Onboarding was adopted in the 1970s as a management term for introducing newly hired employees into the organization. Onboarding is the mechanism by which job candidates are introduced to the organization by obtaining the relevant knowledge, skills, and behaviors to operate effectively. It also covers the end-to-end process of integrating new hires into the workplace to effectively meet their roles. The integration process includes: setting up new workstations and familiarization with the company’s culture, roles, and expectations. Onboarding further captures the orientation of the new hire with existing employees.
Why is onboarding important in the HRM process?
Onboarding is an indispensable component of the human resource management. The onboarding element gives life to the human resource function, enabling HR managers to meet their human capital planning needs. How?
1.) Gives New Hires Capacity
When you think about your first day at work, chances are you were excited to land a new job but nervous to learn and start right away! If you don’t receive enough instructions and guidance that resonate with your feelings and emotions, you won’t get the capacity to speed up in your new role.
Onboarding gives new hires direction, support, and guidance to succeed in their assigned roles. Employee onboarding integrates new hires, creating an ecosystem of learning and adaptation. This, in the long-term, helps new hires or employees learn and adapt to the company growth.
Onboarding lets employees learn and gain knowledge of diverse cultural and behavioral issues around your organization. It is a stepping stool to your organization’s higher ideals.
Most importantly, the internalization of organizational values and cultures that happens during orientation and onboarding exercises helps with retention. Retention levels are reported to be higher in organizations that foster cultural conformity and cultural awareness.
Another benefit of onboarding in the HR process is that it enables human resources to reach productivity goals (or capacity) faster. If your employees do not receive adequate help from hiring managers or co-workers, and they constantly have to figure things out on their own, your company is likely to lose revenue that these hires would otherwise be bringing.
However, if new hires go through a well-developed and robust onboarding exercise, they will learn and adapt faster. Onboarding helps employees to settle and start adding value to the team.
How to make the onboarding experience more efficient?
There are many things you can do to help new hires when designing the onboarding process. For instance, you can send them a gift card, or a welcome package, arrange for lunch, or prepare dinner with colleagues.
Whatever you decide to include in your onboarding process, there are several steps to take to make onboarding more efficient.
Top 3 keys to an efficient onboarding program
1.) Communicate early
Communication is the cornerstone of any efficient onboarding process. If you’re considering hiring new candidates, establish potential communication channels. Ensure you communicate with them regularly and show that you’re looking forward to having them on your team.
Regular communication and outreach, coupled with feedback mechanisms from potential hires are key in reinforcing your onboarding. You can send them an employee handbook or prepare a presentation about the company’s history and philosophy. Either way, you stand to build rapport with potentially talented candidates if you foster your communication and outreach approach.
2.) Plan extensively
It’s advisable to plan if you’re to succeed in your onboarding. Prepare the new hire’s first-week schedule. Have everything laid out for them. Most new hires are uncertain of what is expected during their first week.
When hires arrive, they’re uncertain of their work. It’s up to you to show that you’re fully prepared to guide and direct them towards meeting their goals and purpose. So, it’s advisable to prepare a detailed plan for their first week at work.
Check all the important boxes like workstation arrangement, giving tools for work, and evaluating their comprehension of work requirements. Extensive planning is the key to building an efficient onboarding process.
3.) Friendly welcome
The first day has a lot of implications on the hire’s overall perception. Be positive, friendly, and enthusiastic when welcoming your new hires. Give the new hire a company walk-through – from the workstation, kitchen, washrooms, rec room ping pong table – to the manager’s office.
It’s advisable to provide a feedback platform or channel. That’s because most new hires are faced with challenges they can’t overcome. And without a proper feedback mechanism or communication channel, they may fail to execute their duties effectively.
Friendly gestures are an important incentive for the onboarding process.
Why is effective onboarding important?
Effective onboarding is the secret to excellent human capital planning. When human resources hire and onboard effectively, they help organizations properly manage their human resources and optimize their workforces.
So, why is effective onboarding important?
1.) Employee experience
An efficient onboarding process leads to a strong employee experience. After the Covid-19 pandemic, job openings are at an all-time high, meaning job seekers have plenty of job opportunities around.
If your new hires don’t enjoy their first-time experience, they can find better opportunities that suit them. A great onboarding process sets out the foundation for employee experience and engagement.
Remain focused on aspects like frequent check-ins, employee culture, and employee professional development to improve the job candidate’s first-time experience. Indeed, being actively engaged in the onboarding process reinforces the overall experience – from hiring to retirement!
2.) Employee engagement
Employee engagement refers to the strength of psychological, emotional, and mental connection that employees feel to their organizations, their teams, and their work. This helps employees to remain psychologically and emotionally connected to their job.
Highly engaged employees share many characteristics:
- Better employee safety
- Increased productivity
- Higher attendance rates for work-related events
- Happier and healthier employees
- Readiness to take on new challenges
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Lower employee turnover rates
- Improved business growth and outcomes
Employee engagement determines employees overall performance and productivity.
3.) Employee retention
Onboarding efficiency is critical in retaining employees. There’s a rising demand for highly skilled employees in tech – programming, software development, data architecture, and cloud computing.
Indeed, the demand for highly skilled employees in mathematics, sciences, and technology continues to highlight the need to attract and retain personnel qualified in these areas.
So, organizations dealing with data and businesses adopting the technology will have to look at onboarding efficiency as an element of employee retention. These organizations will have to view onboarding efficiency as a tool for human capital planning.
ExactHire – Streamlining Employee Onboarding and Internalization
The emergence of new automation tools and software has helped streamline hiring. For instance, ExactHire provides an applicant tracking system that assists HR managers track applications and improve the speed and accuracy of processing applications.
In addition, ExactHire provides employee onboarding software that helps you keep track of all your onboarding processes – from inception to completion. ExactHire’s employee onboarding software is a custom solution for organizations seeking to improve the efficiency of their onboarding, whether on-premise or remotely.
Contact ExactHire to access the employee onboarding software and improve your employee onboarding efficiency.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels