You’ve put so much time and energy plus a great deal of resources into hiring that new team member. Now, it’s time to relax and let that person get to work…right? 

Well, not exactly. 

Finding, interviewing and ultimately hiring new employees (permanent or contract) is just one step of the process. While it can be tempting to throw new employees directly into the fray, onboarding is a critical step that can help you increase productivity, while also improving retention and even recruiting (particularly referrals).

But with such a competitive market for talent today, hiring may sometimes take longer than anticipated. You may be eager to get your new hire to work. Regardless of the situation, it’s imperative that you put an emphasis on your onboarding process — and the good news is, it doesn’t have to sap your productivity at all. 

Invest in onboarding to maximize ROI.

These onboarding tips can help you maximize your talent investment:

Have a plan. 

For some organizations, the notion of onboarding means giving out an employee handbook and having the new hire fill out paperwork. 

It’s time to change that line of thinking for sure. 

At a minimum, your onboarding plan should include:

> Greeter: Who’s going to meet this person on his or her first day?

> Paperwork: Yes, it is a necessity!

> Equipment: Ensure the new hire has all the equipment and logins needed. This could also include a security badge.

> Email: Your new employee will need email access from Day 1.

> Business cards: You may want to have these ready to go from Day 1.

> Tour: Be sure to show your new employee where the restrooms and break room are, in particular! If he or she will be expected at a meeting in the next few days, be sure to stop by the conference room as well. 

> Introductions: Depending on the size of your organization, you may want to introduce your new hire to everyone, or perhaps just one or two departments. What’s important is to decide who will be included in advance.

Dedicate someone to onboarding.

Creating a plan is the first step, but ensuring someone “owns” onboarding is critical to ensure that the plan is actually implemented for each new hire. HR is often a logical place to start when choosing someone to take ownership of onboarding. Depending on the number of new hires starting within your organization at any given time, you may want to designate someone in multiple departments to own onboarding for their specific new team members. 

Talk to your team and include HR to help determine what will work best for your organization. What’s most important is that you have the conversations and make the decision. You may find over time that you need to change the plan or have someone else take charge — that’s okay, as long as someone is on top of it! 

Arm new employees with everything they need.

I touched upon this briefly in the first point, but it bears repeating. Your employees should have everything they need to get started when they arrive on their first day. 

And, someone should walk them through all of their equipment, security badges, logins and various systems or software they’ll be using (especially any proprietary software, like Slack, intranets, etc). There’s nothing worse than feeling completely lost and overwhelmed in a new job. Ensuring your new hires have everything they need will help ease what is a naturally stressful time for anyone. 

Designate a mentor for each new hire.

This one requires some investment of time and resources but will pay off down the road when your employee A) sticks with you for the long run and B) refers family and friends. About 70% of Fortune 500 companies have some sort of mentorship program — clearly, they’re on to something. By providing a mentor to your new employees from Day 1, you give them someone they immediately “know” and can count on from the get-go. 

Aim to have someone in each new hire’s department serve as the mentor, ideally in a higher position. This can help with learning names and becoming familiar/comfortable with the culture of your office, but can also help with career paths and goal setting. 

Mentors should take new hires out to lunch on their first days, getting them out of the office so that they can ask questions and get a “breath of air” from the stress and overwhelm that naturally comes with the first day on a new job. From there, regular meetings (ideally weekly, monthly or every couple of months – depending on your corporate culture), can help nurture the relationship and provide career guidance to your team as they progress on their journeys within your organization.

Set expectations for feedback (and deliver).

One of the scariest parts of a new job is not knowing whether or not you’re doing a good job. 

Be as direct and clear as possible, by clearly laying out what you expect from each new hire within 30 days, 60 days, etcetera. Explain how and when you’ll give feedback, and encourage employees to solicit feedback and ask questions if they are uncertain. 

By setting expectations for feedback (and then delivering on those expectations) during onboarding, you can help put minds at ease and avoid unnecessary stress in this area. 

Do you need help finding the right talent?

Here at Matlen Silver, we have an extensive network of talent across the country that is ready and excited to work for you. To learn more, contact us