The first impression a new hire has of a company is based on their experiences from the date they accept an offer to the first couple weeks of employment.  New employment is a HUGE deal and often becomes the conversation starter for most individuals.  How many times after you inform a close friend or family member about your new position did you hear, “How is your new job?”  Most often, the answer to this question is formulated based a person’s experiences during the first few weeks of training (also known as onboarding). The answer might not be so positive if a person spends the first week with no computer and fills out paperwork. However, a much different impression can be made if they are able to get right down to business and learn their new role with other employee and manager engagement.

Engagement begins the moment the new hire accepts a position with an organization.  Seamless integration with the recruitment process should allow the organization to create the employee profile, assign tasks, and send a personalized welcome e-mail that introduces the new hire to the company and lets them feel engaged prior to their first day of employment.  Ideally, new hires should be organized and segmented based on new hire characteristics.  A centralized theme for their onboarding process can be based on their location, job type, or department just to name a few.  Each theme should create a personalized experience that can include department videos, informational documents or introductions to management or other employees.

The ability to completely personalize the new hire experience is the key to success for the retention of each new hire.  Each new hire should be treated like a top level executive that the organization could not continue without.  Personalized messaging, images, and videos centralized to the theme of their department, location, job type etc. can help create this positive perception.  In addition, tasks required to complete the process should be targeted to the new hire and ONLY what that specific new hire is required to complete.

A task can be anything from an online W4 Form to instructions for the IT department as to what equipment is needed for the new hire.  Keep in mind that new hires are not the only ones required to complete paperwork and tasks before starting, there are internal stakeholders involved in the onboarding process as well.  Allowing these stakeholders to access the information they need to complete their required task as well as creating a simple way for them to communicate back to the process owner that it is complete is extremely important. Task progress by the new hire and internal stakeholders should drive the process from one step to the next. Transparency and consistency in communication between all parties gets the onboarding process done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I strongly believe that decreasing the new hire time to productivity while providing them with a great first impression to the organization is an easy way to ensure strong employee engagement and retention.  A great onboarding experience not only provides efficiency gain, but will also create positive word of mouth and perception for any organization. Who knows, maybe even employee referrals will go up!

This is from iCIMS blogger, Kyle Hogan!

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