Onboarding is the process of bringing a new employee into an organization and work community, as well as connecting a new hire with the tools and information essential to becoming a contributing member.
Onboarding new hires at an organization ought to be an organized system that lasts around one year, according to staffing experts. This is because the way new employees experience their first days, weeks and months is a major factor in employee retention.
Onboarding, not orientation
In some companies, onboarding is often wrongly identified as orientation. While orientation might be completing the necessary paperwork and other routine tasks, onboarding is a comprehensive system involving management and other staff members that can last as long as 12 months.
Before putting a formal onboarding program into place, employers should answer some essential questions to acquire staff and management buy-in, including when onboarding starts, how long it should last, what it will cover, the role of HR in the process, and the objectives and ways to gather feedback.
Once these concerns have been addressed, HR and management can develop a plan of action to help new staff members rapidly adopt business policies and workflow while getting familiar with the company culture.
Onboarding best practices
Once someone accepts a job offer, they can also receive access to the company’s online onboarding portal, where they will be greeted with content that’s designed to engage them, like a welcoming note from their manager, first-day details, welcome messages from new teammates, a list of company terms, a copy of the employee handbook and other details about the new hire’s department and job duties. After getting past the initial welcome content, a portal can also include a benefits selection that clearly lays out an individual employee’s benefits offerings.
Many new-hire portal solutions also benefit HR by providing dashboards that can organize and track tasks that must be completed, like filling out tax and payroll forms. Rather than having a pile of papers waiting for a signature, a portal can get these forms out to the employee before their first day for electronic signature. HR personnel should look for a solution that automates this paper-pushing process as much as possible.
In addition to getting new staff members to fill out new-hire paperwork, a portal could offer an FAQ section for questions new hires often have, like where to go on the first day, who to ask for upon arrival and suggested attire.
It’s also crucial to set up a physical space for each new hire, including their desk or workstation, phone, computer and password logins, before they arrive. The worst thing for a new worker is being wowed during the hiring process, and then arriving on the first day to find the receptionist isn’t expecting them or their office isn’t set up.
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At ZDA, we work with our clients to provide the most efficient onboarding process possible for our contract workers. Please contact our Chicago supply chain recruiters today to find out how we can help your organization.