer acceptance and the first day on the job.

2. Send A Welcome Gift

Onboarding doesn’t start with the first day on the job. It starts the moment the offer is delivered. Make the moment special. Welcome your new hire with a personalized welcome gift. Ideally, this gift should arrive before day one to go the extra mile. Welcome gifts are especially important for millennials.

82% of individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 say that a personalized gift at the time of offer influences their decision to accept that offer.

3. Maximize Time To Productivity

Have new hire equipment and devices ready on day one. If your new employee is remote, this means having everything shipped to arrive before the first day on the job.

4. Do Lunch

Take your new hire to lunch or provide a restaurant gift certificate if the candidate is working remotely. Who says food can’t be the way to a new hire’s heart? I still remember my welcome lunch for every job I started.

69% of job seekers say that the first day on the job experience will impact their decision to stay with the organization for more than a month. Furthermore, millennials expect to spend time with a buddy (78%), to spend time with a manager (84%), and have lunch with team members (76%).

5. Provide An Onboarding Plan

The onboarding plan should cover the first 1-2 weeks in detail, and then outcomes at 30-60- 90 days. New hires should ideally receive this onboarding plan before the first day. Later, be sure to celebrate those milestones with recognition, or provide feedback and coaching if outcomes are not met.

6. Schedule Socialization

Socialization is key. Introduce your new hire to people in the office. For the first few weeks, I’d argue that socialization is more important than learning the job itself. If there’s an event happening during the first few weeks, it’s a great opportunity for your new hire to attend and get to meet people.

81% of millennials rate socializing or collaborating with other employees of the company as Very Important or Important, more than members of other generations.

7. Internal Lingo Cheat Sheet

Help your new hire understand the internal lingo with something as simple as a cheat sheet. After you’ve been at a company for a while, you tend to have an acronym-heavy language. And BTW, your new hire won’t be ROFL or LOL when you speak in terms they can’t understand. TTYL!

8. Recognize Early Milestone

Early recognition is key. Recognize new employees for the right behaviors, as well as their early career milestones.

The #1 reason why employees leave their employers today, even more than fair pay, is a lack of recognition, appreciation, or respect.

9. Check In For Feedback

Remember that you are still selling the job and the company to your new hire. Check in regularly and ask for feedback around what’s going well and what’s not going well. Don’t assume things are going OK from observation alone. New employee surveys are also effective, as long as follow up occurs. Knowledge of any bumps in the road can help you course correct.

10. Treat New Hires With Respect

And lastly, treating new hires with dignity and respect is critical. Sorry folks, this is where technology won’t help you. Being treated with dignity and respect is the number one reason why candidates accept job offers and the number two reason why they reject job offers. And as stated above, a lack of recognition, appreciation, or respect is the number one reason why employees leave their employers today. This suggests that, more than ever, it’s time for HR and managers/supervisors to get back to basics and truly treat people like they are the company’s most important asset.